It's as if the X6 made a Mini Me. Just as the oddly proportioned X6 Sport Activity Coupe took the perfectly sporty-looking BMW X5 and made it into the oddly proportioned, goofy-roofed big seller it is, so the X4 adds the goofy roof and unusual proportions to meld the mutant flanks of all 3- and 4-series vehicles into this everlasting whole. It's a four-door/coupe/SUV/SAV/everything vehicle that is smaller and less expensive than the similarly mold-breaking X6 but slightly heavier and a little less practical than the BMW X3. Look at it from the side profile to best behold its terrible splendor. Or recoil in horror at the stylish love child of an X3 and a Tatra.
BMW puts it this way: “The X4… blends the hallmark features of the successful BMW X family with the sporting elegance of a classical coupe, and introduces the unique Sports Activity Coupe concept to the premium midsize segment.” See? Even BMW doesn't know what to make of it.
The X4 starts on an X3 chassis, lowers the roof an inch and a half and stiffens up the body so that it is, “significantly more dynamic.” The seats ride almost an inch lower, too. The steering system sports a new rack controlled by new electronics. In fact, the Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control and all the other Dynamic algorithms are “sportier” on the X4 than they ever were on X3. So, too, the springs, dampers, bars and steering are all “sportier,” BMW says.
Engines are likewise lively. We in the U.S. get a choice of two: a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbo four and a 300-hp, 3.0-liter turbo six. Both engines drive all four wheels through BMW's xDrive.
What's It Like To Drive?
We drove the 3.0-liter six with the M Sport package with 19-inch wheels instead of 18s, sport seats and some aero trim. Immediately we realized we were having a whole lot of fun on some powerfully twisty roads in northern Spain. Indeed, we had a lot more fun than we ever should have had in something this SUV-like. Pretty early on we figured out the best way to corner was to just throw the whole contraption into a turn then step on the gas somewhere around the middle of it and steer our way out.
As you would expect, there was more body roll than in a comparable sedan or coupe but you can quickly figure out exactly how much body roll is coming. Then you just time your reactions to the roll stiffness and ja wohl mein kleine schweindhunde, you're having fun. The surprising thing was how fun an SAV/SAC/SUV could be. We carved through mountain roads all day and didn't want to give up the wheel or hand over the keys when our turn was up.
The ZF eight-speed automatic was easy and fun to paddle-shift up and down as we flew through the turns, matching revs on downshifts and snapping up through the box exiting corners and flying down straights. Electric power steering boxes get better and better with each generation and this one felt as precise as the best of them in all conditions.
BMW claims 0-60 times of 6.0 and 5.2 seconds for the two U.S. spec vehicles and we don't doubt those numbers, though we didn't run any of our own.
Do I Want One?
You'd have to like that roofline. If you do, and you want something with practicality that is somewhere between a sedan, wagon, coupe, SUV and a Munich municipal transit bus, this could be for you. It's sportier than an X3 but not as practical, giving up some room in the rear as it does. BMW execs at first say there is no competition for it, but when you pester them they'll admit they consider the Porsche Macan a rival. You could also add the Audi Q5, Range Rover Evoque and still-on-dealer-lots Acura ZDX.
Prices for the X4 start at $45,625 but option packages on our X4 xDrive35i tester, including M Sport, lighting package, dynamic damper control and more ran the price tag up over 60 grand. Yowp! That's a lot of coin for a style-happy sport-oriented X3. You can decide for yourself if it's worth it when sales start in the U.S. July 12.
2015 BMW X4 SUV price and specifications
On Sale: July 12
Base Price: $45,625
Drivetrain: 2.0-liter turbo four, AWD, eight-speed automatic
Output: 240 hp at 5,000-6,500 rpm, 258 lb-ft at 1,450-4,800 rpm
Curb Weight: 4,130 lb
0-60: 6.0 sec (mfg.)
Fuel Efficiency: TBA
Article SOURCE: this factual content has not been modified from the source. This content is syndicated news that can be used for your research, and we hope that it can help your productivity. This content is strictly for educational purposes and is not made for any kind of commercial purposes of this blog.