BMW X4 review - What is BMW's mini X6 like?

The small SUV coupe is undoubtedly capable, but it just isn't as talented as other, more performance oriented SUVs

It’s not the fact that a billionaire reality TV star is president of the United States of America. No, the clearest sign we live in a strange and bizarre world is that the BMW X4, and cars like it, even exist. It’s a mash-up of seemingly contradicting concepts. On one hand, it’s a sleek four-door coupe, but on the other it’s an off-roader - albeit a road-biased one.

But rather than just existing, the SUV coupe genre that the X4 sits comfortably within is now completely acceptable. Not only is there BMW’s other coupe crossed with an offroader, the X6, but there is also a pair of other similarly styled cars from Mercedes - the GLC and GLE Coupes.

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Even though we're growing accustomed to the idea of these SUV coupes, the X4 is still pretty exuberant looking. And it needs to be, because it isn’t particularly memorable to drive. The X4 isn’t one of those SUVs that makes you question whether the engineers behind it used witchcraft to give it handling that belies its jacked-up ride-height. Instead it’s capable and proficient, just not exceptional.

BMW X4 in detail

Performance and 0-60 time > The X4’s performance is respectable for an SUV, if not shockingly fast.

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Engine and gearbox > Only two engines to choose from and both are turbo diesels; a 2-litre four-cylinder and a 3-litre straight-six.

Ride and handling > Comfortable at low speeds, but BMW’s SUV coupe doesn’t find an athletic side when driven harder.

MPG and running costs > Its diesel engines mean the X4 is impressively frugal, on paper.

Interior and tech > Comfy seats that can be perfectly adjusted make the X4’s interior a great place to spend time.

Design > Bold and exuberant certainly, but such distinctive looks means that the X4’s design is an acquired taste.

Prices, specs and rivals

The cheapest BMW X4 in the range is the puzzlingly named X4 xDrive20d SE, priced at £37,900. It comes with a 187bhp four-cylinder diesel engine, four-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. In terms of trim levels, xLine is the next step up and costs an extra £1500, while the optional eight-speed automatic is around £1650 more.

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The M Sport tops off the range of the 2-litre diesels costing £43,645 and is only available with an auto ‘box, as is the rest of the range from here on upwards.

The six-cylinder diesel powered X4 xDrive30d is available in both xLine and M Sport trim, costing £45,955 and £48,750 respectively. The top of the range X4, the xDrive35d, uses the same engine as the 30d but with 309bhp rather than 254bhp. It’s only available in M Sport trim and costs £51,350.

As mentioned above, Mercedes also makes a small coupe-like SUV to rival the X4, the GLC Coupe. The more ordinary models are a little more expensive than the BMW though, and the Merc starts from £40,420. However, the AMG GLC 43 with a twin-turbocharged 3-litre V6 and 362bhp is £1370 cheaper than the top of the range X4. It’s also far more entertaining to drive and the performance much more spectacular.

> Read our review of the Mercedes-AMG GLC

The car that really makes the X4 seem overpriced and impractical, though, is the BMW X3. It’s based on the same platform as the X4, but has a bigger boot and better headroom for the rear passengers and, on average, costs around £3550 less in equivalent spec.

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