26-12-2019

BMW X4- Driven

REVIEWS

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You loved the BMW X3, for its practicality, for its space, for its features, for its comfort and for its go anywhere attitude.

But then you always felt, there is something missing. Something is not pushing you to just cut a cheque, and simply go and hand it over at the BMW dealership near you. The driver in you is not happy. The X3 is probably missing something, it is missing the X. No, we don’t mean the X Drive, it is Real Time All Wheel Drive anyways, but the oomph factor is missing.

That is where the, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the BMW X4 enters our lives. It gets the same practicality of the X3, is as comfortable as the X3, has a go anywhere attitude just like the X3, probably misses out on some goodie features here and there, but makes for it, big time, by bringing in wide smile on your face, every time you tap the throttle. And the reason for it is the trim that it is available in- 30D. Yes, you heard it right, BMW offers the X4 in a 3.0 ltr guise, and the coupe like silhouette adds that much oomph factor to it too. Slotted perfectly between the X3 and X5, this X4 brings in lot of fun behind that practicality and lot of attitude behind oomph.

Before we go to understand, how does the X4 fit you right, let’s understand why BMW in the first place got the X4.

The first generation of X4 launched in 2014 in New York Auto Show, primarily to bring in the oomph factor to their otherwise boring looking X range of SAV’s. Mercedes-Benz was quick enough to react and launch their coupe version of the GLC, rightfully called the GLC Coupe. However, where the GLC Coupe still comes across as a non drivers car, the X4 was able to edge ahead with its spot on driving dynamics and hoot of an engine, whether in the 30d guise of 40i guise.

Globally, the second generation of the X4 was launched in mid of 2018 and BMW India, was quick enough to announce it and bring it to India too. We are Motorise, did cover the India Launch of the X4 on our website.

With around 2.38 lac cars sold of the first generation variant itself, customers have taken to some liking for this ultra cool SAV from the BMW, the X4.

Shall we take a look at the design now.

Design Language - Exteriors

X4 slots beautifully well between the modern X3 and sophisticated X5. The coupe like design brings in fresh air of oomph factor to an otherwise boring SUV’s that are on sale in the market. Look at the X4 from the rear 3/4th quarter, and you just can’t take your eyes off it. It looks smashing.

For starters, lets start talking about the rear first, rather than talking about the front up-front. The highlighter at the rear is the coupe like swooping down, which gives it the oomph factor. The trade off however, is an reduced boot space as compared to the X3. However having said that, the boot is absolutely usable as it is flat. The cover for the spare tire is gas strut operated, which comes handy, should you need to use the spare tire.

On the sides, the three dimensional cladding running along the bottom, of the doors is a highlighter. Thanks to the sloping roofline, the car looks bulkier from the side. The ///M batch sits proudly on the front fenders, telling that the X4 on the interiors comes with M package. The chrome line accentuates the window line, adding in a doze of premiumness and breaking the monotony on the side.

Look at the car upfront and you know it’s a BMW from the word go. The front sports the trademark kidney Grille, flanked by all LED double barrel headlights, and a LED fog lights on the rear part of the front bumper. Look closer and you realise, that the kidney grille is a static grille, unlike the X3 or X5 which sport the active air damn kidney grille. The front bumper does look sporty.

Design Language- Interiors

Open the door, step inside the front seats and the first thing you notice is the X4 looks absolutely identical to the X3. The only way to tell, that you are in a X4, is the nomenclature below which reads out X4. You sit quite high in the X4, that gives a commanding view outside the windshield. The three spoke steering wheel, is chunky to hold, but gets manual adjustments for reach and rake, which at this price point is a bummer. The seats are quite comfortable and they come with adjustable side bolsters and thigh support extenders, help you find a comfortable seating position.The upper portion of the dash is finished in soft touch leather which adds to the premiumness. All the materials around are of top notch quality. The cabin is absolutely comfortable and well build. Just as the X3, the X4 does come with gesture controls, which help you control the volume or change tracks on gestures.

The i-Drive, as always is very intuitive to use and it can be controlled by the I drive scroller next to the gear lever, or buttons on the steering wheel or simply use voice commands to use it. The storage space below the centre console houses wireless charging pad, which also wirelessly pairs the iPhone for Apple CarPlay.The ambient lighting in the X4 is more pronounced just as in the 530d, with similar six dimmable color options (Orange, Lilac, Mint, Bronze, Blue and White) to suit every individuals taste and needs.

Now lets step at the back seat to see how the car fairs on the rear, considering the SAV comes with a sloping roof line. The seat cushions are comfortable, the angle of the seats is adjustable as BMW offers marginal reclining seats. Knee room is plenty, even if the front seat is set for a 6 footer driver, headroom, surprisingly is good even though the X4 comes with a sloping roof. Only people with 6 ft and above height are going to find it tight, otherwise for normal joes, the headroom is pretty much decent. The window line is high, so kids may struggle to see out, however the good news is, the ambient lights and BMW’s optional accessory, rear entertainment screen can keep them occupied.

In Car Entertainment

We had the X4 in the M Sport Trim, which comes with a 10.0 inch screen, doubling up as the SAV’s central command centre as well as audio unit.

Powering this 10.0 inch audio screen is 16 speakers, 600 watts high end surround system from Harmon Kardon, which boasts of high fidelity sound. The bass notes are deeper and richer. Connectivity options include wireless Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and USB. While the Bowers and Wilkins setup in the Volvo XC60 blows your mind away, the Harmon Kardon system in the X4 is not far behind.

Performance- Engine and Gearbox

In India, BMW offers the X4 with three engine options, the X20D, the X30D and the X30i. While the 30D gets a 6 cylinder motor, the 30i is traditional 4 cylinder petrol. However, don’t discount it yet, the X30i churns out healthy 252 HP of power and 350 NM of torque. What we had for the review is the much famed X30D.

Mechanically, the X4 comes with the same engine as the 530d M-Sport. As with this Straight Six Diesel Motor, it churns out a healthy 265 horses, while the max torque is rated at 620 NM. BMW claims a 0-100 time of 6.0-secs and a top-speed of 250 kph (limited electronically). Another area this engine supersedes its peers is the refinement. The engine is absolutely silent inside the cabin, you don’t hear a murmur.

The Inline-6 diesel motor is mated to an 8-speed Gearbox from ZF. As with the gearbox, the shifts are lightning fast and that’s a good thing. The gearbox knows what exactly you want and executes your command without any drama.

Performance- Ride, Handling and Drivability

As like all BMWs, the X4 is super fun to drive. The steering responds well to inputs and is well weighted. Grip levels are fantastic too. Body roll is well under control around corners despite the size and braking is good at all times. Have you ever seen a missile go by? Well, floor the pedal in the X4 and you will not only see how a missile goes by, but will get to feel it also. Performance from this 6 cylinder engine is ballistic and the handling is spot on.

Even though the X4 comes with 19 inch rims, ride is comfortable, sure the suspensions are set on a stiffer side, but BMW has adjusted the dampers to make it comfortable, ensuring that the potholes or uneven terrains don’t filter in.

There are quite a few drive-modes to choose from in the X4. There’s Eco-Pro, Comfort, Sport, Individual and Adaptive. The Eco-Pro helps in extracting that every extra bit of fuel which might help you save some money but you’ll have to sacrifice drivability for that. For those city drives, Comfort Mode goes about doing the job; it controls the 265 HP aggression well, and helps you maintain the pace with the start-stop traffic.Out on the highway, switch to the sport mode, and then this beast leaps forward like no one’s business. The moment you switch to Sport Plus mode, the beast unleashes its true potential and then, she plasters a wide grin on your face. However, the smarter mode between all of them is the Adaptive Mode, as it constantly adapts to your driving style and keeps shuffling between softening the suspensions and stiffening the suspensions, basis the road conditions, speed and your throttle inputs.

Even though the X4 comes with explosive engine, it is happy to chug along in the city traffic too, without causing any heart burns or hiccups. Keep the throttle inputs gentle and this SAV humbly will follow anything in front of it, without sweating much. But show her the freeways, that is where she goes in her zone.

The Verdict

Didn’t we start by saying that you loved the X3 for its practicality, for its space and for its features. But then what it lacked was an oomph factor, what it lacked was an attitude, what it lacked was power, and BMW wishes to answer those questions which were running in your mind.

Is X4 practical, sure it is, it has space almost as equivalent as the X3, features though are a mix bag, you get some and you lose some, but what it adds to its character line is the oomph factor, which X3 missed. With oomph factor, BMW also has added the much needed power. So if looks and performance are your on the top of the list features, apart from the goodies the X3 offered, X4 is the right SAV for you.

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About Author
Nilesh Sawant
Nilesh Sawant

With an experience of over 3 lac kms of driving across the continents and with extensive experience of driving on the tracks, and passion for technical things around anything on wheels, reviews written by Nilesh are crisp and to the point.  



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