2018 BMW X4

2018 BMW X4 M40i Review

The BMW X4 looks cool, but its reduced utility is hard to swallow.
by Mark Takahashi
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

How much are you willing to sacrifice for fashion? This is an important question to answer as it will largely dictate how much appeal the 2018 BMW X4 is going to have for you. The X4 is a lot like the larger BMW X6. Both have a distinct sloping rear roofline for a coupelike profile, plus plenty of aggressive styling flourishes to up the sporty quotient. Compared to the X3 on which it is based, the X4 certainly looks cooler. But let's not forget what the "U" in SUV stands for — utility. That fastback rear hatch significantly cuts into cargo capacity as well as rear-passenger space.

If style is a priority for your small luxury crossover SUV, the 2018 BMW X4 is certainly a strong contender. But for everybody else, we suggest checking out more capable alternatives, some of which are within BMW's own model lineup.

What's new for 2018

The BMW X4 returns unchanged for 2018.

We recommend

The 2018 BMW X4 xDrive28i is already a potent little performer and will satisfy the majority of drivers. Almost all of the features from the range-topping M40i are available as options, so you won't be missing much other than the overabundance of power.

BMW's suite of advanced safety features is among the best in the industry, so for either the xDrive28i or the M40i, we'd recommend adding the Driving Assistance package. Otherwise, we caution against adding much else since options are expensive and quickly send the price into another bracket.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 BMW X4 is a compact luxury SUV with a sloping rear roofline, much like the larger but equally sleek BMW X6. It is available in two trim levels: the xDrive28i and M40i. The xDrive 28i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (240 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque) while the M40i gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder (355 hp, 343 lb-ft). Both come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Standard xDrive28i features include 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic adaptive xenon headlights, LED foglights, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, a power liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, selectable drive modes and cruise control.

On the inside, the features list continues with dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats with driver memory functions, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, simulated leather upholstery, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, a universal garage door opener, BMW Assist emergency telematics, BMW's iDrive infotainment system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, and a nine-speaker CD player with HD radio and USB-auxiliary input.

Stepping up to the X4 M40i will add an adaptive suspension, keyless entry and ignition, and a premium Harman Kardon audio system with satellite radio. It also comes with the M Sport package that includes unique aerodynamic exterior touches, black exterior trim, a sport-tuned suspension, an increased top speed, sport seats and a sport steering wheel.

Bundled options include the Cold Weather package (heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and headlight washers); the Driving Assistance package (forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, a head-up display and a speed limit display); and the Parking Assistance package (a surround-view camera system and an automated parking system). The M40i is also eligible for the Lighting package (adaptive LED headlights and automatic high beams). Other add-ons include a navigation system, a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 BMW X4 xDrive28i (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current X4 has received some revisions, including an update to BMW's iDrive infotainment system. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's X4.

Edmunds Scorecard



With either engine, the X4 delivers quick acceleration for the class. The M40i is for the few who seek a high-performing overkill SUV with superb handling capabilities. The xDrive28i isn't as great in the corners but does have a more comfortable ride quality.


The 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder gets the X4 to 60 mph in 6 seconds, which is darn quick. The eight-speed automatic has sport and manual shift options, the latter controlled by the shift lever or wheel-mounted paddles.


The pedal feel is reassuringly firm yet easy to modulate for around-town duty. It stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is average. Brake drying, standby, hill-hold, hill descent control and fade compensation are standard.


The steering doesn't exhibit the kind of precision we normally associate with BMWs. Still pretty accurate and it turns in corners quickly. But the X4, at just over 4,100 pounds, feels heavy through corners.


Considerable body roll around turns, a bit more than we expected considering our test car had the M Sport package. Still, the xDrive all-wheel-drive system puts the power down effectively to all four tires.


Dynamically the X4 is not as light on its feet as other BMW SUVs, but it should still deliver enough sport for most. Great stability at speed on the highway. All-wheel-drive components hamper low-speed maneuvering a bit.


The X4 is a somewhat capable off-roader, with standard all-wheel drive. Hill descent control helps, too, along with just over 8 inches of ground clearance.


Front-seat comfort is adequate, with the M Sport seats gaining an edge for support. Rear seats are mounted low yet still lack enough headroom for taller passengers. This is one of the prices you pay for that sloping rear roofline.

Seat comfort

We like the M Sport package's front seats. They are highly adjustable and offer appropriate lumbar and lateral support for most body types. Some may find the large bolstering intrusive.

Ride comfort

The optional M Sport suspension gives a sporty-firm ride, which isn't helped by the stiff sidewalls of the 19-inch Goodyear Eagle LS-2 run-flat tires.

Noise & vibration

Sound isolation is excellent. Hardly any noise of any kind reaches the cabin, whether tire, wind or road. The only exception is the growl from the turbo four-cylinder when the tachometer gets near redline.


The materials quality matches that of the rest of the BMW lineup, which is to say it's really quite good. Combined with the upmarket design, it feels right for the price. Controls are logically placed and easy to use.

Ease of use

All primary and secondary controls are within easy reach of the driver. A manual tilt-and-telescoping wheel helps with the driving position. Those new to BMW will need a course in iDrive, though it has become a much more intuitive system.

Getting in/getting out

The X4's step-in height is reasonable even for shorter drivers, and the roof is high enough to give a tall driver suitable head clearance when stepping in. The doors open wide and aren't too heavy.


The X4 is built to technically seat five, but three people across the back seat will be tight unless they are kids. Up-front accommodations can be called "comfortably snug."


Forward visibility is average for a small SUV and enhanced at night thanks to standard xenon adaptive headlights. Rearward sightlines are similar to the larger X5, about the norm for this segment. A rearview camera is available.


We encountered zero build quality issues. The X4 exhibited the high level of fitment we've come to expect from BMW. Everything about the X4 feels solid and durable.


There's only 17.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, or 49.4 cubic feet with them folded down. This is smaller than in some hatchbacks, which could spell trouble for bulkier items. Interior storage could be better, too, especially with the shallow center armrest bin.

Small-item storage

The door pockets are wide. Usable space in the center armrest bin is minimal.

Cargo space

The X4 delivers hatchback versatility, with a 40/20/40-split folding second row. The cargo area holds two full-size suitcases or four golf bags behind the second row.


BMW's iDrive system continues to evolve in the right direction. Yes, it takes some time to fully acclimate to, but it can become second nature with ease. The advanced safety features are well tuned to avoid false alarms yet effective when you need them to be.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.