Whether or not you agree with BMW's "sports activity coupe" nomenclature, the truth is, weirdo swoopy crossovers are a hit around the globe. BMW launched the -based X4 a couple years ago to compliment the larger X6, and the smaller hits the road later this year. Makes sense, then, that following the X3's updo for 2018, the X4 is receiving a similar freshening for the 2019 model year.
Visually, the X4 retains its crossover-coupe shape, with chunky design elements front and rear that aren't too dissimilar from those on the X3. The new X4 is 3 inches longer than before, with 2.1 inches added in the wheelbase. BMW says the new X4's front and rear tracks are both wider, and the aerodynamics have been improved, resulting in a very slippery drag coefficient of 0.30. The X4's all-important 50:50 weight distribution remains intact.
All X4s get standard sport seats, with the X4 M40i getting upgraded M-specific chairs. Rear passengers are treated to an extra inch of legroom compared to the outgoing X4, and with the rear seats folded, there's as much as 50.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
Instrument panel and center stack designs are reminiscent of what's found in the X3, as is the 10.25-inch infotainment display, housing BMW's latest version of its iDrive system. BMW says iDrive now comes with improved voice recognition; just say "I'm hungry" and a list of nearby restaurants pops up. The X4 also gets BMW's nifty -- though, as far as I'm concerned, unnecessary -- gesture controls that allow you to adjust audio volume and accept or reject phone calls with a swipe of your hand. Also on the tech front, the X4's head-up display is 75 percent larger than the outgoing unit, and there's an optional fully digital instrument cluster.
Two powertrains will be offered in the US. On the base end, there's the X4 xDrive30i, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. As the name suggests, all-wheel drive is standard, and BMW says the 30i will accelerate to 60 miles per hour in a respectable 6 seconds.
If that's not enough, there's the X4 M40i, which uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six good for 355 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are also part of the M40i package, and the more powerful engine results in a quicker 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds. The M40i also comes standard with M Sport brakes, an adaptive suspension, a rear-biased torque split and a sport exhaust. You'll also be able to tell the M40i apart thanks to larger air intakes and black chrome exterior elements.
Look for the new X4 to hit US showrooms this summer, priced from $50,450 for the xDrive30i. If you want the M40i, that'll be an extra $10,000. And don't forget, you can get an X3 with the same options and performance specs -- and a more usable cargo hold -- for about $8,000 less.