Who would have thought a couple decades ago that BMW would try to conquer every segment possible…even those that don’t exist yet, but here we are, and the Bavarians are opening the gates to another niche, that of the more stylish, premium compact SUVs with coupe-like rooflines or in their own words, “Sport Activity Coupe”, with the X4.
It’s the smaller-sized sibling to the X6 and the final production version of last April’s X4 Concept. You could also say that it’s a glorified and more expensive X3 with sharper exterior looks (and compromised cabin space due to the lower roof design), as it uses the same platform, engines and even interior.
Speaking of the X4’s insides and besides the dashboard that is practically identical to the X3, BMW says the driver and front passenger sit 20mm lower than in the X3, while they’ve also sculpted the rear side seats to make the fifth person as uncomfortable as possible.
In the U.S., the X4 will launch this summer in two familiar model variants, the X4 xDrive28i with a 240hp 2.0-liter turbo’d inline four gasoline unit and a starting price of $45,625, and the X4 xDrive35i with a 300hp 3.0-liter turbo’d inline six starting at $48,925, with both prices including destination and handling. The two North American models come with a standard 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with shift paddles.
Europe gets more powertrains, including the petrol-powered xDrive20i with a 184PS (181hp) 2.0L turbo, the xDrive28i with a 245PS (242hp) 2.0L turbo and xDrive35i with a 306PS (302hp) 3.0L turbo-six, and three diesels, the xDrive20d with a 190PS (187hp) 2.0L, the xDrive30d with a 258PS (255hp) 3.0L six and the xDrive35d with a 313PS (309hp) 3.0L six as well.
We haven’t heard anything about an M X4, but a softer M Performance variant should be in the cards for the near future.
The X4 will have its world premiere at next month’s New York Auto Show.
By John Halas