If you’re from the school of thought that says an SUV will suffer from chronic body lean in the bends then think again. The X4 is actually fun in the corners for such a high-riding car, although the same can be said of the more-practical X3.
The most popular engine in the all-diesel range will undoubtedly be the 187bhp four-cylinder 2.0-litre, which offers a decent compromise between performance and fuel economy. With a manual transmission, this unit can get you from 0-62mph in eight seconds, and returns combined fuel economy of 52.3mpg, as well as CO2 emissions of 143g/km.
To get the X4 performing the way it looks like it should, you need to go for the 3.0-litre model, in the xDrive30d and xDrive35d. The 30d sees 0-62mph come up in just 5.8 seconds, and takes you onwards to a top speed of 148mph. It still gets you a relatively impressive 47.9mpg and only puts out 156g/km of CO2.
It's properly sporty, despite the ride height
The range-topping xDrive35d has the same engine as the 30d, but it’s tuned to deliver 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds and tops out at 153mph. The good news is that there’s little in the way of a penalty for that extra performance, with the 35d boasting 47.1mpg combined fuel economy and 157g/km of CO2 emissions. Apart from its higher price difference, it does seem to make the xDrive30d seem a bit pointless.
The xDrive20d is available with a manual or automatic gearbox, but the 3.0-litre models come as standard with BMW’s excellent eight-speed auto.
We expect cars like this to be refined, smooth and comfortable on the motorway (which the X4 is) but it comes into its own on winding country roads.
The standard xDrive all-wheel-drive system (which is set up for on-road grip rather than off-roading) provides all the traction you could need, and it inspires massive confidence in corners.
Upgraded suspension and a lower centre of gravity, delivers a genuinely involving and engaging (fun) drive, which is only let down by below-par brakes and slightly uncommunicative steering.