By Nauman Farooq
Just over a decade ago, BMW started the whole SUV coupe segment, when it unveiled the first ever X6. A few years later, the X4 was added to their line-up, as a smaller, more affordable variant of the X6.
Like them or not, these models have done well enough for BMW to continue with this genre, and while BMW is probably only months away from unveiling the third-generation model of the X6, it had launched the second-generation model of the X4 just last year.
The new X4 is currently available with two engine options (a third is on its way, soon) – a turbocharged four-cylinder, or a turbocharged six-cylinder – and I recently got to spend time with the more potent version, called the M40i. Here’s how we got along!
Styling: Aesthetics are a very individual thing, because not everyone has to agree as to what looks good, and what doesn’t! Personally, I have never been a fan of the SUV coupe genre, or at least I haven’t seen one that has hit the styling mark just right. I will say, that the new X4 looks better than the model it replaces, and if you’re buying one, pick a darker colour, and not red – like my tester.
Interior: Step inside, and it will be a familiar habitat to anyone who has been in recent BMW models. That’s not a bad thing; because it looks good, you get all the toys you need (at least, through options), and once seated, you’ll find everything just falls perfectly into place. BMW might not offer the flashiest interiors currently in the business, but they are very functional.
As you’d expect with an SUV coupe – which BMW actually like to refer to as SAV: Sport Activity Vehicle – headroom for rear seat passengers isn’t great, and while the trunk is fairly long and wide, it’s not very tall. So, if you want an X4 but need more practicality, buy an X3 instead.
Powertrain: Under the hood of the X4 M40i, lives one firecracker of an engine! It is a twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0L inline-six cylinder motor that produces 355 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. Power is fed to all-wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is not only smooth, but changes gears faster than you can blink!
Performance: Couple that power with its quick gearbox, and an intelligent all-wheel drive system, and you end up with a seriously quick machine! The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is over in about 4.6 seconds, and if you find a long enough race track to test out its top speed, it’ll hit 250 km/h – that’s seriously fast!
Driving Dynamics: Here’s the thing, you don’t need to go flat out in the X4 M40i, it is a joy to drive, even at saner speeds!
I love the way the motor purrs along, it always sounds eager to pounce. The motor and gearbox are very reactive, so when you need to quickly overtake anyone, just dab the throttle, and the deed is done!
Plus, it rides well, and the handling can shame many sports cars – the X4 is not just a BMW by badge, it is a worthy member of their tag line: The Ultimate Driving Machine.
Fuel Economy: According to my test cycle (170 km of highway driving + 130 km of city driving), I averaged 11.5 L/100 KM. Given that it only likes to drink premium fuel, and the price of fuel is seemingly forever going up, this is not a cheap vehicle to run. However, I would point out, that other sporty vehicles of this sort drink as much – and in many cases, drink even more fuel.
However, the fun I had driving it, I just didn’t care how much I was spending at the pumps, because I was satisfied with the result.
Pricing: The 2019 BMW X4 M40i is yours from $66,000. My tester, which was very nicely equipped, was worth almost $80,000 – so it’s certainly not for the masses!
Verdict: In many ways, the 2019 BMW X4 M40i doesn’t make sense! It isn’t the most spacious vehicle you can buy for the money, nor is it the prettiest. It’s not even the fastest thing you can buy for about $80K, so you’d be wondering, what’s the appeal?
The appeal is, that it does everything so well, it leaves you feeling very satisfied. If I had a sports car, and needed an every day vehicle, this won’t be it. However, if I needed one vehicle to do the daily chores, and then excite on the weekends, than the X4 M40i would satisfy like few others.
I’d certainly have one, if I had to have just one vehicle – and I would order mine black.