BMW has gone big on the idea of the "four-door coupe." It has "coupe" versions of several sedans and even two of its SUVs, the smaller of which is the X4. Based on BMW's more traditional X3, the X4 has many similar attributes, including higher ground clearance, good all-weather ability and a commanding view of the road. The difference is the fastback roofline that gives it a unique and sporty appearance — but at the expense of rear-seat headroom and cargo space.
Whether that's a recipe for success is debatable, but the X4 has other aspects to recommend it. Chief among them is the 355-horsepower M40i model, which has handling improvements that let it take on some of the best performance SUVs in the segment. Even if you go for the base model, it's still a quick and agile vehicle with a great view of the road ahead.
Current BMW X4
BMW sells the X4 in two trim levels, xDrive28i and M40i. Both come well equipped in terms of creature comforts, including dual-zone climate control and faux leather seats. The M40i's enhancements are mostly performance-related. Besides the larger engine, it gets an adaptive suspension and sport-themed trim upgrades, along with keyless entry and ignition and a better stereo. As with other BMW models, there are plenty of stand-alone and bundled options that increase the X4's appeal as well as its price.
To be fair, BMW doesn't try to hide the X4's less practical nature. A wide center console separates the two front seats, giving the X4's cabin a somewhat intimate feel. We like the deeply bolstered seats available as part of the M Sport package. But things aren't so good in back. BMW has dropped the rear-seat bottom cushion in an effort to improve headroom, but it doesn't help much, and in fact makes the seating position that much more awkward. Cargo space is less than what you get in a small hatchback. Still, the dash is beautifully designed, logically laid out and lined with high-quality materials. The X4's cabin is great for one or two, but not so good for three or four.
The BMW X4 xDrive28i is powered by a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. It's quite quick: We timed the X4 xDrive28i to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. The X4 M40i gets a 355-hp turbocharged inline six-cylinder. While we haven't clocked it yet, BMW says it'll go from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, which would make it one of the quickest vehicles in the segment. EPA fuel economy estimates are 23 mpg combined for the xDrive28i and 21 mpg for the M40i, the latter an especially impressive rating for such a quick and powerful vehicle.
With 8 inches of ground clearance, the BMW X4 makes a decent off-roader, but as you'd expect from a BMW, it's also pretty good on the road. The X4 xDrive28i is the poorer performer; you can really feel its 4,100-pound weight in the turns, and it's softer and less agile than other BMW SUVs. The M40i is notably better — it can go toe to toe on a curvy road with the Porsche Macan and other performance-oriented SUVs.
Used BMW X4 Models
BMW introduced the X4 as a new model in 2015 in xDrive28i and xDrive35i form. For 2016, xDrive35i models got an upgraded stereo before being replaced by a performance-oriented M40i midyear. The 2017 model received an upgraded iDrive infotainment system and a few new technology options, and there were no changes for 2018.
Read the most recent 2018 BMW X4 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used BMW X4 page.