New 2018 BMW X4: German coupe-SUV revealed with sleek looks

The new BMW X4 has made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, with the first UK cars are set to be diesel-only

BMW X-cars are entering the market at a rapid rate, with the new BMW X4 acting as the latest addition to the deluge of SUV models. The new X4 slots in above the X3, which was revealed in 2017, while the smaller, forthcoming X2 and the much bigger X7 are set to join it in the very near future.

Similar to the first generation X4, the new model will be based on the X3, with BMW hoping that the shared platform will be strong enough to tempt buyers away from the Mercedes GLC Coupe and Jaguar F-Pace. There has been a trade-off of practicality in the name of sleeker styling and better driving experience, which may well put some buyers off. The order books have already opened for the new X4 with prices starting at just under £43,000.

• Best SUVs on sale right now

It has been seen in the flesh for the first time at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. As these pictures show, the X4’s genes are obvious from the front, with the grille, bumper and LED headlights identical to the X3’s. However, when you see the car in profile, it’s clear how much work BMW’s designers have put in. 

Along with some minor restyling of the doors and new ‘subtly hexagonal’ wheelarches has come a very different rear end. The LED lights are slimmer, and they now wrap around the rear corners, with the number plate positioned lower down, while twin exhausts are standard on every model. 

All this is combined with an 81mm increase in length and a slight decrease in height over the previous version, so the overall effect is to give the new X4 a much sleeker look. 

Buyers can then tweak this basic recipe by choosing one of three styling packs. xLine and M Sport X models accentuate the robust, off-road side of the car’s nature, while the M Sport model looks more dynamic. For the ultimate in personalisation, items from the BMW Individual range are also available, including metallic paints and wheels up to 21 inches in diameter. 

BMW X4 interior design and technology 

Inside, meanwhile, it’s very much a carbon copy of the X3. There’s a choice of six colours for the ambient lighting, and the option to electroplate some of the details, including the electric window switches and the controls on the steering wheel. And, if you choose one of the xLine, M Sport X or M Sport models, that is reflected inside, with specific seats and trim materials. 

Overall, there are more options available on this X4 than on the previous model. These include a panoramic glass roof, as well as three-zone climate control, and heated and cooled seats.

Like the latest X3, the new X4 gets the latest iDrive system, which centres on a free-standing 6.5-inch display on top of the dashboard. Voice control is also standard, but as an option, you can upgrade to the Professional system, which brings a 10.25-inch touchscreen, or specify gesture control, which allows you to operate some functions with a wave of the hand. 

Need to sell your car?
Find your best offer from over 5,000+ dealers. It’s that easy.

The X4 also has the latest in connectivity, thanks to BMW’s ConnectedDrive services. This allows the car to work with other devices, such as iPhones, Apple Watches, Android smartphones and the Amazon Alexa and Google Home personal assistants.

So, you could plan a route on your phone and transfer it to the car’s sat-nav system before you leave. Then, if you go for the Connected+ system, you can share your trip status by text and even transfer the navigation back to a smartphone once the car has been parked, allowing you to navigate from door-to-door. 

Although the X4 remains less practical and spacious than the X3, this latest version is more practical than its predecessor. Rear legroom has grown by 27mm, while the boot capacity is up to 525 litres – 25 litres more than in the current car. Drop the 40/20/40-split rear seats, and you have up to 1,430 litres at your disposal, some 30 more than in the current car, but almost 200 less than the X3. 

BMW X4 engine range, economy and performance

As you would expect, the engine range is similar to the X3’s, and every model comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. That range does include petrol engines, but despite the current anti-diesel sentiments in the UK, they won’t initially come here, if at all. 

In some markets, as well as the xDrive20d and xDrive30d diesel models, buyers will have the option of the xDrive20i and xDrive30i – with 181 and 249bhp respectively, and both with claimed average economy of almost 40mpg.

However, for now, mainstream X4s in the UK will have diesel engines. Naturally, the six-cylinder x30d is the quicker of the diesels, with a 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds, but the x20d (which can hit 62mph in 8.0 seconds) is more economical, with claimed economy of up to 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 142g/km. 

BMW promises a better drive from this new X4 than the previous model, and that’s thanks in part to the new lightweight construction, with more use of aluminium, and the better aerodynamics. Meanwhile, the four-wheel drive system is set up with a rear-wheel bias, which the company claims ensures that the X4 delivers the sporty handling that its cars are renowned for. 

Also playing their part are the Dynamic Stability Control system and Performance Control function, which varies the amount of toque going to the rear wheels to suit the conditions. 

On top of that, every version will have M Sport suspension as well as speed-sensitive steering, which allows for easy manoeuvrability at low speed and more feel at high speed. And, among the options are stronger M Sport brakes and an Adaptive Suspension, which adapts to suit the conditions and allows the driver to tailor the responses to their liking, whether they want a sporty drive or a more comfortable ride.

Meanwhile, BMW has also expanded the range of driver-assistance packages. So, on top of the standard Cruise Control and Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Collision Mitigation systems, buyers can choose options such as Active Cruise Control, the Driving Assistant Plus package – which includes the Steering and lane control assistant and crossing traffic warning system – and Parking Assistant Plus. 

For the first time, the X4 range will be topped by a pair of M Performance models, the M40i and M40d, both with six-cylinder engines and a unique suspension set-up.

The 355bhp petrol-engined M40i gets to 62mph in 4.8 seconds and has claimed fuel economy of around 31mpg, while the equivalent figures on the diesel M40d are 322bhp, 4.9 seconds and 44.1mpg.

To make the most of that power, not only do they have a firmer suspension set-up and a sports transmission, they also come on 20-inch alloy wheels as standard and have a sports exhaust system. The finishing touches are grey mirror caps and a unique cabin trim. 

The full range is on sale now with prices starting at £42,900 for an xDrive20d. Both it and the M40d will be available from launch, but the 30d and M40i only go into production in August 2018. 

Do you like the look of the new BMW X4? Would you pick it over the Mercedes GLC Coupe?

Chief sub-editor

Andy ensures that every word that is written in the magazine is up to the right standards week in week out. He has been writing, talking and presenting videos about cars for more than 30 years, and on the staff at Auto Express since March 2019.


New Renault 5 E-Tech: retro-inspired EV surfaces online ahead of 2024 Geneva Motor Show reveal
Renault 5 EV patent design - front

New Renault 5 E-Tech: retro-inspired EV surfaces online ahead of 2024 Geneva Motor Show reveal

Long-awaited all-electric reboot of the iconic Renault 5 will be fully unveiled on 26 February 2024
7 Dec 2023
New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates
Renault 5 EV concept at 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed

New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates

Renault’s reborn Renault 5 will start from €25,000 in Europe, suggesting a circa-£30k price in the UK. It's due on sale in the summer of 2024. Here's …
1 Dec 2023
It’s official - Geneva Motor Show is back on
Geneva Motor Show

It’s official - Geneva Motor Show is back on

Geneva Motor Show will return in 2024 after this year’s event was cancelled
13 Oct 2023
BMW X4 review
In-depth reviews

BMW X4 review

The BMW X4 offers a little extra style over its X3 sibling, but it's more expensive and sacrifices practicality
21 Jun 2023

Most Popular

Deal of the Day: Spacious Skoda Superb is a peerless estate for £223 a month
Skoda Superb Estate - front tracking

Deal of the Day: Spacious Skoda Superb is a peerless estate for £223 a month

The Superb is one of our favourite estates and our Deal of the Day for Monday 4 December
4 Dec 2023
‘Forget leasing a car, a cut-price van should be your next everyday vehicle’
Opinion - Fiat Scudo

‘Forget leasing a car, a cut-price van should be your next everyday vehicle’

With some huge savings to be had, Mike Rutherford thinks a van could be the perfect vehicle
3 Dec 2023
New Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2024 review: big estate with value boost
Jaguar XF Sportbrake - front tracking
Road tests

New Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2024 review: big estate with value boost

Jaguar's XF Sportbrake may be 8 years old but it just got a whole lot cheaper!
7 Dec 2023