Find a car review

Make
Model
Reviews

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

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

Evo rating
Price
from £37,900
  • Comfortable with a range of impressive diesel engines
  • Doesn't have the agility of other sporting SUVs

Ride and handling

With a really solid structure, a set of deeply padded seats and some high-ish profile tyres, the X4 rides in a plush and comfortable manner. Combined with the torquey 3-litre engine that barely needs more than idle revs to get the car moving at a steady pace, it certainly smooths out a road like a car befitting its premium price tag.

When presented with a more demanding road the X4 displays some respectable body control, remaining in sync with big undulations. This composure remains in corners too and, despite the taller than average centre of gravity, roll is minimal. The rear axle is especially impressive and feels more than up to the task of supporting the X4’s mass. As you guide it into a corner its weight moves to the outside rear wheel, the suspension doesn’t allow the BMW to sag or collapse over the wheel, instead it firmly props up the rear corner. No matter how hard you push and no matter what bumps the road throws at it, the rear remains composed and supportive.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

This relatively stiff rear axle lures you into thinking that the X4 might provide a pleasing amount of agility. Sadly though, the front-end simply isn’t direct enough to take advantage of the rear axle. As a result, the X4's chassis doesn’t encourage you to attack corners at any great pace. It feels somewhat inappropriate in an SUV, but a little bit of trail braking into a corner really helps the front end find significantly more bite, allowing you to carry more speed into a corner.

In all honesty, you can’t drive the X4 around like that very often, braking deep and heavily into corners. Instead you’re left trying to accelerate hard out of corners to gain speed. But the X4’s propensity to lean on its rear axle means that if you’re too eager with the throttle you unload the front tyres and get a touch of understeer. It’s a real shame because the 3-litre straight-six often finds serious punch out of corners, but the traction control frequently curtails its enthusiasm as it reins-in the understeer.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

A competent cruiser then, but not a car that finds much agility or allows a driver to feel truly involved. Considering it’s a high-riding SUV you wouldn’t have thought that would be problem, but plenty of other cars with equally impressive ground clearance are able to achieve those feats. BMW itself has shown that its capable of creating such SUVs with the X5 and X6 M, but the X4 just isn’t direct enough and doesn't posses the balance that modern performance SUVs have.

> Read our review of the BMW X6 M

Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/201772/best-v8-cars-past-and-present-our-favourite-eights-and-the-cars-theyre-found-in
Best cars

Best V8 cars past and present – our favourite eights and the cars they’re found in

Whether it’s smooth and sophisticated or motorsport-like in its aggression, the V8 remains one of our favourite engine types, warts and all
20 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/golf/21122/volkswagen-golf-mk8-spied-near-free-of-camouflage-before-october-debut
Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Volkswagen Golf Mk8 spied near-free of camouflage before October debut

All-new eighth-generation Golf is only weeks away from its reveal – this is all you need to know.
18 Sep 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22773/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-chosen-by-those-in-the-know-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - chosen by those in the know

The perfect choice for those looking to extract every last drop of performance, we run down Goodyear's Eagle F1 SuperSport range
12 Jun 2019