The brand new BMW X4 is an odd-looking factor. It’s not the primary mannequin to fuse coupé and SUV shapes – even the first-generation automobile was preceded by the larger X6 – however for some, it’s a distinct segment that’s robust to come back to phrases with.
The mix of a bluff entrance finish and large grilles with a glossy, receding roofline gives the look its face is just too large for its physique. Styling is a subjective factor, in fact, however might this new automobile ever be described as fairly?
To many, that received’t be an issue. The X4’s enchantment will come from the truth that the ‘sport’ a part of Sports activities Utility Car (SUV) is extra influential than it’s for the automobile on which it’s based mostly: the X3. Due to firmer suspension and a wider rear monitor, BMW reckons the X4 will out-handle the class-leading Porsche Macan.
There are two engines to select from at launch within the UK. Each are diesels and get BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The entry-level xDrive20d has a 187bhp 2.Zero-litre four-cylinder engine, whereas the M40d makes use of a three.Zero-litre straight-six that produces 355bhp and 500Nm of torque. Each 30d and M40i fashions (already accessible within the X3) will arrive later; till then, formally the X3 is the quicker automobile.
The four-cylinder model is available in three trim ranges. Sport fashions get 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and leather-based upholstery, whereas M Sport automobiles add 19-inch wheels, a bodykit and entrance sports activities seats. Vary-topping M Sport X variants get a panoramic roof and additional bits of faux 4×4 trim.
The M40d is a standalone mannequin. It has 20-inch solid wheels, uprated brakes and absolutely digital devices. No matter spec, the cabin is a stunning place to be. The sprint design is lifted from the excellently appointed X3. It’s fantastically put collectively, straightforward to determine, and, when outfitted with the bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen (M Sport trim and above), has arguably the perfect infotainment system within the enterprise. It’s so good that the dearth of Android Auto is barely a gentle inconvenience.
The sloping roofline does compromise inside area. Six-footers sat within the again shall be brushing their heads towards the rooflining, though legroom continues to be plentiful even for the tallest adults. The 520-litre boot is smaller than the X3’s and the opening is tighter and better.
However all is forgiven out on the highway. The suspension modifications take the X3’s already sturdy place to begin and add an additional dimension of physique management. Solely if you hit a extreme mid-corner bump whereas actually urgent on does it appear something aside from utterly unflappable. It’s outstanding for a high-riding SUV.
Adaptive dampers are a £460 possibility, and so they’re value ordering for the additional smoothness they bring about in Consolation mode. That mentioned, the journey high quality by no means comes near feeling harsh.
It’s the two.Zero-litre diesel unit that may undoubtedly show the largest vendor. Within the X3 it performs strongly when matched to a superb eight-speed automated transmission.
The engine itself isn’t as refined because the equal Audi diesel, however there’s not a lot in it. At a cruise, essentially the most audible sound is from the massive wheels and low-profile tyres, with a bit wind whistle making its presence felt across the door mirrors, too.
All of it helps to place the X4 in superb stead towards its rivals. Costs begin from £42,900 for the xDrive20d, which is rather less than the Mercedes GLC 250 d Coupé. Though M Sport and M Sport X fashions are costlier than the Mercedes, the BMW is quicker and significantly better to drive, with out feeling considerably stiffer. Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio runs it shut by way of enjoyable, though it may possibly’t compete for inside high quality.
The principle concern for the X4 comes from inside BMW’s personal steady. The xDrive20d M Sport is £2,980 costlier than the equal X3, which is some huge cash for a automobile that isn’t as sensible and, crucially, is predicted to carry round 5 per cent much less of its record worth over three years.