We might have taken a sure-footed sedan or a boxier SUV up Pennsylvania’s twisty mountain roads on a latest journey, however as a substitute, we buckled into the BMW X4—which blurs the traces between the 2—to see what all of the fuss is about over crossover coupes.
Day 1: Packing Out
Once we backed into the driveway, popped the trunk and began piling within the baggage and kit for an extended weekend for a household of three, the results of the X4 raked roof weren’t instantly clear. Positive, that element, which aesthetically separates a crossover coupe from a bigger, squared SUV or a curvy, conventional crossover, whittles cargo house all the way down to 18.5-cubic toes behind the rear seats, however we had sufficient room for all our baggage or your commonplace grocery retailer run. That determine jumps to 50.5-cubic toes with the rear seats folded, which isn’t massive sufficient to swallow a large Dwelling Depot haul of lumber, however it should get a big-screen TV residence with out a drawback.
Fabian Kirchbauer Pictures
Hopping in, the leather-based entrance seats are supportive, however the headroom within the rear is cramped for anybody on the taller aspect nearing 6 toes. There may be loads of rear legroom, although. We figured the attract of the crossover coupe can’t be the cargo house, which, whereas not overly missing right here, is definitely remedied by an ordinary crossover. We anticipated the following morning’s drive would actually must show the X4’s price.
Day 2: Hitting the Freeway
Whereas BMW invented the crossover coupe class again in 2009, the market has grown with choices from Mercedes-Benz, different variations within the BMW X steady, and competitors from crossover rides just like the Vary Rover Velar and Porsche Macan. What units the X4 other than BMW’s cheaper and extra common X3 is the driving expertise. Right here the M40i didn’t disappoint. The three.Zero-liter twin-turbo inline-six, pushing 355 horsepower by means of an eight-speed computerized transmission, felt responsive and fast to speed up. Shifting out of park takes some getting used to, however the middle cluster’s Sport driving mode looks like a cheat increase in a online game: It provides you an instantaneous pop of energy that makes you need to use the paddle shifters.
In comparison with the older era X4, this model is wider, a contact longer and decrease, with a lighter weight and extra aerodynamic form. We wouldn’t say it appears to be like quick, however the traces are extra refined and sportier than the earlier model. The all-wheel-drive X4 has just a few driving security options baked in, like forwarding collision warning and computerized emergency braking, however it’s the lane-keeping help that we used most throughout testing.
It’s not overly aggressive—it looks like a delicate nudge on the wheel when it sees one thing it doesn’t like—however it has what we’d name a very tight tolerance for situations it deems unacceptable. Nonetheless, it’s not so obtrusive that you simply’d need to shut the function off. The X4 wolfed up twisty mountain roads with bigger breaks, a responsive suspension, and an engine fast to speed up out of corners. This might make one spirited each day driver.
Fabian Kirchbauer Pictures
Day three: Working Round City
The problems with rear-seat headroom apart, there’s so much to love in regards to the X4’s inside. BMW’s overhaul is an enchancment from the earlier X4 and extra in keeping with the X3’s styling. Our take a look at mannequin had the non-compulsory $1,000 comfort bundle that included a surprisingly comfy lumbar help. Youngsters will get pleasure from tweaking the inside lighting coloration which, like lots of the settings, is controllable from the central iDrive display, which we discovered to be quick and intuitive to make use of.
The X4 M40i used to be a enjoyable experience, however is it for you? If patrons anticipate to have backseaters typically, there are roomier (and cheaper) choices even from inside BMW, just like the nonetheless sporty X3. Nonetheless, the X4 appears to be like spectacular, athletic, and positively stands other than boxier SUVs.
If the crossover coupe class is to proceed, we hope it strikes in direction of clearly defining itself away from the murky mixture of sport-tuned SUV or fashionable fastback.
[From: $60,450; bmwusa.com]