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.
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.
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.
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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.