2018 BMW X4

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2018 BMW X4 Review: Hunchbacked Impracticality

by Gabe Beita Kiser

After the success of the X6, it was a no-brainer for BMW to turn their attention to making a smaller SUV coupe based on the X3. The 2018 X4 is part of the first generation introduced in 2014, and while it is designed around the X3, it is smaller and more expensive. The 2018 X4 has a two-trim range, with both models exclusively configured as all-wheel-drive. The base model xDrive28i has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while the top-end M40i is fitted with a turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine; both make use of a slick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. There are many rivals in the compact crossover segment like the Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes GLC, and the Audi Q5, and with its contentious look, nimble handling, and smooth ride quality, is able to stand its ground against competitors. The question remains, though: is it worth spending money on a niche-focused SUV with limited cargo space, cramped back seat, and pricey add-ons, all for the sake of style?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2018 BMW X4 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2017 X4?

2018 holds no new updates or changes for the BMW X4, most probably because a refreshed model is on the horizon. It carries over unchanged.

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent eight-speed transmission
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Agile handling
  • Great engine lineup
  • Well-equipped interior
  • Limited cargo space
  • Cramped rear seating
  • Options can be expensive

What's the Price of the 2018 BMW X4?

The entry-level xDrive28i starts at an MSRP of $47,600, while the M40i starts at an MSRP of $59,250. These figures exclude and registration, licensing, and taxes, as well as the $995 destination fee. Comparatively, the X3 xDrive28i starts at $42,650 and the X3 M40i starts at $54,500.

Best Deals on 2018 BMW X4

2018 BMW X4 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2018 BMW X4 Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The whole point of the X4 is to have an SUV that drives like a car, and in that respect, it mostly succeeds. The all-wheel-drive gives it phenomenal grip and aids the handling significantly. Although the weight of the X4 can be felt when cornering at speed, it sticks to the road like glue, and there's minimal body roll. As an option, BMW also offers Dynamic Damper Control to adjust the suspension according to the road conditions automatically and further improve the handling. For an SUV, the ride can be a bit harsh, but that can also be attributed to the sports-car angle that BMW is trying for as well as the 19- and 20-inch wheels. As a car with sporty aspirations, the steering feels surprisingly numb, but it gets the job done. The brakes are firm and respond without any spongy feel, performing on par for a vehicle in this segment.

While obviously not a true offroader, the X4's all-wheel drive and energetic engines make it more capable than many in its class, and as such, it's a pity that there's such limited space to pack for a weekend getaway. BMW seems to have achieved its goal of fusing a car and SUV into one to create the X4.

Verdict: Is the 2018 BMW X4 A Good SUV?

he X4 isn't easy to judge as good or bad because it is targeted at such a niche market; people who will love this vehicle are those looking for a stylish SUV with car-like performance and are happy to forego practicality, and pay more for that privilege. In terms of practicality, the X3 is a far better option because it's essentially the same car, but with more space and at a better price. However, the X4 is still a fun, distinctive vehicle in its own right. Many people love the unique look and want to break from convention. The interior is comfortable, and the options available mean you can truly customize this vehicle to suit you. The engine lineup is also brilliant and makes the X4 a fun and engaging drive - that's where the X4 starts showing why it's worth the money. After all, it's hard to put a price on the fun factor.

What BMW X4 Model Should I Buy?

The entry-level xDrive28i is a capable daily driver which has adequate power for most occasions as well as a comfortable and upmarket interior. It has many features and sticks to the road with its all-wheel-drive system. But why settle for average, when the M40i encapsulates the idea of what a sporty coupe SUV should be? It's 355 hp engine makes it a pleasure to drive, and it feels like a high-riding hot-hatch, with uncomparable fun-factor for this segment. The fact that it comes with the M Sport Package makes it even better, and the adaptive suspension further increases its sportiness. If you're going for this somewhat controversial vehicle anyway, you may as well go all-in and aim for the top-end of the range and splash out on the M40i.

2018 BMW X4 Comparisons

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe Mercedes-Benz

2018 BMW X4 vs BMW X3

It's hard to mention the X4 without talking about the X3 on which it is based. The X4 is based on the second-generation X3, which has since been replaced with the new third generation. The X3 uses similar engines and has similar model names as well. It's ironic that the X3 is newer and bigger and still costs less, despite having similar power. The X4 240 hp xDrive28i starts at $47,600, while the X3 248 hp xDrive30i starts at $42,650. At the top of the range, the X4 355 hp M40i has a base price of $59,250, and the X3's 355 hp M40i comes in at $54,500. The interior of the X3 is very similar to the X4, but it comes with additional standard features like Apple CarPlay and a touchscreen. The X3 is newer and has more space and more features for a much lower price than the X4, and it definitely makes more sense to buy.

See BMW X3 Review

2018 BMW X4 vs Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe

Every BMW model has to have a Mercedes as its nemesis, and for the X4 it's the GLC Coupe. Compared to the X4, the GLC starts at $46,600 for the entry-level GLC 300, with its 241 hp turbocharged 2.0 liter, four-cylinder engine with nine-speed automatic transmission. Next is the AMG GLC 43 at $60,400 with a 363 hp turbocharged 3.0 liter, six-cylinder, also with a nine-speed automatic. These two models compete directly with the xDrive28i, and the M40i at $47,600 and $59,250 respectively. Mercedes also has more performance-oriented models in the 503hp GLC 63 S at $80,750.

They are both similarly styled and have similar space, but the Mercedes has a slightly better interior with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay available on an 8.4-inch display. In terms of driving, they are both pleasant to drive and stick to the road. The GLC narrowly wins, only because it has more models to choose from, and those models simply blow away anything the X4 can throw at them.

See Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe Review
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