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 04/04/2014: A leaked ordering guide reveals pretty much everything you wanted to know on the recently launched BMW X4. Check it out after the jump. (X4 Club)
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X4.
February 20, 2014 - BMW X4 Begins Winter Testing
October 1, 2014 - First testing session
As you can see from these latest spy shots, the BMW X4 will look a lot like the X3, the model on that it is based on. Still, the X4 will adopt a coupe-like exterior and will be a little bit sportier and more aggressive.
Up front, the new X4 will get the usual BMW grille and front apron, while the headlights will feature the same design language we have seen in all the latest BMW models.
When viewed from the side it gets pretty clear that the X4 will be inspired by the X6, with the rear window raking downward into almost a liftback design.
I’m constantly reminded that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and aesthetics are subjective.
From the front, the X4 looks a lot like the X6 – big, bulky grilles everywhere with a chin sitting high of the ground and a long hood flowing into a slopped windshield. Especially out back, the X6’s heritage is noticeable. The roofline past the B-pillars is like no other SUV outside the BMW line-up. Strangely, the roofline works in my opinion, that is until the rear glass ends abruptly at the rear trunk. This area of the X4 - and even the X6 – has never seems to flow just right. This is where the SUV and car combination conflict the most.
In an oddly juxtaposed manner, the rear bumper comes adorned with black plastic cladding normally found on SUVs just inches away from a roof normally found on a 4-Series. It makes for odd bedfellows, but BMW makes it work. I’m constantly reminded that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and aesthetics are subjective.
|Length||184.3 inches (4,680 mm)|
|Height||63.9 inches (1,624 mm)|
The interior of the X4 looks much like its bigger X6 brother and any BMW fan will be at home here.
The interior of the X4 looks much like its bigger X6 brother and any BMW fan will be at home here. The controls are familiar and the iDrive Controller and touchpad are standard fair. Unlike a few other BMWs the infotainment screen is built into the dashboard. The look flows much better than the ‘iPad hot-glued above the vents’ look.
The tri-spoke, thick-grip steering wheel with redundant controls are also standard BMW, along with the HVAC controls on the center stack. Two analog gauges in the instrument cluster are easy to read while other vehicle and safety information is displayed between them. Speaking of safety, the X4 is loaded with all the latest whiz-bang gadgetry designed to keep the rubber side down and shiny side up. The list includes Active Driving Assistant + Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go – BMW’s self-driving applications. Pedestrian and collision Warning with City Braking and Lane Departure are also include. Lastly Active Blind Sport Detection and rearview camera with Surround View are optional as well.
Yet another bit on gadgetry is BMW’s Parking Assistant, which, like a few other systems out there, steers the X4 into a parallel parking space while the driver only has to modulate the pedals. Helpful for those who struggled through drivers’ ed.
Powering the X4 are two available engines: BMW’s twin-turbocharged, 2.0-liter I-4 making 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of toque, and the upmarket twin-turbo, 3.0-liter I-6 making a more respectable 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic and the standard AWD system. Zero to 60 mph sprints are done in 6 seconds and 5.2 seconds for the respective engines.
Both engines feature direct injection with Double-Vanos variable camshaft control and Valvetronic – BMW’s fully variable valve timing system. Combined with the twin-turbocharging setup, both engines enjoy the high-revving freedom generally expected with BMW powerplants.
Helping match that sporty characteristics is BMW’s Dynamic Stability Control that directs power to the outside wheel during hard corners, therefore improving the SUV’s turn-in ability and control. The X4 is no one-wheel-wonder.
|BMW X4 xDrive28i||BMW X4 xDrive35i|
|Type||2.0-liter four-cylinder||3.0-liter inline six|
|Horsepower||240 HP||300 HP @ 5,800 - 6,400 rpm|
|Torque||260 LBS-FT||300 LBS-FT @ 1,200–5,000 rpm|
|0 to 60 mph||6 seconds||5.2 seconds|
|Transmission||8-speed Steptronic sport automatic||8-speed Steptronic sport automatic|
Like every other BMW model, the starting price represents only the beginning. A plethora of options and seeming limitless add-ons jack the price further beyond the base numbers.
Starting out a X4 XDrive28i starts at $45,625 while the six-cylinder version, the XDrive35i starts at $48,925. It if were my money, I’d drop the extra $3k for the inline six – an engine that epitomizes the perfection BMW has achieved with its powerplants.
|BMW X4 xDrive28i||$45,625|
|BMW X4 xDrive35i||$48,925|
|M Sport Package||$2,300|
|20" M Double Spoke wheels - style 310M with performance run-flat tires||$950|
|Cold Weather Package||$950|
|Driver Assistance Package||$700|
|Driver Assistance Plus||$1,900|
|Dynamic Damper Control||$1,000|
|19" light alloy Star Spoke wheels||$600|
|Heated front seats||$500|
|Harman Kardon surround sound system||$875|
The Audi Q5 has been on since 2010 and it already became one of Audi’s best-selling models, so the X4 will have an uphill battle to dethrone it. However, with the right design language, a perfect choice of accessories and a good price it may happen.
The Q5 is offered with a standard 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 220 horsepower. Buyers can also opt for a more powerful, 3.0-liter. supercharged V-6 that makes 272 horsepower.
Gallery Audi Q5
One model that is set to arrive around the same time as the X4 is the Porsche Macan. It will arrive on the market in 2015 as the baby-brother of the larger Cayenne.
The new Macan will be offered with a four-cylinder engine with 220 horsepower, while the more powerful Macan S will get a 3.0-liter, V-6 engine with an output of 290 horsepower. Diesel fans will get a 2.0-liter, diesel engine with about 190 horsepower and a hybrid powertrain is also rumored.
Gallery Porsche Macan
Sure, the X4 isn’t the best looking vehicle on the road today — not by a long shot — but it does bridge that gap between car and SUV I alluded to earlier. Its choice of powertrains and long list of optional features means the X4 can be purchases as inexpensively or as ostentatiously as desired. Will the X4 set lap time records around the Nürburgring while blasting around corners at 140 mph? Absolutely not. Will it conquer the Rubicon Trail with easy, fording rivers, sliding over boulders, and powering through deep, muddy ruts? Again, absolutely not. But perhaps out of anything else built these days, the X4 somehow finds a happy median in between the sedan and SUV. It might not be the master of any one task, but it’s fair to call it the jack of all trades.
- Great set of engines
- Smart AWD system
- Priced well
- Why not buy a X5?
- Why not buy a 328i xDrive Wagon?
- Odd-looking rear end
Gallery BMW X4
BMW today confirmed the all-new BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe, a new dimension of the mid-sized premium Sports Activity Vehicle. Like the X6 before it, the BMW X4 combines the performance and capability of a premium Sports Activity Vehicle, with the style and elegance of traditional coupe. In the US, the X4 will be offered with a choice of two TwinPower Turbo engines. The X4 xDrive28i, with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $45,625 (including destination and handling), will feature BMW’s award-winning 240 horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder while the top-of-line X4 xDrive35i, with an MSRP of $48,925 (including destination and handling) will feature BMW’s venerable 300 horsepower 3.0-liter inline six. Both models include an 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission with shift paddles as well as xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system.
The 2015 BMW X4 will make its world debut at the New York International Auto Show in April and begin production this spring exclusively at BMW’s US production facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The new BMW X4 offers the premium mid-size segment its first taste of the Sports Activity Coupe concept. Like its larger sibling, the BMW X6, the X4 offers a unique and unmistakable presence on the road. The X6 has demonstrated the appeal of the Sports Activity Coupe concept with 250,000 sold to date.
A unique expression of The Ultimate Driving MachineTM.
Compared to its stable-mate, the BMW X3, the newest Sports Activity Coupe reveals a dynamic personality all its own and an even more ebullient character. At 184.3 inches (4,680 mm) in length, it is 0.6 inches (14 mm) longer than the X3, but is also 1.5 inches (37 mm) lower (height: 63.9 in./1,624 mm) and cuts a persuasive figure with its perfectly balanced proportions and distinctive character. The large air intakes positioned on the outer edges of the front facia and the precise character lines in the front apron lend the X4 a more muscular appearance. This lowers the car’s visual centre of gravity closer to the road, signalling its sharper dynamics. The effect is further enhanced by the LED foglights located below the signature twin round headlights, an arrangement that defines the striking face of every BMW X model.
The coupe-like roofline of the BMW X4 reaches its highest point over the front seats, reflecting the traditional driver focus of every BMW, before dropping gently down towards the trailing edge of the tailgate. These stretched lines underline the sporting coupe character of the X4. The unique design of the BMW X4 is further reinforced by the fresh interpretation of the signature swage line running along the flanks of BMW models which, for the first time, is split into two. The first section rises smoothly from the front wheel arches to the rear door handles, highlighting the dynamic ability of the new BMW X4, while the second part accentuates the powerful sculpting of the rear fenders. The contoured C-pillars – complete with muscular shoulders – represent a continuation of the theme, as does the broad and low-set rear end, which reminds the driver and passengers of the performance potential served up by the new BMW X4 before they even climb aboard.
Sporty and exclusive interior.
The interior of the new BMW X4 reveals a synthesis of sportiness and exclusivity. The X4’s body is mounted 1.5 inches (37 mm) lower than that of the BMW X3. The driver and front passenger sit 0.8 in. (20 mm) lower and the rear passengers 1.1 in. (28 mm) lower, creating the feeling of a classic sports coupe. It is a sensation reinforced by the rear seat bench, which comes with the type of continuously moulded side bolsters normally only provided by two individual seats, but still offers space for three passengers. Equally impressive is the load capacity available, 17.7- 49.4 cu. ft. (500–1,400 liters), which can be used in a wide variety of ways thanks to the standard 40:20:40 split rear seat bench. Everyday usability is enhanced even further by the standard power tailgate. It is available with the extra convenience of the optional Smart Opener, which allows it to be opened with a movement of the foot. All X4s include BMW’s iDrive Controller and central display. When equipped with the available on-board navigation system, the new BMW X4 receives the new iDrive Controller with touchpad, which allows drivers or passengers to use their finger to write letters for text inputs, such as a navigation destination, for example.
The premium quality and exclusivity of the interior are underlined by selected materials, subtle electroplated accents, a high-gloss black-panel look and aluminum trim strips in the wood panelling. The unmistakable character of the BMW X4 is further highlighted by a level of standard equipment even more generous than that found on the BMW X3. All X4s include the aforementioned power tailgate as well as a sports leather steering wheel with shift paddles, variable sport steering, Performance Control and rear Park Distance Control.
M Sport and xLine for extra individualization.
Available M Sport brings the outstanding dynamics of the BMW X4 into greater focus. One element of M Sport is the M Aerodynamics package, which gives the BMW X4 a particularly striking appearance. The High-gloss Shadow Line trim lends even greater emphasis to the unique character of the Sports Activity Coupe and the sporty suspension set-up raises driving pleasure another notch. Six selected paint finishes (including Melbourne Red metallic), four special interior trim strips, sports seats with various leather upholstery options, an Anthracite headliner, an M leather steering wheel, M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest and a choice of 19 or 20-inch M light-alloy wheels add the finishing touches to the car’s appearance.
In addition to the broad-based and high-quality selection of different colors, light-alloy wheels, upholstery variants, interior trim elements and trim strips for which BMW is renowned, the xLine equipment package gives BMW X4 customers the chance to shine an even brighter spotlight on the X character of their car.
Powerful and refined BMW TwinPower Turbo engines.
The state-of-the-art TwinPower Turbo engines available for the new BMW X4 boast High Precision Direct Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft control and Valvetronic fully variable valve timing. These technologies join forces to provide the high-revving character for which BMW is renowned, along with excellent power delivery, refinement – and impressive efficiency. Drivers with sporting ambitions will appreciate the top-of-the-line X4 xDrive35i. Its 3.0-liter inline six conjures up maximum output of 300 hp between 5,800 and 6,400 rpm and peak torque of 300 lb-ft (400 Nm) at 1,200–5,000 rpm. That’s enough to power the X4 xDrive35i from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. The 240 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powering the BMW X4 xDrive28i produces peak torque of 260 lb-ft (350 Nm) and a
0 to 60 mph time of six seconds flat. Both engines are mated to BMW’s 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission.
BMW xDrive: the intelligent all-wheel-drive system with Performance Control.
All X4 models have a sporty suspension set-up and come standard with xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system. Performance Control is standard on the X4. It uses the Dynamic Stability Control system to direct power to the outside rear wheel when cornering which improves traction, turn-in and directional stability. Working in tandem with the standard variable sport steering, these systems allow the BMW X4 to deliver driving dynamics that one would expect of The Ultimate Driving Machine. An xDrive status display in the Control Display uses three-dimensional graphics to keep the driver informed of the car’s body roll and pitch. If the navigation system is specified, a compass display in the instrument cluster is included.
BMW EfficientDynamics: ECO PRO mode and coasting function reduce fuel consumption.
Further reductions in fuel consumption can be achieved courtesy of ECO PRO mode (selected using the Driving Dynamics Control switch), the ECO PRO Route option and the eight-speed Steptronic transmission’s coasting function. ECO PRO adjusts all of the on-board systems for maximum fuel efficiency. It includes a coasting function which shuts off fuel when the driver lifts off the accelerator. It also provides tips to the driver that would help to drive in a more efficient manner. The payoff is shown in the central display which shows how much further the BMW X4 can be driven on the gasoline available in the tank. With the available navigation system, the ECO PRO Route option prompts the driver to select and follow the route to the chosen destination that would use the least amount of fuel. The X4 also features BMW’s auto start/stop function which shuts of the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop in order to avoid wasting fuel when the X4 would otherwise be needlessly idling.
Proactive Driving Assistant offers recommendations.
The innovative BMW Proactive Driving Assistant offers additional potential for fuel saving. This technology uses route data supplied by the car’s navigation system to identify situations in advance which will require the car to slow down – e.g. on the way into towns and villages, speed limits etc. – and give suitable recommendations.
BMW ConnectedDrive: Driver assistance and services & BMW Apps.
Providing added safety and greater convenience in the BMW X4 is the optional full-color Head-Up Display, which projects all important driving information and assistance systems displays into the driver’s field of view in high resolution. What’s more, the latest-generation Navigation System with ECO PRO route guidance now teams up with the iDrive Controller with touchpad. Mounted on top of the controller, the touchpad allows texts – e.g. a navigation destination – to be easily input using a finger. Included with the Navigation System in the US is Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI). ARTTI includes a full-color graphic that shows the flow of traffic on major roads and can offer route detours to help avoid traffic jams along the selected route.
The array of available driver assistant systems provides an added measure of active safety. Active Driving Assistant + Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go includes Pedestrian and Collision Warning with City Braking function as well as Lane Departure Warning. Also available as options are Active Blind Spot Detection and rearview camera with Surround View which provides a bird’s-eye view of the area around the BMW X4. The available Parking Assistant steers the X4 into parallel parking spaces after alerting the driver to a space large enough for the vehicle.
ConnectedDrive Services allow customers to access embedded service as well as select smartphone applications. The available Concierge Service connects the car with a BMW Call Center, providing real-time help with services as varied as making a restaurant reservation or finding the nearest 24 hour pharmacy. The BMW Assist eCall function, meanwhile, takes safety to another level. It is triggered automatically or can be used manually. As soon as the crash sensors report an airbag deployment, the system sends the precise vehicle location and all key information, including an assessment of the likelihood of serious injury, to the BMW Call Center via the built-in SIM card, thus enabling fast and effective assistance at the accident location. BMW Assist eCall as well as BMW Teleservice is standard in every BMW X4, with service included for ten years at no additional charge.
With BMW Apps, select third party apps may be accessed and operated using the iDrive Controller and display. Apps which are integrated today using an iPhone include Pandora, Stitcher, Audible, Rhapsody and TuneIn as well as the Amazon Cloud Player.
The BMW X4: The next Sports Activity Coupe
The BMW X4 offers the unique blend of style, driving dynamics and all-road capability that can only be offered by a BMW Sports Activity Coupe. Watch for it in authorized BMW centers beginning in spring 2014.