The BMW X4 is BMW’s answer to Range Rover’s now established Evoque and the Porsche Macan. In terms of style the X4 is pretty much a smaller version of the BMW X6. This car, along with the X6, very much divide opinion. Its style is not to the taste of many. Unlike the X6, the X4 shares its platform with the BMW X3.
In keeping with the platform of the BMW X3 that it’s based on, the X4 is only available with diesel variant engines. All of these offer surprisingly pleasant on-paper fuel economy figures. According to BMW, their X4 xDrive20d SE with a 2 litre 190 bhp engine offers a return of 5.4l/100km. The next engine up is the 3.0 litre 6-cylinder xDrive30d with 258 bhp. BMW’s claimed return on this is 5.7l/100km. For the heavier footed of you, you can opt for the 313 bhp xDrive35d M Sport. Again, BMW offers an on-paper fuel economy figure of just 6.0l/100km for all of those horses. The xDrive35d offers an impressive 630Nm of torque at between 1,500 and 2,500rpm.
The 2.0 litre engine will bring you from 0-100km/h in just 8 seconds and has a top speed of 212km/h, which means that this engine is far from lazy.
The 6-cylinder engines offer the smoothest journey, but the 4-cylinder 2.0 litre engines are by no means terrible. The X4 is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox in the 20d, but given the choice we would opt for the very smooth 8-speed automatic transmission. This set-up deals excellently with gear changes and makes driving the X4 a real treat.
The X4 deals very well with corners and even though the steering is light, it is direct and precise. Traction and grip in the all-wheel drive models are excellent, with a bias towards the rear wheels.
Like the X3, the X4 can suffer from a bit of unwanted engine noise at higher revs – of course when you go for the larger engines this noise can sometimes be welcomed. The engine noise is more muted when the car is at cruising speeds. The manual transmission in the 2.0 litre engine is not terrible, but the refinement of the 8-speed automatic transmission is the winner here.
The interior of the X4 was taken straight out of the X3. The material that BMW uses in most of their vehicles is of excellent quality, but as we noted in our X3 synopsis the inside space lacks any major excitement. With that said, the infotainment system is intuitive and very easy to use with the main focus being towards the driver.
Because the X3 received 5 stars in the Euro NCAP it is expected that the X4 will receive the same. As with the X3, you will find driver and passenger airbags as well as curtain airbags surrounding the interior of the vehicle.
The X4 is not the most practical of machines. Because it’s a mix of a normal car and an SUV, the dimension are a bit strange. The boot space wouldn’t be as practical as the X3, and because of the sloped coupé-style roof to the rear, head height will be an issue for the taller masses.