BMW X4 Review 2024

Written by Richard Aucock

7/10
heycar ratingThe fashionable alternative to a BMW X3
  • 2018
  • SUV
  • Petrol, Diesel

Quick overview

Pros

  • More stylish than a traditional SUV
  • Fine handling and engaging to drive
  • Generous levels of standard equipment

Cons

  • Less practical than an SUV, due to sleeker body
  • Only one petrol engine available
  • Not everyone is sold on the idea of SUV coupes

Overall verdict on the BMW X4

“If you love the idea of the BMW X3, but wish it was just a little more stylish, the X4 is for you. Combining fine driving dynamics with a high-end interior, plus a generous standard specification, there is a lot to like about it.”

BMW X4 Review 2024

SUV coupes remain a controversial topic for many car enthusiasts, who point out their inherent compromises, but their growing popularity means they must be doing something right.


Given the proliferation of regular SUVs on our streets, it can feel hard to stand out from the masses. This is where the SUV coupe comes into its own.


What makes the BMW X4 such a winner is its combination of a traditional SUV raised ride height with more fashionable coupe-esque styling. Whether the X4’s design floats your boat is, of course, a matter of personal preference, but it arguably is more interesting to look at than the BMW X3 on which it is based.


The downside to choosing a crossover coupe over a traditional upright SUV is the loss of interior space. Crafting a curvy roofline has to make an impact somewhere, with rear headroom and luggage capacity being the areas affected inside the X4. It can still accommodate a generous 525 litres of cargo in the boot, though, while the back seats are acceptable for children and smaller adults.


Regardless of space, the BMW X4 boasts a high-quality interior, packed with technology and standard equipment. Recent versions have been offered solely in M Sport trim, with a combination of sportier styling and plenty of standard features. LED headlights, M Sport styling and leatherette upholstery are all included.


BMW has opted for a diesel-heavy engine range, which seems a little unusual in 2023. However, all the engine options for the BMW X4 deliver on both performance and fuel efficiency. The xDrive20d diesel can average almost 50mpg, but still accelerate from 0-62mph in less than eight seconds. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive is standard across the range, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission.


Where the X4 really stands out is when it comes to the driving experience. It handles better than the equivalent BMW X3 – and indeed better than some actual sports cars – such is its level of grip and corning composure.


Such a package means the BMW X4 has proven popular with buyers in the UK, and there are now plenty of models to choose from on the used market.


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Should you like the idea of the BMW X3, but find the styling just a little too ordinary, the X4 is the option for you. Replacing the X3’s upright rear end with a more curvaceous design certainly makes the X4 more distinctive to look at, whilst retaining the same all-wheel-drive ability.


Making a commitment to automotive fashion comes with a cost, though. The interior of the BMW X4 is less practical than the equivalent X3, with reduced luggage capacity and a lower roofline in the rear.


BMW’s engine range for the X4 is heavily leveraged in favour of diesel power, which won’t suit all tastes. A plug-in hybrid option is noticeable by its absence from the lineup.


When it comes to picking the best trim level, BMW has made life fairly easy. Today, there is only M Sport specification left in the main model range, alongside the performance X4 M40i and M40d versions.


BMW did previously offer other trim levels, but M Sport is the easiest one to find when searching in the used marketplace.


This is because it combines a generous level of standard equipment, including everything from satellite navigation to heated sports seats and a rear-view camera. An M Sport bodykit, 19-inch alloy wheels and adaptive LED headlights ensure it looks the part, too.


BMW offers the X4 primarily with diesel power, and the 2.0-litre xDrive20d is likely to be all the engine most buyers require. It blends a decent level of performance with the potential to average almost 50mpg.


The other engines available in the X4 do provide more power, but we reckon the xDrive20d is the sweet-spot in the range.

BMW may have invented the crossover coupe segment with the X6, but the BMW X4 now has plenty of competition from similar models. The Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and Audi Q5 Sportback are the closest alternatives, having followed the same formula.


The BMW manages to be a better drive than the Audi or Mercedes-Benz, although the latter boasts a slightly more luxurious interior. Continuing the BMW crossover coupe theme, but with more space, there is the larger X6 model as well.


Naturally, the most obvious alternative to the BMW X4 is the X3 on which it is based. It may not be as stylish, but the X3 does offer a touch more practicality.

Comfort and design: BMW X4 interior

“BMW is known for producing high-quality interiors, and the X4 doesn’t divert from that reputation. Everything looks and feels classy and comfortable, making long journeys an absolute pleasure.”

BMW X4 Review 2024

In some ways. picking an SUV coupe means getting the best of both worlds: stylish looks and the same raised driving position as found in a traditional crossover. The BMW X4 is no exception, offering a commanding view ahead to make life easier when threading through traffic.


Supportive and comfortable sports seats add to a sense of luxury and sportiness inside the X4, with a figure-hugging fit around the waist. Even with Sensatec leatherette trim, there is no chance of sliding around. The M40i and M40d models benefit from Vernasca leather upholstery, combined with electrical adjustment for the front seats and a memory function.


A slightly older model in the BMW range, the interior of the X4 combines technology and practical design. There are still traditional buttons and dials for the climate control, as opposed to newer options that require the use of the central touchscreen for almost everything. This does mean more buttons and a busier layout, but everything is straightforward to use.

Along with developing a reputation for producing cars that are good to drive, BMW has also established itself as a manufacturer of high-quality interiors. The X4 delivers acres of soft-touch plastics and premium-feel components. It puts the BMW on par with the impressive Audi Q5 Sportback.


Sensatec leatherette upholstery is standard on M Sport models, with a choice of three colours available at no extra cost. Everything you touch feels precise and solid, helping to justify the X4’s premium prices.


In terms of interior accents, BMW fits a darkened Aluminium Rhombicle trim as standard, combined with a pearl-effect finisher. This can be swapped for a brighter Aluminium Fine Cutting effect free of charge. Alternatively, for an extra £165, open-pore Ash Trunkwood can be fitted. All the options look good, and reflect the X4’s high-end interior aesthetic.

In a world where infotainment systems seem capable of making or breaking ownership experiences, rest assured BMW’s iDrive setup is one of the very best around. BMW first began developing its iDrive system some two decades ago, and this shows in how logical and user-friendly it is.


With BMW having reduced the latest X4 range down to just M Sport trim and above, almost every model around is likely to come with the top iDrive infotainment system. This means a 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen, mounted in the centre of the dashboard, along with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel.


Aiding the BMW X4 infotainment experience is the iDrive rotary controller. This means, rather than having to constantly prod the touchscreen, drivers can use the rotary dial instead. It results in less time looking down at a touchscreen, and more time keeping your eyes on the road. The touchscreen itself features large, easy-to-use tiles as well.


All X4 models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus satellite navigation and DAB radio. Wireless smartphone charging can be added as part of the optional Technology Pack, which adds a premium Harman Kardon sound system as well.

One downside of picking a coupe variant over a regular SUV is the expected reduction in practicality. Being stylish does come at a cost, but the BMW X4 does not punish the fashion-conscious as much as some rivals.


Space in the front of the BMW X4 is just as generous as that found in the regular BMW X3 SUV, with plenty of room for even the tallest driver or passenger. Sizable door bins and a handy centre console mean there is plenty of storage space, too.


Where the X4’s coupe-like roofline has a noticeable impact is on space for passengers in the rear. Legroom and kneeroom are ample, but the reduction in headroom is hard to ignore. Rear passengers taller than six feet will find themselves too close to the headlining for comfort, with the optional panoramic sunroof only worsening the situation. Children and smaller adults will have no complaints, at least.


Thanks to its curvier styling, boot capacity in the BMW X4 is smaller than that offered by the X3. However, luggage space of 525 litres with the rear seats up is still practical, and only 25 litres smaller than the upright X3 SUV. It is also more than the 510-litre capacity of the rival Audi Q5 Sportback.


Drop the rear seats and the luggage capacity is boosted to a healthy 1400 litres. It all means the penalty for choosing form over function is relatively minimal when it comes to the BMW X4.

Handling and ride quality: What is the BMW X4 like to drive?

“It may have a higher ride height, but the BMW X4 genuinely seems to defy gravity with its driving experience. Sharp responses and a controlled ride make for a truly sporting SUV coupe.”

BMW X4 Review 2024

One of the main reasons for the BMW X4’s existence is to offer a more engaging driving experience than the regular X3 SUV. Given X3 is already an accomplished steer, this sets quite a high benchmark.


Fortunately, BMW has tuned the X4 to be even better, with recalibrated steering and a wider rear track. The result is an SUV coupe that feels sharp and direct on the road, and more entertaining than alternatives such as the Audi Q5 Sportback.


It is worth noting that BMW does not offer air suspension as an option for the X4. Other cars from premium brands do make this available, creating the effect of gliding along the road. Instead, BMW prefers to stick with a traditional steel suspension setup, although this hardly feels like a disadvantage.


In fact, the BMW X4’s ride quality is highly commendable for a sporty crossover coupe, with the optional adaptive system even better. The latter provides selectable levels of damper stiffness, with Comfort being surprisingly cosseting.


Opting for one of the X4 M40i or M40d models, with their larger alloy wheels, does result in a busier ride quality. However, as with the regular X4, this never borders on being unpleasant.

When it comes to engine choices, BMW has overwhelmingly favoured diesel power for the X4. The fuel may have declined in popularity, but for those doing bigger mileages, a diesel is still likely to be the most economical option. All versions of the BMW X4 come equipped with an impressive eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive.


The X4 diesel engine range kicks off with the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder xDrive20d. This serves up a handy 190PS, plus an accompanying 400Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-62mph time of less than eight seconds. Such performance is likely to be more than enough for most buyers, especially when combined with good fuel economy.


However, the X4 is even more enjoyable to drive with the xDrive30d diesel engine. The turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit produces a substantial 286PS and 620Nm of torque, making it feel much quicker on the road. Against the clock, the 0-62mph sprint takes just 5.7 seconds.


For maximum diesel power, the X4 M40d uses a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, generating a hefty 340PS. However, it is the 700Nm of torque that makes the biggest difference in the real world, helping the M40d accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds.


Such is the performance of the X4 M40d, it actually equals the petrol M40i from 0-62mph. The M40i comes has a 306PS twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine.


For even more speed, there is the 510PS BMW X4 M Competition, which we will cover separately.

When it comes to the drivetrain, every BMW X4 comes equipped with a slick-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox. This changes gear smoothly and adds to the overall impression of refinement.


The four-cylinder xDrive20d diesel can sound a little, well, diesel-like when started from cold. But the gruffness disappears on the move, fading into the background at speed.


Along with delivering effortless performance, the six-cylinder diesel engine found in the xDrive30d and M40d brings a smoother driving experience. There is very little diesel clatter; in fact, it actually sounds rather good.


Maximum aural excitement comes in the form of the petrol X4 M40i. Engage Sport mode and you can enjoy a host of pops and crackles from the exhaust system. Picking a different driving mode does quieten things down, though, which will keep your neighbours happy.


Acoustic glass is fitted to all BMW X4 models, helping reduce the overall level of noise that filters through from the outside world.

BMW fits the X4 with a good amount of safety equipment, meaning it should feel reassuring to drive on the road. Standard technology includes lane-keeping assistance, lane departure warning, cruise control with a speed limiter and autonomous city braking.


For even more safety equipment, an optional Driving Assistance Professional package comes with adaptive cruise control, automatic traffic light recognition and wrong-way warning.


Features such as standard front and rear parking sensors, along with a rear-view camera, should help avoid prangs at low speed.


The BMW X4 has not been crash-tested by the Euro NCAP organisation, but the related X3 SUV was in 2017. Back then, it received the maximum five-star rating, including an impressive 93 percent score for adult occupant protection.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a BMW X4 cost to run?

“Despite the potential for plenty of performance, the BMW X4 is relatively affordable thanks to the diesel engine options available.”

BMW X4 Review 2024

Although diesel engines may not be the most fashionable choice, they still make sense if you do a large enough mileage to make one worthwhile. BMW fits the X4 range with its Efficient Dynamics mild-hybrid technology, helping maximise fuel economy.


The X4 xDrive20d turbocharged diesel can deliver strong performance, but still manages respectable fuel economy. On the official WLTP test cycle, the xDrive20d can average 49.6mpg. The six-cylinder X4 xDrive30d can return an official combined fuel economy of 45.6mpg.


With the most performance of all the diesel X4 models, the M40d can achieve an official average of 41.5mpg. Naturally, in the real world, this will drop lower, but it makes for a high benchmark given the power on offer.


As the only petrol-powered model left in the BMW X4 range, the M40i is also the least economical. The official WLTP figures show a combined average of 31.5mpg, which is still respectable for a high-performance SUV coupe. Nonetheless, the M40d remains the more affordable choice, provided you are happy with a diesel.

In the most recent Honest John Satisfaction Index, BMW finished in the top half of the brands included. The company was rated higher than key rivals such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz – but behind the overall winner, Lexus.


The BMW X4 shares many parts with the previous-generation 3 Series Touring, which has proven to be one of the most reliable cars. New BMW X4s come as standard with a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, with roadside assistance included.

As a luxury crossover SUV coupe, the BMW X4 will be more expensive to insure than less premium rivals. However, costs can be kept down through your choice of engine.


The xDrive20d ranges from insurance group 32 through to 34 (out of 50 groups in total), depending on the exact specification. For comparison, this is lower than the group 37 rating applied to an Audi Q5 Sportback 40 TDI.


With more power, the six-cylinder BMW X4 xDrive30d starts in group 41.


Opting for either the petrol high-performance X4 M40i, or the diesel-powered X4 M40d, will up potential insurance costs. The M40i is found in group 43, while the M40d goes all the way up to group 45. This is the price you pay for extra horsepower.

Being launched in 2018 means the BMW X4 attracts a flat rate of VED (road tax) of £150 per year. However, with most examples priced at more than £40,000, the X4 will usually attract an additional payment of £390 for the first five years of road tax renewals.


Things get much more expensive if you opt for one of the performance M40i or M40d models. The petrol X4 M40i comes with a hefty first-year rate of £1,565, with the diesel M40d requiring a payment of £1,040.


Unlike the BMW X3 SUV, there is no plug-in hybrid version of the BMW X4 on sale.

How much should you be paying for a used BMW X4?

“The BMW X4 has proven popular with buyers, meaning there is plenty of choice on the used market from less than £30,000.”

BMW X4 Review 2024

Used prices for the second-generation BMW X4 are perhaps less expensive than you might imagine. The very earliest 2018 models are priced from less than £30,000, with xDrive20d M Sport versions the easiest to find.


For more performance, the BMW X4 M40d diesel can be found from around £34,000, with the petrol-powered M40i typically available to buy from £38,000 for 2019 cars.

BMW has heavily simplified the choice of trim levels for the X4, leaving a choice between M Sport or the performance M40i and M40d models.


As a result, the level of standard specification for the BMW X4 is generous, covering almost every conceivable option buyers might wish for.


This begins with a BMW M aerodynamic styling kit on the outside, which is complemented by 19-inch alloy wheels. Adaptive LED headlights, LED tail lights and LED front fog lights are fitted for good measure. BMW also adds a chrome front grille with mesh inserts, plus black Shadowline exterior trim.


On the inside, the BMW X4 M Sport features sports seats finished in perforated Sensatec leatherette upholstery, with buyers able to pick from a number of different colours. The front seats are heated, while there is also a leather-wrapped M Sport steering wheel and climate control included as standard. Aluminium Rhombicle trim, with a pearl-effect finisher, completes the interior design.


M Sport specification includes front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and cruise control. All versions of the X4 come with a 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen, combined with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. Satellite navigation, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity are included, too.


The high-performance X4 M40i and M40d models gain more equipment, such as M Sport adaptive suspension, M Sport brakes and an M Sport differential. Larger 21-inch alloy wheels are fitted, along with other details such as gloss black exhaust tailpipes and gloss black Shadowline exterior trim.


Vernasca leather is used for the upholstery, with the front seats benefiting from electrical adjustment with a memory function. Sensatec trim covers the dashboard, with M Sport seat belts to complete the package.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

The BMW X4 is still a relatively large SUV coupe, meaning its boot should be more than roomy enough for most families. Luggage capacity of 525 litres is only 25 litres less than the BMW X3, although the sloping roof makes it a less useful shape.
Every new BMW comes with a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty – similar to that offered by other premium German manufacturers. BMW Roadside Assistance is included, too.
When it comes to the regular BMW X4, the M40i and M40d versions can both accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds. However, the flagship X4 M Competition manages the same sprint in just 4.0 seconds, with a top speed of 177mph.

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