While the restyled X4 will garner attention in a crowded crossover field, this BMW isn’t for everyone. It takes the more traditional X3 a giant step further with exterior creases and a sort of coupe rearend incorporating a fastback roofline.
It is unique, for sure.
Add a stiffer chassis, reduced weight, a bit longer and wider dimension and, voila, out comes a suitable rival to the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300.
It’s a BMW
Limited rear visibility
X3 on steroids
Our 2019 X4 xDrive30i tester is powered by a peppy four-cylinder turbo delivering 248 horsepower through an equally impressive eight speed automatic transmission. Sequencing through the gears is smooth, with brisk off-the-line acceleration delivering a brassy exhaust note.
Independent testing recorded a 6.6-second run from zero to 60. If you want more juice, a 3.0-liter turbo six hits that mark at around four seconds. All this sophistication from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG comes at a price, however.
Base models X4 start at around $51,500. Tossing in much desired safety gear, commonly found on rivals, elevates that number into the $60s. And the larger X4 M40i starts in the low $60s, moving upward similarly.
The thin line between sports sedan and crossover is apparent in the back, with rear-seat passengers leaning around the rakish roofline planing and deplaning. That being said, the interior of the X4 is a pleasant place to be with traditional BMW styling and generous use of soft materials. The X4 was introduced in 2014 and replaced last year by a second-gen version.
Front seats in the 2019 are form-fitting and standard, as is the latest iDrive system, larger touchscreen, navigation and a trial subscription for Apple CarPlay. The latter item seems a bit much given the market. No Android Auto is available.
Curvy back roads and interstate travel bring out the best in this model. Tight suspension keeps this crossover firmly on the pavement with little body roll. Quick acceleration brings a tightening of seatbelts and windows up as a safety feature. And more safety gadgets are available. But full stop adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, heads-up display and a parking assist camera become pricey options.
If anything, Bimmers are a driver’s car. Dash dials and feedback toys are within easy driver reach, and the 10.3-inch touchscreen fits nicely above the central dashboard, with little glare. Electronic shifting is a staple for most of the BMW lineup, and we found it becomes second nature after a few days of regular use.
The skinny on engine choice is simply this. We found the 30i suitable for daily driving, with ample acceleration for driving conditions on interstate travel and back-road adventures utilizing Sport and Sport Plus driving modes. But if track conditions matter, prepare to fork over another 10 grand for the M40i’s adaptive suspension, M Sport package and a six-cylinder turbo with 100-plus more ponies.
No matter the choice, the X4 is a big improvement over its predecessor, inside and out.
Contact independent automotive columnist Len Ingrassia at email@example.com
2019 BMW X4 xDrive30iPrice: from $60,450
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 248 hp
EPA rated mileage: 22 city, 29 highway, 25 combined
Assembled: BMW facility, Greer, South Carolina; U.S./Canadian parts content (not available); major source of foreign parts, Germany (percentage not available)
Crash test rating: Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had rated the 2019 BMW X4
Warranty: 4-year/50,000-mile, bumper to bumper, 3-year/36,000-mile scheduled maintenance