2021 BMW X4 M

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2021 BMW X4 M Review: Family-Focused Rocketship

It seemed like an inevitability that one day BMW would affix an M-badge to the rear of the X4 Sport Activity Coupe, resulting in a high-performance version called the BMW X4 M. It joins the battle for the fastest compact luxury SUV coupe, a battle that sees it duel with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 and Porsche Macan Turbo. This brawler is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and produces 473 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, with the Competition Package adding another 30 ponies on top of that. Power is sent to all fours via an eight-speed automatic transmission. It looks great and goes like an absolute bat out of hell, but the interior isn't the most spacious, although it's built with an eye for detail that stands up to the best in its class. What makes the X4 M so unique is the way it drives: it feels smaller and more capable than what the numbers suggest, and is truly one of the best driving cars in its class. Starting at $73,400, it is also one of the most affordable.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 10 /10
  • Fuel Economy 5 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2021 BMW X4 M Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 X4 M?

The 2021 BMW X4 M is at the receiving end of a few notable changes. Standard equipment for 2021 includes SiriusXM with 360L and a one-year all-access subscription, and Android Auto. The biggest change for the new model year has to be the Competition Package, which is no longer a standalone trim, but is now an actual package, as the name suggests. The rest of the features remain the same, which means you get a good helping of goodies.

Pros and Cons

  • Awesomely powerful
  • Excellent grip and handling
  • Sleek Styling
  • Premium interior
  • Android Auto compatibility finally included
  • The ride can get stiff
  • Rear visibility and headroom is tight
  • Cargo space isn't great

What's the Price of the 2021 BMW X4 M?

You're going to have to cough up some serious dough to get behind the wheel of this blistering mom-mobile. BMW asks a base price of $73,400 for the privilege of owning one, but the good news is that the BMW X4 M's price is relatively low compared to competitors. The Porsche Macan Turbo starts with an MSRP of $84,600 while the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe which costs $76,500 as a 2020 model with an increase likely for 2021. These two can also be loaded with options to drive the price sky-high, but the X4 M, even when fully loaded, tops out at $92,100.

Best Deals on 2021 BMW X4 M

2021 BMW X4 M Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.0L Twin-Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 BMW X4 M Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

It is truly amazing how far manufacturers have come in their ability to make large cars feel small. We're not saying the X4 M is massive, but it is still a tall car with SUV aspirations, but what BMW has managed to do here is truly astounding. Out on the road, it feels beautifully well-rounded from a handling perspective, but even in its softest drive modes, the suspension feels filled with concrete. Still, that's a compromise you're going to have to be willing to make if you want this level of performance. The X4 M rides on coil springs that have been set up for sporty driving, and this can be felt at lower speeds, where the ride can feel jarring over rough surfaces. On the highway, in its most comfortable setting, the X4 M will make for a pleasurable travel companion. Sport and Sport Plus modes are best reserved for the track, where glassy surfaces help to avoid jarring crashes, but even still, it feels unnecessarily stiff.

The X4 M's all-wheel-drive system allows for a rear-biased mode, which grants some tail-happy skids, and the traction control can be fully deactivated for even more trouble. But despite the rear bias, it's amazingly stable around corners and manages to keep its nose flat and tucked at all times, belying its high-riding nature almost entirely. The brakes are sharp and suit the X4 M's dynamic ability to a tee. Fitting the Competition package means a set of thicker anti-roll bars and a set of 21-inch wheels that do nothing for road comfort, but if, for some reason, you regularly track your SUV, it will shave split seconds off your lap times.

Verdict: Is the 2021 BMW X4 M A Good SUV?

The X4 M can be viewed in two ways: It's either a rock hard performance SUV that shows a giant middle finger to the concept of comfort and practicality for the sake of style and performance, or, it's an over-engineered machine that compromises on the essence of what an SUV is supposed to be. While the high levels of performance simply can't be disputed, we tend to be of the opinion that the X4 M is a little too harsh for day to day life. The fact that an owner is unlikely to take an SUV to a track day further cements this notion, as it's not like the compromise is made up for in other logical avenues. Sure, it's the most spacious of the other coupe-like crossovers, and the tech, safety, and convenience features are all impressive, but it's just a little too hardcore for what the average buyer in this segment is looking for. A Macan is more comfortable, albeit at a far higher price, and the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 has more comfort and more character. Still, as a taste of what's to come in the BMW M4, the X4 M is a mighty impressive engineering feat.

What BMW X4 M Model Should I Buy?

You only get one option for 2021, so you'll have to tick some options to spec your X4 M above the base model. If it were up to us, we would opt for a Dark Graphite Metallic paint job. Inside, we would get Merino leather seats finished in Tartufo, which requires the $950 M Sport seats to be added, but we'd retain the standard carbon fiber trim. Of the packages on offer, we wouldn't be able to say no to the luxury-packed Executive Package for the extra practicality and comfort of heating for both front and rear seats, Parking Assistant Plus, a head-up display, gesture control, and wireless phone charging. For some added sportiness we would also go for the M Carbon Exterior Package to get the M carbon rear spoiler, M carbon mirror caps, as well as single-piece carbon finishers around the exhaust pipes.

Check out other BMW X4 Styles

2021 BMW X4 M Comparisons

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 SUV Mercedes-Benz
Porsche Macan Turbo Porsche

2021 BMW X4 M vs Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 SUV

The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 is one of the fastest SUVs globally with a sub-eight-minute lap time around the Nurburgring in S form, and one of the X4 M's chief competitors. This mega SUV packs a serious punch, but at the same time is a refined daily driver and practical cruiser. Under the hood lies a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 producing 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, which is lower than the X4 M, but the S version ups those outputs to 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque; a serious power difference. The 0 to 60 time is dealt with in 3.6 seconds, which destroys the X4 M's time of four seconds. On the road, the GLC63 is the more relaxed and comfortable car to drive, especially at low speeds, fitting the bill better as a luxury SUV. The BMW is sharper, however, but pays for this with a rock hard ride. The interior of the Mercedes is a more special place to be in, and the craftsmanship is impeccable. At $76,500, the Merc isn't much more expensive, and we feel it makes for a better daily driver.

See Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 SUV Review

2021 BMW X4 M vs Porsche Macan Turbo

The first thing worth noting is the price difference between these cars: the Porsche Macan Turbo is $11,200 more expensive than the BMW. Once you get over that fact, you can start to focus on what's really important: which one is better. The Porsche is powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces a lower 434 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. The Porsche makes the best of that power in all configurations; it has a zero to sixty time of 4.3 seconds, or 4.1 seconds with the Sport Chrono package, but still won't match the BMW for acceleration. On the road, the Macan is either pillowy or stiff, thanks to its bipolar adaptive suspension, but either way you swing it, it handles great and is just as good at hitting the corners. The interior is a grand place to be but suffers from the same limited back seat space thanks to a sloping rear roof. The Porsche also doesn't offer as much tech as the BMW, and you'll have to fork out for optional extras to match the level of goodies in the Bimmer. The Macan does, however, offer slightly more cargo space with the seats folded down, but it's not enough to pay $11k extra for. Both are highly accomplished, but the BMW is the better performance deal for the money.

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