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- Highs Choice of strong and efficient engines, snazzy exterior design, good driving dynamics.
- Lows Less cargo room than most competitors, tight rear seat, M Sport model sacrifices ride comfort for handling.
- Verdict The X4 is a good choice for buyers in the market for a small luxury SUV with a handsome design and athletic performance.
BMW lays claim to have invented the four-door SUV sport coupe with its X6 in 2008. The unique design spawned a number of competitors, including BMW’s very own X4, which launched for the 2015 model year. Based on the X3 compact SUV, the X4 is powered by a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, putting power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system is biased to the rear wheels under normal conditions, but it will shift torque between the wheels for better handling and traction as needed. For 2016, BMW added the X4 M40i, with a 355-hp 3.0-liter turbo inline six and stiffer shocks and springs.
What's New for 2018?
Changes for the 2018 BMW X4 are limited to a rearrangement of option packages. Both the Cold Weather package and the Technology package have been discontinued, with their contents shifted to other packages, or available as standalone options. The Convenience Package is now the first-tier option package. Tick the box for the M Sport, and BMW throws in the Convenience Package. The Premium Package is the second tier for the X4, and requires buyers also to choose the M Sport Package or the Convenience Package.
- Base: $48,595
- M40i: $60,245
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The base X4’s 240-hp turbocharged four is a spirited engine with decent acceleration and cruising speed for the two-ton-plus SUV. It has a nice balance between ride and handling, a tough accomplishment for a vehicle of this weight and ride height. BMW enthusiasts, however, will want to consider the X4 M40i with its powerful 355-hp turbocharged inline six. The M40i’s stiffer springs and shocks provide sports-sedan handling but also result in a ride that non-enthusiast consumers might find a bit harsh, especially with this model’s 19- or 20-inch wheel options.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The BMW X4’s interior is much like the X3’s cabin, but with more stylish dashboard trim for the coupe compared to the SUV’s somber, Teutonic environment. Choosing either the Premium or the M Sport packages will bring leather upholstery and a bit more color. Compared with that of the boxier X3, the X4’s fastback roofline doesn’t cut into rear-seat headroom very much, but it's still tight back there. Cargo capacity is 49.4 cubic-feet with the rear seat lowered. That’s not stellar—you might have to remove the front wheel of your bicycle to fit it in back of this “sports activity vehicle.”
Infotainment and Connectivity
Standard tech for the X4 includes BMW's iDrive infotainment system with Bluetooth, USB port, a rotary controller, and a nine-speaker sound system. BMW Online and BMW Apps are included with the optional navigation system (which is part of the Technology Package) and offer real-time traffic information via SIM cards. Also optional is a premium Harman Kardon audio system with satellite radio.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.