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AWD 4-Door xDrive28iIntercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4, 2.0 L
All Wheel Drive
|$ 41,125||$ 44,700|
AWD 4-Door xDrive35iIntercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-6, 3.0 L
All Wheel Drive
|$ 44,160||$ 48,000|
The BMW X4 is new for the 2015 model year, and it doubles down on the German automaker's success with the X6--its first foray into the hazy world of coupe-like crossovers. Assembly takes place at BMW's U.S. facility in Greer, South Carolina, alongside the X3, the X5 and the X6.
Smaller and X3-based, the X4 makes its world debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show, and goes on sale in the summer. It's targeted at drivers who might shop for a Porsche Macan or a Range Rover Evoque, possibly even a Lincoln MKC.
Like the X6, the X4 purposely hones down the rear end of a more traditionally shaped sport-utility vehicle, to give it a more stylish stance. With the X4, BMW's also plumped up the ute's front air intakes and touched them up with LED fog lights. The break in the shoulder line, and the break of the C-pillar, is meant to cue drivers of the performance to come. Inside, the X4 offers a similar design to the X3, with aluminum and wood trim--or a choice of an M Sport or an xLine package. The M Sport adds special paint choices, M-badges interior trim, bigger wheel-and-tire combinations, and sport seats; xLine does the same visual changeup, with a more outdoorsy bent.
In the U.S., the X4 will offer the same powertrains as the companion X3. The base powertrain will combine a turbocharged 2.0-liter four rated at 240 horsepower with an eight-speed automatic in the X4 xDrive28 model. The more powerful turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six X4 is good for 300 horsepower in the X4 xDrive35i. BMW estimates 0-60 mph times with the X4 xDrive28i owners at 6.0 seconds, the X4 xDrive35i, in just 5.2 seconds. No M version has yet been confirmed; all X4s will come with all-wheel drive.
Gas mileage figures haven't been released, but should be similar to those in the X3. Like the X3, the X4 has an ECO PRO mode that can shut off the car's gas when the driver releases the throttle, allowing it to coast. It also incorporates stop/start.
The X4 also rides on a similar independent suspension setup as the X3. Variable electronic steering has variable effort and ratio, and the X4 can sift through various levels of green, comfort, and sport driving modes. BMW's Performance Control is standard on the X4; it uses stability-control input to damp an inside wheel to improve cornering. The X4 displays its driver-control status on its center display.
In overall footprint, the X4 isn't quite identical to that of the X3. The coupelike iteration of BMW's mid-size SUV is a half-inch or so longer than the X3, and sits 1.5 inches lower. It's still a three-seater in back, but BMW's sculpted the seat cushions to give preference to two passengers. Cargo space is down, but still checks in at 17.7 cubic feet behind the back seat, or 49.4 cubic feet behind the front seats, accessible via a power tailgate, with an option for Smart Opener--the system that uses sensors to detect a foot waving under the rear bumper, and to trigger the tailgate to open.
The X3 has been a good safety performer and has reasonable fuel economy, but BMW hasn't gone into those facts and figures yet for the X4. It does include plenty of airbags, and options for adaptive cruise control, a forward-collision and a lane-departure warning system, and BMW's bank of 360-degree, surround-view cameras. Parking Assistant lets the X4 steer itself into parallel parking spots while the driver attends the controls as a backup.
BMW's iDrive and the high-contrast, wide-view screen are standard on the 2015 X4, while navigation is an option. When it's fitted, the iDrive controller also gets a touchpad surface, so destinations and other inputs can be entered as handwriting. All X4 utes also get paddle shift controls, sport steering, rear parking sensors, and a leather steering wheel. BMW Apps are among the available features; Apps connects smartphones to deliver streams from Pandora, Rhapsody, and Stitcher, among others.The 2015 BMW X4 hits showrooms this spring, priced from $45,625 for the X4 xDrive28 and $48,925 for the X4 xDrive35i. Both prices include destination charges.
We'll be back with a full review and a first drive later this year.
- Probably as talented as the X3
- iDrive's new touchpad surface
- A more suggestive roofline
- That marvelous turbo six
- Rear-seat headroom, for sure
- Price check
- "Sport" part of "SUV" remains to be seen