BMW X4 (2018 - present)

Described as a sports activity vehicle by BMW, the X4 is essentially an SUV for buyers looking for something with a sporty twist

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Relatively economical for an SUV
High-quality interior
The latest connectivity technology

Weaknesses 

Expensive
Costly optional equipment
Attractiveness of design in the eye of the beholder

The demand for SUVs among buyers is so great that carmakers are busy building cars that will appeal to every taste – including those who want a sporty SUV or crossover. BMW was first out of the traps with the X6, followed that up with the X4 in 2014 and also launched the smaller X2 in early 2018.

Just four years after the original X4 was launched, a second generation is now available, to beat off the challenge of the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé and the forthcoming Audi Q4 (due in 2019). All of these cars use the same approach: take an SUV and add a swooping, coupé-like rear to add a sporty feel. Does it work, from a design point of view? Well, that depends. Some people like that look, others find it to be a compromise too far, a marriage of opposites that would be better off with a divorce.

The X4 therefore combines the rugged elements of a 4x4 and that swooping rear to create a vehicle that is a niche taste – but very much appreciated by buyers whose tastes match it.

Inside, there is everything you expect from a BMW, with high-quality materials covering every surface, comfortable and well-upholstered seats, the latest entertainment technology (the 10.25-inch touchscreen in MSport and MSport X cars is a particular highlight) and all the connectivity modern drivers want.

Interior space is perfectly good up front – and surprisingly good in the rear, too, with enough headroom and legroom for adults, despite that sloping roof. Bootspace is useful, too, with 525 litres or 1,430 litres with the rear seats lowered.

However one feels about the X4’s looks, there’s little dispute about how it drives. A number of engineering updates have resulted in improvements to what was already an engaging car to drive: the steering is more involving and responsive, the body is well controlled, even in corners at higher speeds, and the ride is well resolved and compliant. It can cope with all kinds of driving environment and proves to be an enjoyable car to drive. As good as the GLC Coupé is to drive, the X4 pips it.

BMW has limited the available options to just four engines (three diesels and one petrol) and three trim levels, with the MSport likely to be the most popular by some margin (this tends to be the case with most BMW models). This should make things easier for buyers, but there’s always a lengthy list of options and packages to complicate matters (and increase the cost of the car).

There’s not a huge range of cars in this sporty midsize SUV class, so the X4 doesn’t have a huge number of rivals. In fact, it's just the GLC Coupé that stands in it way and while the Merc is itself a good car, the X4, with all the improvements that BMW has made to this second-generation car, is the leader of this exclusive pack.

Last Updated 

Friday, July 27, 2018 - 12:00

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/unlimited mileage
Boot size: 
525/1430 litres
Width: 
1,918mm
Length: 
4,752
Height: 
1,621mm
Tax: 
£205-1,240 in first year and £140 thereafter

Best BMW X4 for... 

BMW X4 20d
The base diesel engine is not only the most economical car in the range – 52.3mpg is the official fuel consumption figure – but it also offers plenty of performance, thanks to a 190PS output.
BMW X4 M40i
The only petrol-engined car in the X4 range is an out-and-out performance car, with a 360PS output and a 0-62mph time of just 4.8 seconds.

BMW X4 History 

February 2018: Orders open for UK buyers.
March 2018: The new X4 goes on show at the Geneva Motor Show.
June 2018: First UK deliveries of the X4.

Understanding BMW X4 car names 

  • X4
  • Engine
    20d
  • Trim
    MSport
  • Engine
    X4 buyers can choose from three diesel and one petrol engine. The diesel engines are designated by a d after a number that roughly equates to the engine capacity (e.g. 20d, 30d), while the petrol unit has as i after the number (e.g. 40i).
  • Trim
    There are three trim options – Sport, MSport and MSport X – that increase in price as the amount of standard-fit equipment increases.

BMW X4 Engines 

20d, 30d, M40d, M40i

Diesel is the fuel of choice for most variants, with petrol reserved for the range-topping performance version.

The choice of most buyers will be the 20d, which is powered by a four-cylinder diesel with an output of 190PS, leading to an 8.0-second 0-62mph time. Official fuel consumption is a respectable 52.3mpg, while CO2 emissions are 142g/km, so running costs won’t be prohibitive, even if the X4 is a sports activity vehicle. Performance is perfectly decent, with plenty of power on tap for most drivers: there’s no tangible delay in power delivery from a standing start and overtaking is straightforward, even at cruising speeds.

That’s even truer of the six-cylinder diesel in the 30d, which offers the driver 265PS to play with, thereby reducing the 0-62mph time to just 5.8 seconds. Invariably, economy suffers, with consumption reducing to 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions increasing to 156g/km (which takes it up one VED Band, compared to the 20d).

The 40d also uses a six-cylinder diesel engine, but output is stepped up to 326PS, which cuts the 0-62mph time to a hot hatch-rivalling 4.9 seconds. The official fuel economy figure isn’t too horrendous, either, with 44.1mpg suggesting that the M40d is a relatively affordable performance SUV, in terms of running costs (and the 170g/km CO2 emissions means it sneaks into the same tax band as the 30d).

The real performance champion is the 40i, the only petrol-engined variant in the range. Compared to its diesel stablemate, there’s an extra 34PS, taking it to 360PS, but this only results in shaving 0.1 second off the 0-62mph sprint (and it is a sprint, at 4.8 seconds). However, being a petrol car, the economy suffers a lot more when considered alongside the diesel, with 31.4mpg and 209g/km indicating how much more it's likely to cost to keep on the road.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

20d

diesel

52.3mpg

190hp

8.0s

132mph

30d

diesel

47.9mpg

265hp

5.8s

149mph

M40d

diesel

44.1mpg

326hp

4.9s

155mph

M40i

petrol

31.4mpg

360hp

4.8s

155mph

BMW X4 Trims 

Sport, MSport, MSport X

The three trim levels start with Sport, which includes standard equipment that includes 18-inch wheels, Adaptive LED headlights, park assist and park distance control, automatic lights and wipers, tyre pressure monitor, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, keyless start, Bluetooth, USB sockets, BMW ConnectedDrive service (with emergency call, real-time satellite navigation, a suite of online services and apps), DAB radio, 6.5-inch colour display, iDrive infotainment system and a host of safety features (ABS, stability control, hill descent control, cruise control, traction control, etc).

MSport models – which are traditionally the most popular among British buyers – add features such as 19-inch alloys, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, interior and exterior styling enhancements, LED foglights, larger fuel tank and sports seats.

Moving up to MSport X, buyers also get high-beam assist (which automatically switches headlights to high beam when there are no oncoming cars), some more styling elements that identify the car as an MSport X and a full-length sunroof.

BMW X4 Reliability and warranty 

The X4 doesn’t appear in the most recent Auto Express Driver Power survey, because it was launched after the study was published. The previous X4 doesn’t appear either (indeed, none of the US-built X models feature), offering no indication as to reliability, although there are a number of BMW models in the top 75 (none appear that high in the list, though).

BMW’s showing in the table of most reliable manufacturers doesn’t inspire confidence, either, as it is 21st out of 26 brands.

The X4’s warranty does cover three years and unlimited miles, though, which is better than some of its premium rivals.

Used BMW X4 

The X4 doesn’t appear in the most recent Auto Express Driver Power survey, because it was launched after the study was published. The previous X4 doesn’t appear either (indeed, none of the US-built X models feature), offering no indication as to reliability, although there are a number of BMW models in the top 75 (none appear that high in the list, though).

BMW’s showing in the table of most reliable manufacturers doesn’t inspire confidence, either, as it is 21st out of 26 brands.

The X4’s warranty does cover three years and unlimited miles, though, which is better than some of its premium rivals.