BMW X4 Review

Find out more about the BMW X4 in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Good to drive
  • Excellent tech
  • High-quality interior

Cons

  • Limited practicality
  • No petrol version offered
  • Poor ride
  • MPG

    44 - 52

  • CO2

    138 - 239 g/km

Model review

The X4 was an all new model that was launched by BMW in 2014. Heavily based on the X3, the X4 has a sloping roofline, similar to that of the larger X6 – which it looks extremely similar to.

 It was launched at the New York International Auto Show in 2014, with sales beginning soon after.  The X3 is more conventional with its styling whereas the X4 aims to look more like a coupe with its styling – rivalling other stylish SUVs such as the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.

Latest Model

The X4 has only received very minor tweaks since it was first launched typically receiving these slight changes in time for the latest model year.

However, earlier this year the X3 received quite a major facelift and is set to go on sale before the end of 2017. Because the X3 has just been refreshed, it is expected that an updated X4 will follow in the not too distant future.

Value for money

As SUVs go for, the X4 represents reasonable value for money. While rivals such as the Jaguar F-Pace and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque may undercut the X4, they do not have the standard specification as the X4. The X4 starts at £38,540, which is actually much cheaper than the Mercedes GLC Coupe and Porsche Macan, which start at £41,335 and £45,915 respectively.

The X4 is also very well equipped, coming as standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with a braking function, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers and xenon headlights. The interior comes with leather upholstery, BMW’s iDrive system with a 6.5-inch display as well as BMW Connect Drive that includes BMW Emergency and a satellite navigation system that includes real time traffic information.

On the used market the X4 makes a lot of sense, partly because it’s largely unchanged design means that there is very little difference between a 2014 and 2017 car. While the X4 has held on to its value well, there are good deals to be had. We saw a 2014(64) X4 20d xDrive in M Sport trim with 40,000 miles for sale at £24,500, which is well priced if you consider that the car would cost over £40,000 if you purchased it new.

Looks and image

The X4 is quite controversially styled. While it is nothing new for a BMW, some buyers may be put off by the sloping roofline and coupe-like stance, particularly as the X6 divided opinion when it was first launched in 2008. The interior is pretty much like every BMW, very well-made, easy to use – largely thanks to BMW’s fantastic iDrive control system – but also not particularly exciting. If you are familiar with BMW interiors, the X4s will come as no surprise.

Quite a lot of driving enjoyment is to be had from being at the wheel of an X4, something that we can’t always say about crossovers. The lower, sportier suspension of the X4 (compared to the X3) allows it to handle well, while it also feels composed and offers plenty of grip, thanks to the all-wheel-drive xDrive system that if fitted to all models as standard – another thing which is quite unusual for modern SUVs.

All engines fitted to the X4 offer plenty of power, even the standard 20d option still has 187bhp and gets from 0-60mph in 8.0 seconds. The main disappointment with the X4 is the brakes, as they seem to be a bit lacking when trying to stop a car that weighs two tonnes. While the ride can be quite firm on rough roads, we were surprised by the ride on the X4 overall, even in M Sport trim – renowned for being harsh – it was still comfortable.

Space and practicality

Practicality is where the X4 is at a mild disadvantage because of its sloping rear roofline. The X4’s rear is definitely more about styling than substance which is why it has 50 litres less boot capacity than the X3, although that’s not to say the X4 has a smaller boot, just that it is awkwardly shaped. The design of the tailgate also means that rear visibility is nearly non existent.

As for front and rear space, there is plenty on offer. Even the sloped roofline doesn’t seem to have any noticeable effect on headroom. While three people in the rear might be a bit of a push, most similarly sized SUVs also struggle with this.

When tested by Euro NCAP, the X4 did very well during its strict testing. Every X4 is well equipped with standard safety equipment, although several packs are also available, including lane-departure warning, city collision mitigation and active cruise control systems.

The X4 is ideal for families who are after brand appeal and luxury in their life, but with added practicality. While the coupe stance does have a minor effect on boot space and rear room, it is a very small compromise that you might have to make.

Engines

BMW has been surprisingly reserved with its engine line-up in the X4, although quite unusually, the range is diesel-only, with no petrol option offered in the UK – unlike other markets.

Three variants are available -  xDrive 20d, xDrive30d and xDrive 35d. All engines are very capable and even the base model is surprisingly nifty. The xDrive 20d is fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel that has 187bhp, while the xDrive30d and xDrive 35d are both fitted with a 3.0-litre diesel engine, which have 254bhp and 309bhp respectively.

All engines come with all-wheel drive while only the xDrive 20d is available with a manual gearbox, but the eight-speed automatic gearbox is also available, and otherwise comes as standard across the range.

Running costs

The X4 is quite comparable to its rivals with running costs, while you also need to bear in mind that the standard all-wheel-drive system also increases running costs, which may explain why other vehicles have lower running costs because they are only two-wheel-drive. The X4 has fuel economy ranging from 47.1mpg to 54.3mpg while emissions range from 136-157g/km of CO2.

Tax for the X4 ranges from £200 for the 2.0-litre diesel engine to £500 per annum for the more powerful 3.0-litre engines. You also need to bear in mind the £40,000 threshold, which all but the most basic X4s will fall over, meaning you will pay an extra annual supplement of £310 for cars costing over £40,000.

As for insurance group, the X4 starts in group 31 for the xDrive 20d, rising to 43 for the xDrive 35d.

Things to look for

So far the X4 seems to be a relatively problem-free car, with no common issues being reported. There has only been one recall so far too on the X4 for the Isofix child restraint system becoming loose, although this only applied on an isolated number of vehicles.

Rivals

The SUV sector is absolutely booming so it is no surprise the X4 has multiple rivals. Its These include the Mercedes GLE Coupe, Audi Q5 and even its own brother, the X3. Other rivals include the Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Evoque and at the top end of the spectrum, the Porsche Macan and Range Rover Velar.

Depreciation

The X4 is a typical German car in the sense that it holds on to its value well. You will struggle to find a three-year-old X4 for sale under £24,000, which means that it has retained its value well. Buying a used example makes more sense because it has barely changed in its three years of production.

Which X4 to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

xDrive20d Sport 5dr Step Auto

Most MPG

xDrive20d Sport 5dr Step Auto

Fastest Model (0-60)

xDrive X4 M Competition 5dr Step Auto

Trims Explained

Three trim levels are available on the X4 – SE, xLine and M Sport.

SE

Standard equipment on the SE includes 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with braking function, front and rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, automatic Xenon lights and wipers. It also comes with BMW’s iDrive control system which includes BMW Connect Drive that features BMW Emergency and satellite Navigation.

The SE starts at £38,540.

xLine

In addition to the SE, the xLine has X embossing, dark copper high gloss trim and also matte chrome exhaust pipes.

This trim level starts at £40,040.

M Sport

Finally, the M Sport features 19-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and suspension, as well as brushed aluminium interior trim and M body styling.

The M Sport starts at £43,200.

Summary

  1. Great to drive
  2. Poor limited visibility
  3. Limited boot capacity thanks to sloping roofline
  4. Excellent standard equipment
  5. No petrol engine available
  6. Retains value well
  7. Good range of diesel engines
  8. Competitively priced
  9. Disappointing ride
  10. Brakes could be improved

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