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2019 BMW X4 First Look Review: Your X3 Coupe Has Arrived

First Look / Comments

The new 2019 BMW X4 is your more exclusive—and pricer—X3 alternative

BMW has finally dropped official details on its second-generation X4, four years after the German automaker showed the world how serious it was about coupe-ifiying its SUV lineup with the first-generation model. Essentially a lengthened, swoopier X3, the 2019 BMW X4—dubbed G02 by BMW engineers and fanboys—uses the same engines and running gear as its slightly smaller sibling. However, the X4 is the definition of a niche player in the American market, having sold no more than 6,500 units annually since its initial debut in 2014.

For comparison, BMW has routinely sold over 30,000 examples of the X3 each year since 2014, hitting a high-water mark of 44,196 sales in 2016. BMW is hoping the X4's two available engines will power it to more success in the future. Replacing the naturally aspirated inline-6 in base xDrive30i models is the job of a new 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder producing 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, with peak torque available between 1,450 and 4,800 rpm. Those numbers make the xDrive30i no slouch, propelling the model to 60 mph in 6 seconds. The uprated M40i hides a more potent 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 beneath its hood with 355 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque on tap.

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Those output figures result in a swifter sprint to 60 mph of 4.6 seconds, aided by standard launch control. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually via paddles mounted on the steering wheel, and an all new, rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Additionally, the X4's standard Driver Experience Control allows drivers to select between Sport, Sport+, Comfort, and Eco Pro driving modes. BMW did not provide fuel economy estimates for the new X4, but expect a slight improvement in consumption thanks to improved aerodynamics and further light weighting of its body.

The German automaker has thoroughly reworked the X4's suspension by reducing unsprung mass to keep its available 19-, 20-, and 21-inch wheels planted. All X4 models are fitted with M Sport-tuned suspension and variable sport steering, which relies on electric power steering to adjust its speed-sensitive Servotronic power assistance system. Further aiding handling are a host of other systems, including automatic differential brake, cornering brake control, start-off assistant, and hill descent control in addition to the typical stability, traction, and anti-lock braking systems expected of any modern vehicle. The M40i is enhanced with larger M Sport brakes, M Suspension with electronically controlled dampers, and a M Sport differential.

The BMW X4 arrives with a new, more aerodynamic body that borrows its face from the new X3, though BMW says the X4 exudes a more athletic persona. Compared to its previous generation, the X4 grows 3 inches in length, 2.1 inches in wheelbase, and its track is widened by 1.4 inches. If you're curious about the X4's off-road prowess, you've missed the point: BMW has dropped the new model's ride height by 0.1 inches. As before, the X4's defining roofline is paired with BMW's signature Hofmeister kink to produce a more powerful look versus the X3. But that roofline is also responsible for its truncated cargo capacity: 50.5 cubic feet with its 40:20:40-split rear seats folded down, more than 12 cubic feet fewer than the smaller X3.

A driver focused cockpit coddles front occupants in electronically adjustable, heated and ventilated seats that are heavily bolstered for improved lateral support. Rear occupants will also find an additional inch of legroom compared to the last X4. Cabin lighting can be adjusted depending on passenger preferences and a new panoramic moonroof visually opens up the interior for rear occupants. Storage trays, door pockets, and other compartments litter the X4's interior to safety stow all your possessions. As is typical with BMW, a cornucopia of interior finishes will be offered on the X4. The xDrive30i comes equipped with what BMW calls its xLine interior, featuring Dark Oak Wood trim and pearl-effect chrome accents to brighten up the cabin.

Surfaces are wrapped in Sensatec—BMW's trade name for its faux-leather vinyl covering—though that can be replaced with Vernasca leather, available in red or black with your choice of blue or red contrast stitching. Leather is standard in M40i models, but can be further enhanced with choices from BMW Individual, such as Merino leather in multiple colors. X4 drivers are greeted by a new, standard 10.25-inch touchscreen with Navigation Professional, real-time traffic, and parking information. It's supported by a 75-percent larger head-up display, so drivers can more easily stay informed with their eyes front and center.

Those willing to spend more dough can opt for the optional Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster, a configurable display that replaces traditional analog dials. A new three-zone climate control further increases the level of comfort in the new X4. Still, performance and comfort mean nothing if a vehicle won't keep you safe in an unfortunate event. Therefore, BMW has added adaptive cruise control, which can be used in stop-and-go traffic, along with blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, daytime pedestrian protection, front collision warning with city collision mitigation, rear cross traffic alert, and a host of other active safety features to keep you and your passengers from getting in trouble in the first place.

Both X4 models will be available at launch: the X4 xDrive30i starts at $50,450 and the X4 M40i will cost exactly ten grand more at $60,450, plus destination. More detailed pricing will be available closer to launch. BMW will build the all-new 2019 BMW X4 at its U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. First examples arrive at U.S. dealers this July.