The new BMW X4 has been revealed at the New York motor show today. The model described by the German manufacturer as being based on the X3, but with refined driving dynamics to place it “on another level”.
Set to become BMW’s fifth dedicated SUV model, the five-seat X4 was first previewed in concept car form at last year’s Shanghai motor show. The junior sibling to the strong-selling X6 is planned to go on sale in the UK in July.
At launch, the new X4 will be available in diesel form only with prices starting from £36,590 for the xDrive20d SE, rising to £44,890 for the xDrive30d xLine and on to £48,990 for the range-topping xDrive35d in M Sport trim.
Buoyed by the success of the X6, BMW is looking towards the smaller and more affordable X4 to appeal to an increasing number of buyers seeking the sporting traits of a traditional performance estate together with the everyday versatility of a high-riding SUV.
Key among the rivals for the new BMW is the recently introduced Porsche Macan and Range Rover Evoque – the former of which has generated a remarkable 50,000 sales worldwide, a total corresponding to its planned first year of production, before even reaching showrooms.
As hinted to by the earlier Concept X4, the appearance of BMW’s latest SUV has been heavily influenced by that of the X6. The two share the same basic silhouette and five-door liftback layout, although their respective mechanical packages differ. The X4 shares its underpinnings with the X3, while the X6, which is due to be replaced by a new second-generation model later this year, is based on the X5.
Styled under Karim Habib, head of BMW brand design, the X4 also shares various front-end styling elements with the recently facelifted X3, including the shape of its LED headlamps.
However, a deeper and more heavily structured bumper, boasting larger cooling ducts along with a new kidney grille and a more contoured bonnet serve to give it a more instantly aggressive air.
Further back, the new X4 also flaunts greater structure within its flanks, with three separate swage lines integrated within the body sides rather than the two used on the X3 – a styling development set to be repeated on the new X6, according to BMW sources. It also receives a heavily curved roof.
The rear is distinguished by slender C-pillars, muscular hunches over the rear wheels, a high rear deck, new LED tail lamps and a deep bumper.
At 4671mm in length, 1881mm in width and 1624mm in height, the X4 is longer and lower than the X3. Tracks widths have also increased up to 1616mm up front and 1632mm at the rear.
The X4 shares its interior appointments with the X3, including its dashboard and related trims. The reduction in exterior height is reflected inside, with the front seats mounted lower than those of its more conventional sibling.
Owing to the acute angle of its liftback tailgate, the nominal boot capacity is considerably less than that of the more upright X3, at 500 litres, increasing to 1400 litres when the rear seats, which split 40/20/20, are folded away.
The X4 will be produced with the same range of longitudinally mounted petrol and diesel engines as the X3 at BMW’s Spartanburg factory in North America.
An eight-speed automatic gearbox, which incorporates a coasting function for added fuel saving, is standard on all models save for the xDrive20d, the expected volume seller in the UK, which receives a six-speed manual gearbox.