I’ll be the first to admit I genuinely disliked the design of first-iteration of the BMW X4 (F26) coupe-like SUV, especially from the rear. It was frumpy, disproportionate and just plain unattractive, given the whole idea of the tapered roofline is to look sportier and more appealing to the eye.
The front end wasn’t much chop either with an all-but generic look about it, while and the interior was just plain awful with a low-rent look and feel throughout the entire cabin owing to an over- abundance of cheap and nasty plastics and antiquated screens.
Fast forward four years and things improved dramatically with the arrival of the second-generation X4 (G02). This was a far more resolved design with a wider, more muscular stance and suitably sloped roofline to give it some additional sporty appeal. All-new lighting and a bolder new kidney grille lifted from the related BMW X3 rounded it off nicely for an acceptable visual presence.
After all, compared with the traditional wagon-bodied X3 SUV on which it’s based, you’d have to wonder what would compel buyers to choose the more expensive but less roomy coupe version given its formula of less for more.
It comes down to the sportier look, mostly, and something slightly less common on the road than the seemingly more practical X3 in this case. That’s particularly true of the latest 2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i tested here.
Armed with the latest updates, the new BMW X4 has got real presence with the current iteration, especially when specced in Sophisto Grey metallic paint and Tacora Red Vernasca leather upholstery inside. There’s a proper premium look and feel to the whole car, along with excellent road manners thanks to a great chassis based on the BMW X3.
This is a more enhanced BMW X4 with some tough-looking X6 design cues working in its favour, as well as the M Sport Package it wears so well. It’s standard fit even on the entry-level X4 xDrive20i and features the BMW mesh kidney grille with frame and inserts in high-gloss black – as well as a new multi-layered rear bumper incorporating black-chrome dual exhaust tips.
A quick walkaround also reveals side air curtain panels, side skirts and optional 20-inch M light alloy wheels with M badging in gloss black, which matches the high-gloss black embellishments up front and out back. It’s a properly good look.
That same evolutionary update has also been applied to the X4’s cabin to great effect. In fact, we like this latest interior more than its rivals. There’s a quality look and feel to all the soft and hard materials in this cockpit which elevates it into genuine luxury status – not surprising given the price tag of this vehicle.
For instance, the centre console is lifted from the latest 4 Series, including a huge infotainment screen with sharp clarity and the fastest wireless Apple CarPlay connection I’ve experienced to date.
Honestly, hats off to the BMW PR who specced this particular X4 xDrive30i, because there’s nothing I would change if I ordered my own. And, from where I sit the xDrive30i is surely the sweet spot in the X4 range.
Our BMW X4 xDrive30i tester wears a MRLP (Manufacturers Recommended List Price) of $97,900 excluding on-road costs.
However, it was also equipped with the Visibility package ($5400), boasting metallic paintwork, panorama glass sunroof and BMW Laserlight. Additional options seen here include the M high-gloss Shadow Line package with extended contents ($500) and 20-inch M light alloy wheels in double-spoke in Black ($NCO).
The entry-level X4 xDrive20i starts from $86,900, using the same 2.0-litre turbo-four and eight-speed auto, but detuned slightly.
2022 BMW X4 pricing:
- BMW X4 xDrive20i M Sport: $86,900
- BMW X4 xDrive30i M Sport: $97,900
- BMW X4 M40i :$126,900
All prices exclude on-road costs and are current as of April 1, 2022
For those that want more performance from their coupe-like SUV there’s the X4 M40i from $126,900, which swaps the four-pot turbo for a twin-turbo six. But if you want the big daddy, you’ll likely favour the full-fat X4 M Competition for $167,900, but with a significantly more powerful twin-turbo inline six and a lot more kit.
Comparisons will also be made with the likes of Audi’s Q5 Sportback range, in particular, the 45 TFSI quattro priced from $90,800 plus on-roads. It’s also powered by a 2.0-litre turbo four and makes a similar 183kW and 370Nm. While it’s got more twist on tap, it only just matches the BMW’s 6.3s sprint time from zero to 100km/h.
It’s the same story with the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Coupe that’s priced from $100,300, boasting slightly more power and torque than the X4, but again claims identical performance from 0-100km/h (6.3s) as the BMW.
New kid on the block, Genesis (owned by Hyundai) offers the GV70 in a variety of iterations, but the top-spec 3.5T AWD Sport offers big performance from its twin-turbo V6 at a cost of $83,400 plus on-roads. Quite the bargain when you consider the larger engine and displacement but nowhere near the level of cachet as any of the German brands.
X4 xDrive30i highlights:
- Backrest width adjust, driver
- Leather Vernasca upholstery
New additions for MY22 include:
- Ambient Lighting
- 12-speaker HiFi loudspeaker audio system
- Driving Assistant Professional^
- Remote Software Updates
- Reversing Assistant
^Driving Assistant temporarily replaces Driving Assistant Professional due to the current semiconductor supply shortage. A $2500 reduction is applied to the listed RRP in light of the change
That’s on top of the X4 xDrive20i’s specification:
- M Sport package
- Parking Assistant Plus
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Tri-zone climate control
- Automatic tailgate
- BMW Live Cockpit Professional with 12.3-inch screens
- Connected Package Professional
- Navigation package
- DAB digital radio
- Driving Assistant
- Electric front seat adjustment
- Head-up display
- Mirror package
- Parking Assistant
- Reversing camera
- Sport leather steering wheel
- Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Wireless phone charging#
- xLine styling (inc. roof rails)
- Adaptive LED headlights
- High Beam Assistant
- Comfort Access
- Galvanic interior finishers
- Remote Software Updates
- Reversing Assistant
- Sensatec (perforated) leatherette trim (replaces cloth/leather upholstery)
#Enhanced telephony temporarily replaces Wireless Charging due to the current semiconductor supply shortage. A $429 reduction is applied to the RRP in light of the change.
The X4 is offered with a range of extra-cost options and packages. We’ve detailed the main ones below.
Visibility Package: $5400 (20i, 30i)
- Metallic paint
- Panorama glass sunroof
- BMW Laserlight headlights
Comfort Package: $1200 (20i, 30i)
- Seat heating, front
- Lumbar support, driver
- Steering wheel heating
The BMW X4 achieved a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on tests carried out by Euro NCAP on the closely related X3 in 2017
Like its wagon-bodied sibling, however, only xDrive20d and xDrive30i variants are covered by this rating, the former no longer offered in the X4 locally.
Additional side impact and oblique tests were carried out on the X4 to confirm results based on the differences in side structures between the two vehicles.
Category scores included 93 per cent for adult occupant protection, 84 per cent for child occupant protection, 70 per cent for pedestrian detection and 58 per cent for safety assist.
The BMW X4 xDrive20i gets the basic Driving Assistant package, which features:
- AEB with pedestrian detection
- Forward collision warning
- Cruise control with downhill braking function
- Lane departure warning
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Speed sign recognition
- Proactive rear collision protection
Opting for the xDrive30i^ and M40i brings Driving Assistant Professional, which adds:
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Steering and Lane Control Assistant (semi-autonomous mode)
- Lane-keep assist
- Blind-spot assist
- Front cross-traffic alert
- Evasion aid
^Driving Assistant temporarily replaces Driving Assistant Professional due to the current semiconductor supply shortage. A $2500 reduction is applied to the listed RRP in light of the change.
The Vernasca Red leather against the super-dark Sophisto Grey metallic exterior will be incentive alone to place an order, but it’s the front sports seats and sublime comfort and support they provide that will tip some buyers over the line.
Mind, it’s not the softest hide around, but it looks and feels impervious to general wear and tear and I can only rave about how friendly they are to your lower back. And, I’m a sucker for red leather.
The latest M Sport steering wheel is a cracker, too. Three-spoked, brushed metal accents and finally a reduced rim thickness and softer leather for maximum grip and feel. They’ve been too thick for years.
Everything up front is soft touch. All the plastics, even down to and including the glove box. The plastics themselves look and feel more premium than ever before and the pearl chrome trim exudes quality while looking properly sporty at the same time.
The lower centre console is new and taken from the 4 Series, complete with drive mode buttons and a knurled circular infotainment controller which can be easier than the accessing the touchscreen if you’re on the move.
The new 12.3-inch touchscreen runs the older BMW OS7.0 (not iDrive 8.0 like the BMW iX) but offers crisp graphics and colours as well as very fast response to the touch. The Wireless CarPlay connection is one of the fastest we’ve encountered and there were no dropouts over the test period.
BMW has used digital instrument displays for a while now, but they still lack the colour, clarity and configurability of those used by rival carmakers Mercedes-Benz and Audi. It’s certainly no biggie, but there’s room for improvement in that department.
There’s still a proper gear shifter and plenty of real buttons to quickly and easily access all key functions which, quite honestly, is far better and more intuitive than the general trend towards full digitisation adopted by a growing number of carmakers these days.
BMW’s ambient lighting is some of the most vibrant in the business and the X4 is no exception – the electric blue setting is a treat. It looks like high-end neon and it’s so bright but perfectly flush with the door trim.
Space wise, the X4 feels roomy inside, especially up front where its substantial width (1918mm) translates into plenty of elbow room between the driver and front passenger. In fact, the X4 is both longer and wider than its main rivals by a noticeable margin.
At 175cm tall, this tester has plenty of headroom (even with the optional panoramic roof) available, despite the dramatically tapered roof line at the rear but the seats are set low into the vehicle which counters the issue to a point, but those 190cm or above might find it too tight back there. Kids, though, no issue.
And while the X4’s profile might look to give away loads of boot space to the more traditional X3, there’s only 25 litres in it, at least behind the second row – X4 525L v X3 550L. Fold the rear seats, though, and luggage space grows to 1430 litres while offering a convenient load height and a suitably wide aperture albeit mouth-shaped.
Yes, the rear screen is dramatically raked, but vision is still reasonable and the side mirrors make up for any blind spots along with the active safety systems. It’s just not an issue you need to worry about with the X4.
Both the entry-level X4 xDrive20i and 30i variants are powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, but in two states of tune – the 20i makes 135kW/300Nm and our 30i tester puts out 185kW and 350Nm.
It puts the power to the ground through all four wheels via a conventional eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission
If that’s not enough, the next rung up the X4 ladder is the M40i, which introduces BMW’s twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six, with 285kW and 500Nm, while the range-topping X4 M Competition develops a hard-hitting 375kW and 650Nm from an M-specific ‘S58’ inline straight-six.
BMW claims the X4 xDrive30i will use 7.8L/100km on the combined cycle, and while we only managed 10.8L/100km over the week-long test period, much of the time spent behind the wheel was in Sport mode.
So, it’s quite conceivable that the factory claims could be met – even around town. Emissions are rated at 177g/km.
Braked towing capacity for the BMW X4 xDrive30i is 2000kg, while the maximum tow ball download is 100kg.
You know you’re onto a good thing as a motoring journalist when you find yourself coming up with excuses to the PR guy as to why you’d like to hang on the press vehicle for another week or two.
In the scheme of where the xDrive30i sits in the three-variant X4 range you could say it’s nothing special given its modest output and small-displacement powertrain. At least, that was certainly my impression before hoping in behind the wheel BMW’s high-riding coupe.
First off, the X4 offers a great driving position with the superb sports seats positioned low in the cabin, which makes it feel like a sporty SUV even at standstill. It’s a bit like the Range Rover Sport in this regard offering good front and side vision and tonnes of lateral support from those brilliant front seats that are endlessly adjustable, including the level of side bolster you’re comfortable with.
There’s plenty of room in the driver’s footwell too, which boasts a large footrest and grippy sports pedals that feel good underfoot – important for long stints behind the wheel.
You’ll find all the relevant drive mode buttons on the lower console including Comfort and Sport – Comfort being the default mode on start-up. Mind, I really wasn’t expecting much in the way of go from the four-pot turbo without any proper M modifications.
To my surprise, there’s no shortage of poke in the X4. Right from the get-go it feels willing and able to pounce and cover ground more rapidly than you might expect. There’s almost no need to pop it into Sport, but do so and throttle response is noticeably sharper with more revs at idle.
It feels light on its feet for a vehicle this substantial – in more ways than one. Tipping the scales at 1815kg it’s actually heavier than the GLC Coupe but a tad lighter than its Q5 rival, but it steers and drives like a much smaller vehicle.
The steering and body control are simply superb. The X4 seems to rotate through tight bends and roundabouts as if it were equipped with rear-wheel steer. In fact, I called the PR to confirm just that.
What impresses most is the ride-handling balance. There’s an unshakable level of rigidity built into this chassis which tends to make this thing feel extraordinarily agile in any number of conditions.
Mind, there’s a level of compliance in the damping that completely irons out the initial hit, while still retaining a level of robustness to body control. There’s still some fractional lean as you turn in at speed, but its settles almost immediately so the whole thing feels taught and rigid at the same time. It’s impressive.
BMW has one of the best head-up displays we’ve seen in this segment. Large font that by default displays indicated speed, gear position and legal speed – it’s all you need other than navigation directions when active.
BMW remains the only luxury carmaker in the segment sticking to its guns with a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, while all others including Audi and Mercedes-Benz now offering five-year coverage.
Maintenance can be covered by Service Inclusive packages rather than paying as you go, which for the X4 costs $2010 upfront and covers owners for the first five years or 80,000km.
After stepping off a plane from Italy where I drove the world’s most powerful and fastest luxury SUV, you might have thought I’d be a bit blasé about hoping into a lower-end X4.
Not so. In fact, this is a luxury SUV so complete in everything from its masculine stance to its ride and handling performance and excellent comfort levels and cabin design as to consider it a genuine replacement for our Volvo XC40 family chariot.
Granted, at near enough to 100-grand it’s not exactly cheap, but the level of equipment is high and it has no glaring faults except of course the warranty term and driver’s instrument display.
The main thing is I loved driving it and constantly found myself looking back at it every time a climbed out. Always a good sign.
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MORE: Everything BMW X4