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2016 BMW X4 M40i defies classification

Is it a wagon, a large crossover or a small SUV? None of those, say BMW. They call it a Sports Activity Coupe. Uh...OK.

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Emme Hall
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1 of 13 Emme Hall/CNET

A bit tall for a wagon and with two too many doors to be a coupe, the BMW X4 M40i seems to have a bit of an identity crisis.

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2 of 13 Emme Hall/CNET

BMW calls the X4 M40i a Sports Activity Coupe. We're just gonna call it a small SUV.

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3 of 13 Emme Hall/CNET

The sharply sloping roof decreases headroom in the rear seats. Expect taller passengers to fight tooth and nail to see who gets to ride shotgun.

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4 of 13 Emme Hall/CNET

A long wheelbase and compact proportions reflect the design aesthetic of BMW.

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5 of 13 Emme Hall/CNET

The two large air intakes and the vertical slats of the traditional BMW kidney grille get a coat of ferric gray metallic paint.

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6 of 13 Emme Hall/CNET

While not a full M car, the X4 M40i has a new M Performance free revving 3-liter engine.

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7 of 13 BMW

BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system puts the bias toward the back, to maintain the sporty driving characteristics of the ultimate driving machine.

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8 of 13 BMW

The X4 M40i has some straight line chops, speeding up to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

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The 3-liter, six-cylinder turbocharged engine is good for 355 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque.

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You can get 20-inch light-alloy wheels on your SUV, er, Sports Activity Coupe, wrapped in some pretty serious Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires.

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The $2,750 Technology package comes with a color head-up display, navigation, BMW Online and BMW Apps, real-time traffic, remote services and an instrument cluster with extended contents.

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12 of 13 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The eight-speed automatic transmission can truly be shifted manually. It won't upshift unless you tell it to. Hallelujah!

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13 of 13 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Just for good measure, the M leather steering wheel with shifter paddles is standard.

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