Architecturally there’s little about the X4 M Competition’s cabin that differentiates it from its lower-order siblings – and that’s no bad thing. BMW’s familiar blend of sophisticated materials and user-friendliness is present and correct, only this time coming with an additional layer of subtle performance paraphernalia.

Our test car’s optional carbonfibre panelling is complemented smartly by glossy piano black surfacing, while a chunky M division gearshifter protrudes from the centre console. Atop the spokes of the thick-rimmed steering wheel sit two suitably eye-catching bright red buttons labelled ‘M1’ and ‘M2’, used for saving and dialling up your own personal preferences for the car’s various system configurations.

Richard Lane

Road tester
Red ‘M’ buttons on the steering wheel are programmable. You can set preferences for damping, powertrain responsiveness and steering weight.

Muscular sports seats are heavily bolstered and upholstered in attractive quilted leather. Adjustability is excellent, as is the support. The front chairs position you suitably low but aren’t so recumbent as to jeopardise the view over the attractively sharp creases in the X4’s bonnet to the road ahead.

It might run BMW’s previous-generation Professional Multimedia Navigation System, but the X4 M Competition’s infotainment suite is still far superior to that which you’d find in an equivalent F-Pace or Stelvio.

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The 10.25in display is clear and easy to read, with enough processing power to ensure that transitions between menus are slick and relatively seamless. Control is via touchscreen or rotary dial, although it’s the dial that proves to be the easiest means of interacting with the system – particularly when on the move. Dedicated shortcut buttons provide quick and easy access between the system’s main features.

Standard equipment includes satellite navigation, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a Harman Kardon surround sound system – although, as is increasingly the case with BMW these days, you have to pay extra for Apple CarPlay preparation (£235). Considering the effectiveness of the base system, however, you’d might find you could get away without it.

What results is an interior that wants for little by way of technology, performance flavour or luxury appeal, looking and feeling very much in step with what we’ve come to expect from a contemporary high-performance BMW.

There is, however, a degree of compromise that comes with opting for the X4 M’s sloping roofline over the more conventionally shaped X3 M Competition: rear practicality takes a hit. According to our tape measure, the X4 M Competition’s rear bench offers a typical leg room figure of 720mm, while head room stands at 920mm. Respectively, that’s 30mm and 55mm less than the standard X3 we road tested last year (which suggests the sports seats of M-cars do indeed rob a bit of leg room).

Boot space stands at 525 litres with the rear bench in place. While still usefully large, it is 25 litres less than that offered by the X3. With the bench collapsed, the boot opens out to a maximum of 1430 litres.

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