From £37,0107
The X6 is a showroom hit, but does the smaller X4 also deserve to be when the X3 is the more practical sports SUV - and the Porsche Macan exists?

Another day, another niche filled. On the wall of the BMW product planning office, the big chart – whose boxes are arranged by vehicle size along one axis and body styles along the other axis – gets another tick.

This time, the fat marker pen signifies the arrival of a car that is roughly the same length as a BMW X3 or BMW 3 Series but has the benefit of being both a 4x4 and, of a fashion, a coupé.

The X4 was previewed by a thinly veiled concept of the same name in 2013

How much benefit that provides is what we are here to discover. The new car is the X4 and it’s arriving in the UK now in a range that is composed entirely of four-wheel-drive powertrains and predominantly diesel engines.

There is no direct predecessor to the X4, but BMW has had a decent recent history with SUVs. That began with the X5 in 1999, at a time when BMW also owned Land Rover, perhaps proving to itself that there was plenty of room for more than one premium large SUV in the group’s line-up.

An X3 duly followed, and then the X6 and X1. The reasons for the X4’s creation is several-fold, but chief among them, we suspect, is a machine called the Porsche Macan. The Macan’s underpinnings have some cross-group architecture but it is a deal more svelte and dynamic than the Audi Q5 from which it is ostensibly derived.

Hence the X4, which is underpinned by BMW’s own X3 but aims to do a similar job to the Porsche in being more dynamic than other vehicles in the range. Let’s see if it can achieve that aim.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar car review

First drives

Find an Autocar car review