BMW X4 M Competition Review
The BMW X4 M Competition is hugely fast and more agile than an SUV has any right to be. An X3 M Competition is cheaper, more practical and every bit as good to drive, though
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If you’re a Formula 1 driver with a family, what do you drive? The BMW X4 M Competition might be just the trick. For starters, it’s savagely quick and more fun to drive than you might expect, yet it’ll also do a good job of hauling luggage. It isn’t the only option, mind: a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe offers similar pace and space with a sloping silhouette.
There’s no mistaking an X4 M Competition for just any old X4. It gets a gloss black grille, aggressive M front bumper with huge air intakes and BMW’s bold Icon LED headlights at the front. At the sides, you’ll find 21-inch M-specific alloy wheels over larger M brakes and M door mirrors finished in gloss black, while at the rear, there’s another M bumper with diffuser, M sports exhaust with gloss black tailpipes and M Competition badging. Oh, and there are rear spoilers mounted on the roof and boot lip.
Inside, the M-fest continues. There are figure-hugging electric, heated M Sport seats in fancy Merino leather that come with five free leather colour choices as well as one two-tone as an option. Then there’s an M Sports steering wheel with two red M driving mode buttons, a red starter button, door sill finishers in gloss black, M seatbelts and a newly designed M gear selector.
All-told the X4 M’s interior leaves you in no doubt as to its sporting intentions, but it’s also very high quality throughout. Plus, BMW’s last-generation (but still fantastic) iDrive infotainment system with a 10-inch screen on the dash, digital dials and head-up display with M-specific design and driving mode info is all standard. BMW still doesn’t include Apple CarPlay as standard, though, and Android Auto isn’t even available.
While there’s plenty of space for adults around those sports seats, rear seat space isn’t quite so good. Legroom is generous, but the BMW X4 M’s raked roofline means that anybody over six foot tall will find headroom tight – something the boxier X3 M doesn’t suffer. Of course, kids will be fine, but the rear windows are also quite shallow so they may feel claustrophobic. The X4’s boot, too, is only 50-litres smaller than the X3’s, but is a shallower, more awkward space.
Elsewhere you get the choice of an X4 M or X4 M Competition, but the UK only gets the latter. OK, it's the better car, but it'd be nice to have the choice BMW!
However, the X4 M gives nothing away to the X3 M on the engine front: both are fitted with BMW’s savage twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol which develops 510hp. Via a brilliant standard eight-speed automatic gearbox and clever all-wheel-drive system, that means an official 0-62mph time of just 4.1 seconds, which is officially slower than a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe – although we managed under four seconds when we tried it ourselves.
The X4 M is also every bit as great as the Mercedes at going around corners for such a big SUV. Thanks to that clever all-wheel-drive system, a trick rear differential that distributes power to the rear wheel with the most grip, a stiffened body and stiffer suspension, it turns into corners keenly and remains composed throughout. It’ll even break traction and get playful if you want to explore its limits further. It’s no BMW M4 in the bends, but it isn’t far off.
The BMW X4 M Competition’s biggest problem? The BMW X3 M Competition. The X3 is just as high quality inside, as fast and agile, but cheaper to buy and more spacious and practical, making it a better choice for more people.
Still, if you prefer the X4 M’s looks and don’t need the extra room, check out our carwow deals for the very best prices.