There were some looks of confusion and derision when BMW launched its X6 SUV/coupe towards the end of 2008.
“It’s silly,” some said. “In its attempt to be both an SUV and a sporty coupe, it misses both marks.”
Well, BMW clearly knew what it was doing, because the X6 has proved popular enough to spawn a smaller sibling. The company has now done the same thing with the X3 that it did with the X5. It took the blueprint of the popular X3 and tweaked it to create a vehicle that still boasts some of the space and versatility of an SUV, but also has the sporty lines of a coupe.
Predictably, the X4 looks an awful lot like the X6, so your opinion of BMW’s latest SUV will depend greatly on your opinion of its original SUV/coupe.
And like the X6, every aspect of the X4 has been designed to create a sportier feel and a more thrilling ride.
The driver and front passenger sit 20mm lower than in the BMW X3, for example. In conjunction with the two-seat look of the rear, this ensures that the cabin of the X4 really does have a coupe feel to it.
All X4 models have a sporty suspension set-up and come with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system with BMW’s Performance Control as standard. This ensures that drive is also split between the rear wheels continuously and as required, which further improves traction, turn-in and directional stability.
Power is provided by the usual line-up of BMW powerplants. There is the 20i petrol mill that develops 135 kW and 270 Nm of torque, as well as the 28i, which offers 180 kW and 350 Nm of torque. The largest petrol mill is the 35i, which develops a very healthy 225 kW and 400 Nm of torque.
On the diesel side, there is 30d, which offers 190 kW and 560 Nm, and the smaller 20d, with 140 kW and 400 Nm of torque on tap.
All engines are mated to BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic transmission.
The X4 will be on dealership floors from the 15th of September.