The BMW X4 comes in two basic guises: X4 xDrive28i and X4 xDrive35i. The xDrive28i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower, while the xDrive35i utilizes a twin turbocharged 3.0L 6-cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower. In both cases, power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The X4 further sets itself apart from the X3 with a unique interior featuring very nice materials and high quality construction throughout. The ride height is lower than in the X3 and it offers drivers a more classically coupe-like view throughout the greenhouse. Handling has been improved over the X3 as well, with the X4 doing a passable impersonation of a sports car on winding roads, thanks to a lower ride height and more aggressively tuned suspension.
The X4 comes nicely equipped with both xDrive28i and xDrive35i versions getting a nearly identical set of amenities. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, 8-way power adjustable front seats, a walnut trimmed interior, a powered glass moonroof, a powered tailgate, rear parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, dynamic cruise control and a 9-speaker stereo with satellite radio. In the xDrive35i, a Harman/Kardon surround system is standard.
There are two optional packages available on both xDrive28i and xDrive35i models, dubbed M Sport and xLine. Both packages significantly change the exterior of the X4, with the M Sport line deleting various chrome bits and adding more aggressive, body colored exterior enhancements. The M Sport line also includes unique 19-inch wheels and a few interior styling tweaks. The xLine takes the standard X4 in the opposite direction, adding rugged looking exterior enhancements as well as its own set of 19-inch wheels.
Safety is enhanced by a full complement of electronic aids as well as by several airbags. Other safety features include a hill start function as well as a mode for descending slippery slopes.
We at Roadshow like to moan about coupe-styled crossovers -- we call them by the portmanteau -- because they're an awkward compromise. But the fact is that car shoppers love the things, going crazy over SUVs that offer a bit less utility in order to give off the visual appearance of having some more sportiness.
Enter the 2019 BMW X4, the second generation of this nameplate. It's based on the well-knowncrossover but with a sloping roofline that's intended to give it a sleeker appearance. Is it luxurious and sporty enough for drivers to overlook its unconventional shape, or is the X4's appeal hard to fathom?
Seen in profile, the BMW X4's sloping roofline and shallow-angle rear window are clearly evident. About 2 inches lower in height but 2 inches longer in length than an X3, the X4 somehow doesn't have a cohesive design, looking bloated and ungainly from many angles. Note, for instance, the tall and wide nose, the awkward aerodynamics pods at the top of the liftgate, the very high beltline. Worse yet, there's no rear wiper, meaning your view rearward is regularly obscured by raindrops, dirt and grime.
The Good A technology-laden cabin and a powerful turbo-four engine.
The Bad Ungainly shape, lazy throttle response, a subscription fee model for Apple CarPlay.
The Bottom Line Though not our first pick in the segment, the X4 deserves high marks among compact luxury crossovers.
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