BMW X4 review
The BMW X4 offers a little extra style over its X3 sibling, but it's more expensive and sacrifices practicality
It feels like a long time ago that the notion of a coupe/SUV crossover was seen as innovative, but having started this trend BMW isn’t backing away from it. The midsize X4 hits all the high notes of the X3, but then comes with a few added compromises impacted by its sloping roofline for the questionable benefit of aesthetics.
But regardless of its practical relevance, cars like the X4 just keep on selling, and compared to many rivals the BMW’s impressive powertrains and excellent build quality keep it near the top of the class, even if it’s now starting to look and feel a little dated.
About the BMW X4
The BMW X4 is currently in its second generation, and it follows a path that was defined by BMW when it first created the coupe SUV niche with its original X6. It did this by sloping the rear window to create a distinctive coupe (or hatchback) roofline atop a more traditional SUV body. As such, it’ll come as little surprise to find the X4 shares its basic chassis, powertrains and interior with the X3, with only mild tweaks to the ride and handling balance designed to give it a marginally ‘sportier’ feel.
A few rival manufacturers have gone down a similar route with their own takes on this very specific niche, with Mercedes recently revealing its second generation GLC Coupe and Audi also taking the bait with a Sportback version of its Q5. By contrast, other rivals have leaned into a sportier shape for a sole premium midsize SUV rather than creating a second derivative, including the Porsche Macan, Range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-Pace.
BMW facelifted the X4 in 2021, bringing with it new exterior styling elements, an upgraded interior and refreshed powertrains. It also slimmed the range down to just M Sport and M Performance models, all of which are comprehensively equipped.
At present the X4 is available with a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines. The entry-level four-cylinder xDrive20d is fitted with a 2.0-litre unit producing 187bhp, enough to deliver a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds. The xDrive30d gains two extra cylinders and a larger 3.0-litres capacity that yield added refinement and significantly more power, producing 282bhp and a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds.
M Performance models come in two flavours, petrol and diesel. The M40d uses an uprated version of the same six-cylinder diesel engine producing 335bhp for a rapid 0-62mph sprint of 4.9 seconds. Meanwhile the petrol-powered M40i comes with a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine which is good for 355bhp and the same 4.9 second 0-62mph time. All models are all-wheel drive and feature an eight-speed automatic transmission.
At the top of the range sits the X4 M Competition – an ultra high-performance version powered by a twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol engine with 503bhp and 600Nm of torque. This performance flagship is on another scale of pricing and performance, with unrelenting focus and an equally unrelenting driving experience.
Prices for basic X4s start from just over £50,000, with M Performance versions coming in at around £66,000 and the X4 M Competition costing nearly £94,000. This is a couple grand up on the equivalent X3 model, which come with similar equipment and performance.
For an alternative review of the BMW X4, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe BMW X4 offers a little extra style over its X3 sibling, but it's more expensive and sacrifices practicality
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe X4’s powertrains are all excellent, but the six-cylinder diesels are a particular highlight
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFantastic economy numbers don’t quite make up for the high running costs associated with big SUVs like the X4
- 4Interior, design and technologyIt might be underpinned by an older generation of BMW design, build quality and interior tech is still excellent regardless
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe X4 includes generous space for passengers and luggage, but the steep-sloping rear roofline means compromises have to be made
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe X4 includes a high standard of safety equipment across the range, although feedback from BMW owners could be better
- 7Used and nearly newA full used buyer’s guide on the BMW X4 covering the X4 Mk1 (2014-2018)