BMW X4 – All you need to know

BMW’s new X4 is a combination of an SUV and a four-door coupe; it perfectly mimics its larger sibling, the X6. The question is, is it still BMW enough from behind the wheel, is it practical and does a compact SUV Coupe make sense in the Indian market? We find out.

A smaller X6?

The BMW X4 gets a spare wheel that sits beneath the floor of the boot, giving way for 395 litres of luggage space, making it very practical, unlike some other luxury SUVs in which the luggage has to be placed atop the spare. The new BMW X4 looks particularly nice from the back; the width of the rear section, along with that steep rake in the windscreen, gives it a sporty look. You will also find three-dimensional cladding on the lower half of the doors and a stealthy small spoiler mounted above the rear windscreen. The up-right nose is identical to what we’ve seen on the X3, and we found it looking rather masculine from the sides. As usual, the kidney grille is huge and LED lights are from the X3. The BMW X4 is based on the CLAR platform, just like all the other BMW Cars. To help bring down the weight, BMW Cars have used aluminium and high-strength steel and there’s more room on the inside, thanks to the longer wheelbase.

Sporty and comfy

Seated in the driver’s seat, you sit high up with the A-pillars swept towards the back along with the relatively flat bonnet, giving you a good view ahead. The steering has to be manually adjusted but it gets adjustable side bolsters for the seats up-front and stuff like a head-up display. The driver’s seat provides ample thigh support, thanks to the extendable seat base and there are many high-quality elements like the leather-wrapped steering sporting metallic inserts, a glossy gear lever and the well finished pedals. The design of the dashboard is modern, as seen on other BMW Cars. You get an all-leather, soft-touch dashboard with red contrast stitching, but the touchscreen and AC controls look way too familiar. The level of quality is unmistakably good and there are lots of functional bits too, like a touchscreen, gesture control and an iDrive knob. Rear headroom isn’t the best because of its sloping roofline, but thank fully, there’s more legroom and that means the third passenger will fit in with ease. Also, the panoramic sunroof lets a lot of light into the cabin. Under thigh support at the rear is insufficient and the backrest isn’t comfortable, although it can be reclined. Visibility out the rear windscreen is terrible.

The torque

The engine spins nicely at around 3000rpm with a gentle foot on the accelerator. The engine is responsive and it pulls effortlessly; it simply darts past slow-moving cars; this straight-six has seen evolution over the years, and how. The diesel engine develops 261bhp and 620Nm of torque, and once you’re past 2000rpm, you’ll find yourself riding this huge wave of torque. Performance only betters the moment you put your foot down. The motor pulls all the way to 5000rpm, and in Sport mode, it can cross that figure easily. The X4 can sprint from 0-100kph in 6.6 seconds. Not bad. The updated motor is now more refined, something unlikely of a diesel engined BMW. The clatter from the engine is damped well.

The power

We also got our hands on the petrol version of the X4, which is a 2.0-litre, TwinPower turbo petrol four-cylinder unit. The engine makes 248bhp and 350Nm of torque. It’s certainly not as torquey as the oil-burner, but it’s happy to rev and feels quick enough. It doesn’t blast forward like the diesel version, but there’s lots of performance at your disposal. The 8-speed ZF automatic is found on both engines; this torque-converter transmission is slick, does not jerk and up-shifts nicely. It downshifts promptly too.

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