What happens if you build the car that the world thinks it does not need? If you are BMW, you call it the BMW X6, sell 250,000 of them worldwide and bask in your success. With the release of the new BMW X4 this week BMW are hoping to create another top selling SUV.
The BMW X4 shares a lot with its donor car the X3, just like the X6 shares a lot with its donor, the X5. So based on that principle alone, the BMW X4 might just be another hit from left field for the Germany brand.
BMW X4 Overview
The four door BMW X4 is available with a choice of four engines, two petrol and two diesel. Kicking of the range with an impressive level of standard equipment is the BMW X4 xDrive20i and xDrive20d which includes 19-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels, xLine exterior and interior design scheme, two zone air-conditioning, leather upholstered sports seats, electric adjustment for the front seats and memory function for the driver, sport leather steering wheel with gear shift paddles, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime lights, LED fog lights, Lights package including exterior door handle lighting, USB, Bluetooth with audio streaming, Sat-Nav with large 8.8-inch screen and 20GB hard drive for audio files, Intelligent Emergency Call, Teleservices, Cruise Control with braking function, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera and automatic tailgate.
Moving up the range in to the BMW X4 xDrive30d the additional standard equipment includes Surround View with 360 degree visibility, exterior rear view mirrors with anti-dazzle and fold-in function, dual round exhaust pipes and a nine-speaker seven-channel HiFi loudspeaker system and Dynamic Damper Control which can adjust the damper characteristics to suit the driving conditions.
Top off the BMW X4 range is the BMW X4 xDrive35i comes with M Sport package, 20 inch M double spoke alloy wheels, sport suspension settings for the standard Dynamic damper control, M aerodynamics package and a leather M steering wheel, 16 speaker harman/kardon sound system, comfort access system which enables keyless access to the vehicle, including the tailgate.
BMW X4 Australian Line-up and pricing:
BMW X4 Engine
The BMW X4 is offered with a choice of four different engines. CarShowroom.com.au had the chance to sample the blistering diesel xDrive30d and explosive petrol xDrive35i on the roads around Byron Bay.
Across the range BMW has deployed their TwinPower Turbo technology and power ranges from 135kW to 225kW.
Petrol power bookends the X4 range with the entry-level 2.0litre engine producing 135kW and 270Nm, 0–100 km/h in 8.1 sec and a claimed fuel consumption of 7.2 l/100 km. At the other end of the spectrum is the 3.0-litre petrol power plant that produces 225kW and 400 Nm, 0–100 km/h in 5.5 sec with fuel economy increasing to 8.3 l/100 km.
The first of the two diesel options is the 2.0-litre that has 140kW and decent 400Nm of power, 0–100 km/h in 8.0 sec and the claimed fuel usage is only 5.2 l/100 km. The second diesel offering which we feel is the pick of the engines is the 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, with a 190kW and a massive 560Nm of torque the xDrive30d can get from 0–100 km/h in just 5.8 sec and only sips a claimed 5.9 l/100 km.
BMW X4 Interior
Classic BMW on the inside of the new BMW X4, which translates to the usual BMW excellence finished with a new, modern and premium look and feel. There is the three-spoke leather wrapped multi function steering wheel, the centre console has the latest iDrive Touch Controller with touch surface linked to a 8.8inch screen.
The X4 has seating capacity for five, the comfortable and supportive leather sport seats are arrival in a choice of three different colours.
To help with the lowered roofline the front passenger seats have been lowered 20mm and the rear seats lowered by 28mm, resulting in only 16mm in reduced headroom over the donor X3 car.
Luggage capacity is 500 litres with the rear 40:20:40 split seats in place, this increases to 1,400 litres when folded.
BMW X4 Exterior & Styling
Starting with the X3 as the donor car BMW have made the X4 15mm longer and the roof line is 36mm lower before slicing the rear roof line to produce the dramatic X4 shape. BMW engineers have also angled the windscreen back a few degrees to help with the coupe like design.
Looking at the front of the BMW X4 you are once again greeted with the classic BMW. The hallmark BMW ‘kidney’ grille is there as is the twin circular headlights which sit on top of the fog lamps and large air takes.
At the rear the high riding tailgate dominates the space, a smaller than expected rear windscreen doesn’t cause any visibility problems.
BMW has simplified the design packages for the X4 with xxLine standard on 20i, 20d and 30d and MSport Package standard on 35i.
BMW X4 On The Road
CarShowroom.com.au had the opportunity to sample BMW X4 xDrive30d and a very brief stint in the BMW X4 xDrive35i. The BMW X4 is packed full of technology and great performance.
Plant the right foot and the acceleration on both models is outstanding as is the ride and handling, the wider stance and lower roof line really helps reduce any serious body roll. Driving on the high speed roads in Northern NSW the steering at all speeds provided the perfect amount of feedback. Helping keep the X4 on the road is the Performance Control which automatically brakes the wheels on the inside of the corner, which reduces understeer and enables maximum grip on the road.
Depending on driving conditions of moods drivers are able to select different driving modes via the BMW EfficientDynamics function. With four modes to choose from (Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+) drivers are able to change the throttle, steering and engine responsiveness to suit their needs.
BMW X4 Issues
Lack of grab handles is an annoyance rather than a major issue but as a passenger in a sporty vehicle it’s always handy to be able to hang on. Due to the roof line the rear seats can feel a little claustrophobic.
BMW X4 Competition
When creating a niche it’s a little difficult to find a direct competitor by we feel the two cars that best match up for the X4 is the Porsche Macan and Range Rover Evoque. The Range Rover Evoque kicks off from $51,495 but that is for a 2wd, 3 door coupe, an AWD, five-door version starts from $61,419.
The Porsche Macan starts off where the BMW X4 finished, the Macan has a starting price of $84,900 and the range-topping Porsche Macan Turbo starting from $122,900.
BMW X4 Verdict
The BMW X4 won’t appeal to every SUV buyer out there and BMW knows that. However those who do decide to try the BMW X4 will be well rewarded with a dynamic and well balanced SUV that has plenty of grunt in reserve. With a classic BMW interior, great ride and handling, we think BMW might just have another winner on their hands.