BMW X4 Review & Prices
The BMW X4 possesses many of the great things about the X3 it’s based on – a nice interior, good infotainment and a nice drive. Just remember it isn’t as practical inside
Find out more about the BMW X4
The BMW X4 is a sleek coupe version of the BMW X3. Among BMW’s other similarly coupe-shaped SUVs, it sits between the smaller X2 and bigger BMW X6 in terms of size, and trades some of the X3’s space and practicality for a more stylish look.
The X4’s minimalist interior doesn’t have the same wow factor as a Mercedes GLC Coupe’s elegantly swooping dashboard design. But pretty much every piece of plastic trim on the X4’s dashboard feels soft to the touch.
Every X4 model comes loaded with tech including BMW’s Live Cockpit Plus digital set-up that can show full screen sat nav maps, plus a whole load of other information. You also get BMW’s brilliant iDrive infotainment system with a 12.3-inch display on the dashboard.
There’s more than enough space in the X4’s front seats for you to stretch out – even if you’re very tall. The steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, and the standard-fit sports seats hold you in place securely without feeling too firm.
In the back, the news isn’t quite so good. While the X3 has enough head room for another couple of tall adults to sit without brushing their heads against the ceiling, the X4’s sloping roofline means that anybody over six feet tall will suffer just that. Still, leg room is as good as in the X3.
The X4’s boot floor is nicely flat and square and there’s no lip at its entrance to lift heavy bags over, but it accommodates 50 litres less cargo than the X3. You can fold the rear seats down (they split in a 40:20:40 configuration as standard) but there’s still some 200 litres less space with the seats dropped than in the X3.
If you’ve decided you like the looks and don’t mind the BMW X4’s reduced practicality, there’s plenty to like about the way it drives and presents itself inside
BMW offers the choice of four and six-cylinder engines in petrol and diesel forms. Every X4 has an all-wheel-drive system (BMW calls is xDrive) that will run in front-wheel-drive mode at a cruise to save fuel, but send power to the rear wheels under heavy acceleration or when the road gets slippery. All models also have a superb eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
The pick of the bunch is BMW’s four-cylinder, 2.0-litre xDrive20d diesel, which has all the performance you’re likely to need. Its 190hp gets the car from 0-62mph in a perfectly respectable 7.9 seconds, yet it’ll also return up to 49mpg, so achieving mpg in the low 40s is certainly doable in the real world.
The X4 remains remarkably composed when barrelling along a twisting B-road, with surprisingly little body lean for a tall SUV. The all-wheel-drive system has a rear-biased power delivery when pressing on, too, for a more engaging driving experience. The weakest link is the X4’s steering, which feels a little uncommunicative for an SUV that prides itself on handling well. You’ll enjoy driving a Porsche Macan quickly even more.
You can also add adaptive suspension to the X4 which allows you to soften or stiffen the ride at the touch of a button. Truth be told though, even with it fitted, the X4 isn’t as comfortable to drive as the Mercedes GLC – especially over rough roads.
If you’re certain you don’t need the better space and practicality of a BMW X3 then the BMW X4 has plenty going for it.
The BMW X4 has a RRP range of £54,000 to £68,245. However, with carwow you can save on average £3,886. Prices start at £51,115 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £594. The price of a used BMW X4 on carwow starts at £27,500.
Our most popular versions of the BMW X4 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|xDrive20d MHT M Sport 5dr Step Auto||£51,115||Compare offers|
The X4 range is really easy to understand. It starts with a pair of M Sport models, both of them diesel-powered, unusually. You can choose between the four-cylinder 20d or more powerful, six-cylinder 30d. Then there are the high performance models, the petrol M40i and diesel M40d. The bonkers-fast X4 M Competition sits at the top of the range.
The main alternatives to the X4 are the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi Q5 Sportback, Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Velar, Mercedes GLC Coupe and Porsche Macan, most of which undercut the X4 on price. However, spec them all up with the same features as an X4 M Sport and the price gap closes.
The BMW X4 gives a sporty driving experience without sacrificing everyday comfort
The X4 isn’t a particularly big car, so driving down narrow city streets doesn’t present too many issues. You have good visibility from the driver’s seat, too, so you easily spot any hazards that need careful negotiating.
The view out of the back is virtually nonexistent, though. There are big blind spots and a tiny back window, so reversing can be tricky. At least front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera are fitted as standard.
It’s easy to find a driving position that works for you – there’s lots of adjustment in the seat and steering (electric seats are optional). An extending section of the seat base gives more thigh support for longer legs.
A plug-in hybrid powertrain would be best for driving around town, but the X4 isn’t available with one, even though the closely related BMW X3 is. Instead, your choices are diesels or high performance petrol engines. The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel 20d is best for town driving – it gives reasonably punchy performance, decent fuel economy and lowish CO2 emissions.
Every engine is backed up by an eight-speed automatic gearbox that goes about its business so smoothly you barely notice it.
On the motorway
The X4 is a fine long-distance cruiser. The standard suspension set-up is a little firm, though hardly uncomfortable. Choose the optional adaptive suspension and you can switch at the touch of a button from soft and squidgy to firm and sporty. The interior is really quiet, too. The diesels sound a bit rattly at low speeds but disappear into the background at 70mph. And there’s barely a hint of wind or tyre noise. You could happily do an awful lot of miles in the X4, but the Mercedes GLC Coupe is more relaxing to spend several hours in.
The 190hp X4 20d gives perfectly adequate performance for motorway driving – it gets up to speed smartly and has power to spare if you need to hurry up. The more powerful six-cylinder diesels in the 30d and M40d and the similar petrol engine in the M40i aren’t anything like as efficient as the 20d on the motorway, but they’re more satisfying to drive.
The automatic gearbox changes gear imperceptibly, and responds instantly if you stamp on the throttle. Basic cruise control and lane keeping assist are standard; more advanced adaptive cruise control is optional (BMW’s system is one of the best).
On a twisty road
The X4 feels almost as sporty to drive as BMW’s saloon cars. It always goes exactly where you point it and it doesn’t feel unsettled if you alter course mid-corner. The suspension keeps the body pretty much bolt upright and soaks up lumps and holes, rather than bouncing through them.
The 20d engine has enough power to get a move on, but you’ll have fun with one of the much more powerful six-cylinder engines. They get you down the road much quicker and sound great. The automatic gearbox always chooses the right gear for any given moment, or you can change gear manually using the paddles on the steering wheel.
Select Sport with the driving mode button down by the gear lever and the X4’s driving experience turns up a couple of notches with a sportier setting for the steering, suspension and throttle. Only the slightly light feel to the steering stops the X4 being a complete class act, and the Porsche Macan does the sporty SUV thing slightly better.
The X4 has plenty of space for a family of four and decent size boot, but back seat headroom is a bit tight
There’s huge space in the X4’s front seats. Only really very tall people are likely to have any issues with the leg and headroom. There’s also plenty of shoulder room but, as in every other BMW, the centre console is quite high and restricts space across the car. It’s very comfortable, though.
The door bins are big, easily holding a two-litre bottle. There’s a deep cubby hole under the centre armrest (where you’ll also find some USB charging ports), a pair of cupholders in the centre console and a tray for your phone in front of the gearstick that doubles as a wireless charging pad when you cough up for the optional Technology Pack.
Space in the back seats
There’s pretty generous legroom in the back, easily enough for someone well over six feet tall. However, the sloping roofline means they won’t have enough headroom. Passengers under six feet will be very comfortable, especially if you choose the optional Extended Storage Pack, which includes a reclining back seat.
There’s just enough room for three adults to sit across the back, but the middle perch is cramped. Three kids fit much more easily. Installing a child seat is easy enough, with the ISOFIX mount covers hinged so it’s really easy to get to them. And you don’t need to move the front seats forwards to install a rear-facing seat. Just be careful not to bang your head on the low roofline.
For storage, there’s big door bins and a pair of cupholders in the armrest. The Extended Storage Pack also adds nets on the back of the front seats. And the back has separate heating and ventilation controls.
The X4 has a smaller boot than the X3, but you can still cram a lot of stuff into its 525 litre capacity – equivalent to four big suitcases. Bear in mind that the sloping roofline means you can’t put anything particularly tall in there.
The boot floor lifts up on a hydraulic strut so you don’t have to hold it. Underneath, there’s useful extra storage with cut-outs to stow the two-piece load cover when you don’t need it. The Extended Storage Pack adds various nets and tie-down points on rails for you to secure the load.
The back seats drop in three sections, released by levers near the boot opening. Do that and there’s 1430 litres of space but, again, the space is limited by the low roof. At least the loading lip is quite low, so heaving stuff into the boot is fairly easy. Hands-free boot opening is optional, but the system is a bit temperamental.
Overall, the X4 is one of the more practical cars of this type – it certainly makes a good family car. But the Range Rover Velar has more passenger and boot space.
A very good Infotainment system and nice interior, although some scratchy plastics can be found in the lower half of the cabin
There’s a strong argument that all BMW interiors look exactly the same. That’s no bad thing. BMW interior design is elegantly simple and clear, with all the buttons and knobs that control the features and functions within easy reach of the steering wheel. So it is in the X4.
The colour scheme is quite dark without the lighter seat upholstery options, so you can brighten the place up with the optional opening glass sunroof. There are scratchy plastics on some surfaces low down, otherwise everything you touch regularly feels like a high quality product, and everything is solidly put together. But it’s not as opulent as the Range Rover Velar, or as sporty as the Porsche Macan.
Every X4 model has a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display (better to use the rotary controller). There’s stacks of features in the system including sat nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio and assorted useful apps. You can also access the car’s settings. BMW’s operating system is user-friendly but you may prefer to connect your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Other standard features include a 12.3-inch digital dial set-up that can display full screen sat nav maps; heated leather seats, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. You also get access to BMW’s app, which provides all sorts of information about the car and you can remotely program the sat nav, among many other cool tricks.
The X4’s fuel economy numbers are pretty good for this type of car. The 20d has an official figure of 49mpg, the 30d 45mpg, the M40d 41mpg and the M40i can do 31mpg.
CO2 emissions range from 150-183g/km in diesel models, up to 205-209g/km for the petrol M40i. If you’re a private owner, vehicle excise duty costs £165 per year once the car turns one year old. However, its price when new means there’s an extra annual charge of £520 between the car’s second and sixth birthdays.
The CO2 numbers are less friendly to company car buyers – the benefit-in-kind rates are pretty chunky. A plug-in hybrid is probably the better bet for you so check out the Audi Q5 Sportback, Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Velar and Mercedes GLC Coupe. Or, indeed, the BMW X3.
Safety experts Euro NCAP awarded the X4 a full five star safety rating, scoring it highly for adult and child occupant protection. It also comes with a comprehensive set of safety features including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive LED headlights that illuminate as much as possible without dazzling oncoming drivers.
BMW’s are generally very reliable and well made, but they are complex cars so small niggles can crop up. There have been some recalls issued for the X4, but they don’t affect brand new cars. BMW provides a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, which is an additional benefit over the 60,000-mile limit imposed by some manufacturers if you’re a high mileage driver.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.