Nearly 20 years after the SUV craze got started, automakers are still churning out the oversized station wagons like the U.S. Mint prints dollar bills. BMW fans thought the world was collapsing when the X5 rolled off the assembly line in 2000, but nowadays, the Bavarian company has more SUV models than it’s ever had, with yet another on the way.
Set to debut at the New York Auto Show April 16, the 2015 BMW X4 is the company’s latest iteration of the ‘Sport Activity Coupe’ design, following the larger X6. On sale since 2008, the X6 has sold 250,000 units to date worldwide. That’s not a tremendous number, but still enough to justify the addition of a second and smaller Sport Activity Coupe, at least in BMW’s eyes.
The X4 is reminiscent of the Gran Turismo version of the 3 and 5-Series sedans, but with a larger front grille, taller ride height, and a capable all-wheel-drive system allowing it to traverse terrain otherwise impassable in a standard-height sedan. The combination of AWD and higher ground clearance plus the sporty handling of a 3-Series affords the X4 the ability to bridge the gap between vehicles, allowing customers to have a vehicle that both drives like a car while performing in adverse weather conditions like an SUV. Perhaps the X4 is the best of both worlds. But perhaps it gives up the best of those two worlds while being left with the scrappy leftovers – the unlikable trade-offs from each. Let take a closer look to find out.
Updated 06/26/2014: The new BMW X4 made its on-screen debut today when the first commercial aired. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X4.