The luxury SUV market is in full bloom, which inadvertently means stiffer competition and the subsequent striving of manufacturers to produce increasingly better representatives of the class. The BMW X4 is an excellent example of how far the compact luxury SUV has come in the past decade. A comparison between this Bimmer and competitors such as the Porsche Macan reveals a balanced car that justifies its $51,600 base price. For 2021, BMW offers the X4 in two configurations, namely the xDrive30i and M40i. The xDrive30i packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, while the more powerful M40i gets a force-fed 3.0-liter inline-six engine producing 382 horsepower. Power in both trims is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. With fierce competition from the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe, the X4 has its work cut out for it.
The 2021 BMW X4 is not all-new, but gets some tasteful new standard features, making this compact crossover SUV even more attractive to new buyers. New standard equipment includes SiriusXM with 360L and a one-year subscription and Android Auto compatibility. The X4 M40i also gets standard wireless phone charging and a WiFi hotspot. In terms of safety, the X4 now includes standard active driving assist. Dark Olive has been removed from the color options list, and various changes have been made to the available packages and standalone options.
The USA is in love with the luxury SUV, especially those that look like coupes, and if that's what you're after, then the BMW X4 is the one for you. As with its rival, the Porsche Macan, the X4 features a sloping rear end and a bold front end and is a muscular thing, to be sure. Standard exterior features on the xDrive30i include 19-inch Y-spoke ferric grey wheels, high-gloss chrome tailpipes, LED headlights, a panoramic moonroof, and a power tailgate. The M40i gets 19-inch M Double-spoke bi-color wheels, black chrome tailpipe finishers, an aerodynamic kit, Shadowline exterior trim, and Cerium Grey style trim on the air intakes and kidney grille slats.
It isn't easy to judge the size of the X4 purely by looking at photos, but it is safe to say that this compact luxury SUV doesn't seem so compact in reality. As a crossover, the BMW X4 is similar in dimensions to the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and measures in with a total length of 187.5 inches in xDrive30i guise, with the M40i being 0.1 inches shorter. The width of the xDrive30i is 75.5 inches excluding mirrors, and 76.3 inches for the M40i. The height of both cars is 63.8 inches. The xDrive30i is the lightest with a curb weight of 4,138 pounds, while the M40i tips the scales at 4,284 lbs.
The X4 is not a bad looking car by any means; its coupe-like sloping roof and bold front end give it a muscular and purposeful look that has attracted thousands of buyers already, and with the right choice of color, the X4 becomes a real head-turner. The xDrive30i is offered in a choice of nine colors, with Alpine White and Jet Black being the only no-cost options. The metallic options on offer include Carbon Black, Black Sapphire, Glacier Silver, Mineral White, and Dark Graphite, all of which will cost you an additional $550. Exotic colors such as Flamenco Red and Phytonic Blue are exciting options and cost the same. Carbon Black Metallic requires you to spec the M Sport package as well as the Convenience Package, however, substantially increasing your overall bill. The M40i loses out on Jet Black, but gains exclusive access to Sunstone metallic for $1,950. Dark Olive has been discontinued for 2021.
When it comes to the performance of the 2021 BMW X4, there is no wrong choice; both engine options deliver an impressive punch that will make the competition tremble at the knees. The most powerful of the bunch is the beastly M40i, powered by a silky smooth yet deceptively powerful 3.0-liter turbo inline six-cylinder engine producing 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. Get behind the steering wheel of the M40i, plant your right foot, and the 0 to 60 sprint will take only 4.4 seconds, which is three tenths quicker than the Porsche Macan GTS. The M40i will continue to a top speed of 130 mph on all-season tires or 155 mph on summer tires with increased top speed limiter. If you're in no rush, then the xDrive30i is definitely the one to go for. It might be down on power with 245 hp available from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine compared to the GLC coupe's 255 hp, yet it will sprint to sixty in six seconds, two tenths quicker than the Merc, and offers more than enough go for most.
The US market is blessed with two very competent engine options. The xDrive30i features the less powerful, but eminently capable 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces a notable 245 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This powerplant covers a beautiful spread of low down torque, making it easy to live with in the city. The good times don't end there, and on the highway, this powerplant still has more than enough go to see off slower traffic and will comfortably cruise at higher speeds. If you want to get your blood pumping, however, then nothing other than the M40i and its 3.0-liter engine will do. This turbocharged 3.0-liter six delivers a brutal 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque, which makes the M40i a very powerful performer and it will suck you into your seat at any given opportunity. It also makes an epic highway cruiser that will brush slower-moving cars aside as if they were standing still. If you can afford it, get it. Both trims channel their power to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic that delivers crisp shifts and feels expertly intuitive when the need arises for a more aggressive driving style.
Today's compact luxury SUVs drive and handle better than some performance sedans from just a few years ago, so there is no real excuse for this segment of the market. With stiff competition from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, BMW has made sure to pull out all the stops on its X4. The X4 gets a more rigid suspension setup from the factory, with both the xDrive30i and M40i featuring M Sport suspension, while the M40i also features adaptive dampers. Out in the wild, the X4 is more than comfortable enough at lower speeds, although it's not as soft-sprung as the X3. Some might consider it stiff, but it's not overbearing by any means, and out on the highway, the X4 feels well-planted and comfortable. Seeing as the X4 has some sporting blood coursing through its veins, it should be worth noting that it grips for dear life through corners without showing much body roll, and one can feel power being sent to the rear wheels when driven with anger. The overall experience would be more exciting if the steering feel weren't as numb: it's heavy but does not communicate well, even in the M40i with the adaptive dampers set to sport. A back-to-back test drive with the Porsche Macan will highlight that the Macan feels more interactive when pushing on. At least the brakes offer excellent stopping power and pedal feel in the Bimmer.
Despite its sporty appearance and actual performance capabilities, the BMW X4 will impress with its gas mileage figures. According to the EPA rating, the BMW X4 xDrive30i SUV will manage a best figure of 23/29/25 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycle. That is significantly better than the 2.0-liter Porsche Macan, which can only muster 19/23/21 mpg. It goes without saying that the 3.0-liter engine in the M40i will use more juice, and the figures show 21/27/23 mpg. Once again, those numbers best the Porsche Macan GTS, which will do 17/22/19 mpg. The X4 is fitted with a 17.2-gallon fuel tank, which gives it a maximum range of between 395 miles and 430 miles.
As is the case with most BMW products, the interior of the X4 exudes luxury and sublime build quality, although in a more demure fashion than its rival from Mercedes-Benz. The cabin features a clean layout that does away with most fussy controls. Being a compact SUV, the X4 offers lots of space in the front, but compromises in the rear, which could be an issue for taller passengers. Still, you'll be able to fit five adults without any significant complaints. Talking about seating arrangements, the seats in the X4 offer excellent support and feel more sports car-like than SUV. Notable interior features on the xDrive30i include ten-way power front sport seats with two-way power side bolsters, thigh support, memory, automatic three-zone climate control, and an automatic-dimming interior rearview mirror. The M40i spruces up the interior with 14-way power-adjustable seats and wireless phone charging, amongst others.
There is space for five inside the cabin of the BMW X4, as is the going rate amongst the competition. The good news is that getting in and out of this German SUV is a breeze for both front and rear-seat passengers, but it's a different story once you get inside. Once seated, the X4 offers decent headroom front to back, but it's in terms of legroom where things don't look too good. Those in the front will enjoy more than enough space, but backseat passengers won't have such a good time, especially taller adults. The driving position is excellent and provides ample forward visibility while not placing the driver too high up in the seat, but the sloping roofline impedes visibility out the back. The front seats in the X4 are excellent, and both the xDrive30i and M40i offer ample adjustments, including thigh support and memory settings for the driver.
No matter what spec you go for, the X4 offers an opulent user experience, thanks to BMW's excellent choice of materials used. The 2021 BMW X4 comes standard with Sensatec faux leather upholstery in Canberra Beige and Black, or plain Black. Those can be swapped out for Vernasca leather seats in your choice of Canberra Beige/Black, Tacora Red, Black, Oyster, or Cognac for a price of $1,450 but also requires that the $250 ambient lighting package be purchased.
In terms of cabin trim options, new owners can choose between Dark Oak Wood, Aluminum Rhombicle (which requires the $2,850 M Sport package on the xDrive30i) Aluminum, and Fineline Cove Matte Wood. The M40i adds Carbon Fiber to the options list for $300 (and requires the Ambient Lighting package to be added) and features a SensaTec dashboard as standard.
No matter the segment, every SUV gets judged on how much cargo space it offers, and unfortunately, the BMW X4 isn't the best contender considering its compact coupe-like design. But, it does provide adequate space for a small family. The X4 offers 18.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which trumps the 17.6 cubic feet on offer in the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. That is enough space to fit a children's bicycle, at the very least. The BMW X3, on the other hand, offers a massive 28.7 cubic feet behind the back seats. Those looking for more room will be happy to hear that the 40/20/40 split-folding seats in the X4 open up a total of 50.5 cubic feet, once again beating the GLC Coupe, which can only muster 49.4 cubic feet.
Storage space is abundant for small items: the center console storage bin, glove box, dual front and rear cupholders, front seatback pockets, and rear luggage nets will store all your bits and bobs, and there's a small storage nook under the steering wheel for the driver.
From the base model up, the X4 offers a splendid array of features that should impress even the most discerning of customers. The xDrive30i includes standard features such as advanced vehicle and key memory, ten-way power front sport seats with two-way power side bolsters, thigh support, and memory, a panoramic moonroof, three-zone automatic climate control, an automatic-dimming interior rearview mirror, and power tailgate. Also included are a three-spoke telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, and enhanced smartphone connectivity. The M40i includes keyless entry with a hands-free trunk, 14-way power front sport seats, and wireless charging. In terms of driver assistance systems, each X4 comes standard with frontal collision warning, active blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, speed limit info, and dynamic cruise control. Front and rear park distance control are also standard, together with the prerequisite rearview camera. Optional features include a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, ventilated front seats, gesture control, parking assistant plus, and ambient LED lighting, amongst others.
The iDrive 7.0 infotainment system in the 2021 BMW X4 is a good one, and offers an intuitive user experience. The system is interacted with through voice, touch, and a touchpad controller, making it rather ergonomic. This system's main feature is its generously proportioned 10.25-inch touchscreen display, which is neatly integrated into the rest of the dashboard. Standard features include BMW ConnectedDrive services, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, real-time traffic information, Bluetooth streaming, navigation, BMW Remote Services, and SiriusXM satellite radio with a one-year all-access subscription. Sound is channeled through a 205-watt system with 12 speakers, but for those who like to bump, BMW offers a 600-watt Harman Kardon system with 16 speakers.
From reviews of the X4, it seems that it is quite reliable, with a score of 80 out of 100 on the JD Power reliability rating scale. However, the X4 has been recalled numerous times, with the latest issue for 2021 pertaining to obscured images from the rearview camera. The 2020 model year was subject to seven recalls, for reasons that include steering gear tie rods that may fracture, malfunctioning seatbelt sensors, improperly tightened instrument panel casing, a potential failure in the steering rack, and front axle swivel bearings that may break.
To mitigate concerns, BMW covers the X4 with a basic four-year/50,000-mile warranty, a four-year/50,000-mile drivetrain warranty, and a maintenance plan valid for three years or 36,000 miles.
Unfortunately, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has subjected the BMW X4 to review, so there is no safety rating for it, as is often the case with luxury vehicles in this segment. Still, prospective buyers can be assured that the X4 comes standard with an impressive amount of safety gear designed to keep passengers in one piece.
Every BMW X4 comes standard with six airbags, including dual front and front side airbags. Stock-fitted to all X4s are traction control, ABS brakes, and LED headlights with cornering lights, fog lights, and a rearview camera. Also standard is front and rear park distance control, and BMW Remote Services with stolen vehicle recovery and remote door unlock. Driver assistance features include frontal collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and speed limit info. The various available packages and add-ons equip features such as a head-up display, surround-view camera system, parking assistance, and adaptive LED headlights with auto high-beam control.
If you're looking for a dynamic yet practical compact crossover that offers some good luxury features, then you can't really go wrong with the 2021 BMW X4. Sure, some competitors such as the Porsche Macan offer a more dynamic driving experience, but the BMW is one of the most well-rounded in its class. Under the hood, the X4 shines with two brilliant options. The xDrive30i offers 245 hp from its 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, while the M40i offers 382 hp from its turbocharged six. Both engines provide silky-smooth performance and offer more than enough power for everyday use. On the road, the X4 might be a bit stiff, but we'd rather call it 'athletic', and overall, it provides a well-balanced approach, despite some numb steering feedback. On the inside, the X4 offers more storage space than its rival the GLC Coupe, but like most in this category, it suffers from less than ideal rear space for rear-seat passengers. The level of standard equipment on both the xDrive30i and M40i is impressive, and the number of driver aids is admirable. Still, you'll have to cough up a significant amount of money to make it super-luxurious. Overall, the X4 offers a good-looking, great-driving package that won't let you down.
The X4 is a real premium luxury vehicle, hence its high price tag. The base model, which in this case is the xDrive30i, goes on sale for an MSRP of $51,600. This price does not include tax, registration, or a destination fee of $995. Go for the more powerful M40i, and you can expect a bill of $61,700. By comparison, the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC Coupe starts at $51,650, and the Porsche Macan at $52,100. Fully kitted, the price of a BMW X4 M40i can come close to $75k.
There are two trims to choose from for 2021, namely the xDrive30i and the M40i. The xDrive30i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine producing 245 hp and 258 lb-ft. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed transmission. The M40i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine producing 382 hp and 368 lb-ft.
Standard features on the xDrive30i include ten-way power-adjustable front seats with power side bolsters and memory, three-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a power rear tailgate, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 10.25-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth streaming, navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 12-speaker sound system.
The M40i adds keyless entry with a hands-free trunk, 14-way power-adjustable seats, and wireless phone charging. On the appearance side, the M40i gets an aerodynamic kit and Shadowline exterior trim. Standard driver assistance features include frontal collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot assist, and speed limit info across the range.
With a healthy number of standard features, most should be satisfied with what the X4 offers, but the options list is always on standby for those who want a more crafted experience. On the xDrive30i, you can go for the $1,050 Convenience package, which adds comfort keyless access, lumbar support to the front seats, wireless phone charging, and a WiFi hotspot. The $2,800 Premium package includes heated front seats, a head-up display, gesture control, wireless phone charging, a WiFi hotspot, comfort keyless access, a heated steering wheel, and added lumbar support - this costs only $1,750 on the upper-tier model which already equips some features as standard. The $5,250 Executive package ($3,700 on the M40i) further adds Parking Assistance Plus, active parking distance control, a surround camera, ambient lighting, adaptive LED headlights, and automatic high beams. For those who like the act of driving, the $1,200 Dynamic Handling package adds M Sport brakes, and dynamic damper control can be optioned onto the base model for $1,000. If you're in the sportier M40i, why not go for the $1,300 M Sport rear differential? An upgraded 16 speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system can be added to either trim for $875.
Most owners will never push the X4 to its limits, which means the extra power offered from the M40i will be underutilized most of the time. The xDrive30i also provides most of the M40i's comfort features, which means the only significant difference is how much power is available when you stab the accelerator pedal. Sure, the M40i comes with a certain amount of bragging rights and is visibly different to the base model, but if you're after the best value for money deal, the xDrive30i should be the one to go for and provides enough power for everyday use, better fuel economy, and a good list of standard features that can be bolstered by the available packages.
The X6 is now in its third generation and was the first to introduce the coupe-SUV body style, all-new for 2020; the X6 is a serious piece of equipment in any trim level. Under the hood of the X6 lies a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six that develops 335 hp and 331 hp in its base model, while the X6 M50i is powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. In M50i configuration, the X6 will sprint to sixty in 4.1 seconds. The sDrive40i will return the best fuel economy figure at 21/26/23 mpg, making it significantly more thirsty than the X4 xDrive30i with its 2.0-liter engine. On the road, the X6 feels sharp and shows little body roll through the corners, but as with the X4, it offers little steering feedback. The X6 provides superior interior space and significantly more room in the trunk, too, at 27.4 cubic feet. Both cars offer a modern and stylish interior. The X6 offers a slightly more extensive list of features and shares the same infotainment operating system. The X6 range starts with an MSRP of $65,050 for the base model, climbing to $86,250, significantly more than a fully-kitted X4 M40i. If you're after more space and pace, the X6 is the one to go for.
As BMW's best-selling compact luxury SUV in the US, the X3 has a lot going for it and offers something for everyone. The X3 is offered in sDrive30i, xDrive30i, X3 M40i, and xDrive30e configurations. The base model is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four producing 248 hp and 258 lb-ft. The quickest of the bunch is the M40i with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six making 382 hp. The M40i can sprint to sixty in only 4.4 seconds. The sDrive30i will return a best fuel economy figure of 25/29/27, beating the X4. The X3 offers class-leading handling on the road but can feel a bit jarring when fitted with larger wheels. The interior of the X3 is a classy affair, and while the front seats don't offer as much adjustability as in the X4, the X3 provides more seating space. The cargo area is also significantly larger at 28.7 cubic feet. The X4 offers a few more exclusive features, but both are closely matched. The X3 is priced from $43,000 for the base model and $56,600 for the M40i. Get the X3 if you need the extra cargo and interior space; your family will thank you.