Fifth dedicated BMW SUV model to launch this summer with X6-inspired styling and borrowed X3 engines, priced from £36,590
16 April 2014

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.  

Included among the diesels bound for the UK is a base turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit producing 187bhp and 295lb ft in the xDrive20d, which is described as the most economical of all new X4 models. Touted economy figures include a combined 52.3mpg and 143g/km of CO2.

It is joined by a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder producing 254bhp and 413lb ft in the xDrive30d and 307bhp and 465lb ft in the xDrive35d – the latter of which is claimed to deliver the best straight line performance figures of the X4 line-up with a claimed 0-62mph time of 5.2sec and 153mph top speed.

The petrol line-up starts with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder delivering 181bhp and 199lb ft in the entry-level xDrive20i, rising to 242bhp and 258lb ft in a higher state of tune in the xDrive28i. 

Further up is BMW’s traditional turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder with 302bhp and 295lb ft in the xDrive35i. But, in line with moves taken with the X3, none of the petrol engines will be offered in the UK.

While BMW is remaining quiet on further engine variants, Munich-based sources confirm there are plans for an M-Performance model featuring a more powerful version of the xDrive35i’s turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder, although it isn't likely to be seen until 2015.

Befitting its sporting brief, the X4 receives a revised version of the X3’s double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension with firmer spring and damping properties. It also gets a standard variable rate electro-mechanical steering system, multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system and an electronic torque vectoring function that continuously varies the amount of power delivered to each individual rear wheel depending on prevailing levels of traction. 

The launch range comes shod on either 17- or 18-inch wheels and 225/60 or 245/50 profile tyres.

The lower height of the body is also claimed to result in a lower centre of gravity, endowing the X4 with what BMW describes as “driving dynamics that surpass those of the X3 in terms of sportiness”.

Our Verdict

BMW X4
We suspect the reason for the BMW X4's creation is because of the Porsche Macan

The X6 is a showroom hit. Does its smaller brother deserve to be?

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Comments
27

6 March 2014
(definitely) not my beer.
Yuk.

6 March 2014
Good grief, that's horrid.


6 March 2014
We are not all CoCar drivers, but they obviously dont think anyone will be buying with their own money if they wont offer the petrols here. Fortunately no one will want to buy one at all so it doesnt matter.

6 March 2014
I thought the whole idea of the coupe-like roofline was to make the car better looking, sexier, more desirable etc to allow it to compete with lifestyle cars like the Evoque, but this just looks terrible!

Even the X6 has something about it, but this to my eyes is an epic fail.

6 March 2014
Monumentally ugly. If BMW don't get their styling act together soon they might start seeing some genuine slides in sales.

Woeful

6 March 2014
Could be the BMW 1st prize for runt of the litter, can't understand why they can spend probably hundreds of millions, to make something undesirable, in my opinion. I do hope someone buys it though, it will give a few laughs to cheer some of us up on a rainy grey day.

6 March 2014
... I thought it was unlikely they'd be able to produce anything less attractive.

They're building quite an awful portfolio of cars with this X4, the goppingly ugly 1 series, the unpleasant X6, and the 2 series active tourer FWD.

What I don't understand is how these get universal sign off. BMW have made some very attractive cars over the years, but the latest crop with their over-sized nostril grilles are starting to look individual in the wrong kind of way. Shame as they make such good cars.

6 March 2014
Im always trying to restrain myself from commenting on the looks as its a matter of taste... but man this car is ugly! The new X5 already seemed strange (even in real, not only on photos) but this is overbloated and unproportioned.

I dont like the side line going from the back and dropping in the front part that seems to be a trademark in all X bmw's (X3 in particular).

Thats a no go.

_______________________________

www.bangersuk.com - Best Used Cars in UK

6 March 2014
Oh. Dear. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

6 March 2014
ita all about what the buyer thinks he is saying to everyone else. Which in reality is "I cant afford an x6"

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