The BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe, launched in 2014, is all new for its second generation for 2019, with sportier proportions, a wider track, lower center of gravity, improved aerodynamics, and updated suspension settings.
The X4 commands attention with a coupe-like roofline, athletic curves, and compelling color choices.
A new panoramic two-panel moon roof lets in more light and air, with a power shade to reduce glare as needed.
The X4 now has three-zone climate control and a segment-leading 75 percent larger multicolor head-up display. Standard Navigation Professional has a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen display, iDrive Touch Controller on the center console, and cloud-powered intelligent voice control, real-time traffic, and parking information. Navigation directions and other driver-related information are displayed on the HUD just below the driver’s field of vision.
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X4 has standard Active Guard with Frontal Collision Warning, Automatic City Collision Mitigation and Braking including Daytime Pedestrian Detection, and Speed Limit Information.
The standard Active Protection pre- and post-crash safety system identifies critical situations and acts before, during, and after an incident.
Two models are available: xDrive 30i, starting at $50,450; and M40i, from $60,450. Both have standalone design features and model-specific 19-inch light-alloy wheels. Colors, wheels, and interior trims vary depending on the trim chosen.
A 248-horsepower 2.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo inline four-cylinder engine powers the xDrive 30i, while a 3.0-liter BMW M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine powers the M40i, both paired with an eight-speed Sport Steptronic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters, and Launch Control function.
BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive is standard, as well as Driving Dynamics Control with Sport, Comfort, Eco Pro, and Sport Plus modes.
XDrive permanent all-wheel drive is lighter and more efficient, with precise electronic control of the rear-biased 40/60 system changing when road surface or driving conditions change, enhancing traction over loose terrain for tremendous off-road capabilities.
The Dynamic Stability Control system with Antilock Braking, Brake Drying, Dynamic Traction Control, Automatic Differential Brake, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Standby, Brake Fade Compensation, Start-Off Assistant and Hill Descent Control enhances the sporty, sure footed handling of the X4. DSC maximizes traction to all wheels, detects over- and under-steering, and maintains control even in adverse conditions or on tough surfaces.
Performance Control torque vectoring works with DSC, varying drive torque to the rear wheels according to the situation at hand to help eliminate under- and over-steer and increase directional stability.
My xDrive 30i was an xLine sub-trim with special front and rear underguard elements and rocker panels in Glacier Silver metallic that accentuated the vehicle’s off-road appearance, and window surrounds and styling accents in satin aluminum. The M Sport sub-trim starts at $53,170, with exclusive packages, fewer exterior colors, and changes in the interior.
The Dark Graphite Metallic exterior ($550) of my X4 was one of nine available. Alpine White and Jet Black are standard, while Black Sapphire Metallic (blue/black), Dark Olive Metallic (black/green), Flamenco Red Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, and Phytonic Blue (deep royal) add $550.
XDrive 30i offers eight interior color and material combinations: Canberra Beige/Black SensaTec , Black SensaTec; and Canberra Beige/Black, exclusive Tacora Red (mine), Black, Mocha, Oyster, and Cognac Vernasca leather (finer grain) with contrast stitching and piping ($1,700).
The instrument panel and door shoulders are standard SensaTec. Interior trims are available in Dark Oak Wood, Aluminum (mine), Fineline Cove Matte Wood, and Gray Poplar Wood.
The large BMW chrome-trimmed kidney grille had a three-dimensional look with black bars trimmed in silver and silver accents in the resulting pockets. Horizontal LED fog lights were integrated into the outer air intakes. Dynamic twin LED headlights had a cornering function.
A smoothly rising sill line and an elongated Hofmeister kink at the base of the C-pillar, along with a shoulder line following the door handles to the three-dimensional LED rear lights, and the roofline dipping steeply to the rear, emphasized the dynamic character of the X4. Clean horizontal lines across the back and wide-set twin exhaust tips magnified the width of the rear.
Standard 19-inch light-alloy wheels were replaced by 20-inch Y-spoke bi-color orbit gray wheels, wearing low-profile, performance run-flat tires ($950).
The interior was roomy and inviting, with redesigned sports seats featuring boldly contoured bolsters for excellent lateral support and manual thigh extensions on the front seats.
Aluminum trim pieces had accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, giving the doors and center stack an air of elegance. The upper door accent pieces extended to meet the dash, where an “X” logo was embossed into the surface – an unexpected, eye-catching detail.
Well-placed, easy-to-use controls were set in glossy black. Ambient lighting in six selectable colors surrounded the center stack and instrument panel, highlighted the door panels, and accented the footwells.
Large storage trays, roomy door pockets, lots of cupholders and smaller compartments offered plenty of places to stow personal items. Multiple USB ports and a wireless charging pad ($400) under the center stack kept passengers connected.
Three full-size seats in the rear with adjustable back had an additional inch of legroom, a 12-volt outlet, and adjustable temperature controls. My X4 had Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices.
Cargo capacity in the trunk was 18.5 cubic feet, with a maximum of 50.5 cubic feet with the 40/20/40 rear seat backs folded. Additional hidden storage was available under the cargo floor. Sliding multifunction tie-downs were located on tracks on each side of the cargo floor.
BMW’s Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information with updates every three minutes advise the driver of traffic incidents on the current route – green is flowing traffic, yellow is minor or modest congestion, and red is heavy congestion. During route guidance, events on the calculated route are overlaid on the map.
The iDrive operating system provides more flexible and ergonomic control of vehicle, navigation, communication, and infotainment functions, with tile-style menu layout on the freestanding monitor. The latest voice control allows natural speech patterns to find points of interest, such as “find a bakery near me.”
A Premium Package ($1,600) included Gesture Control, allowing driver or passenger to adjust volume, accept or reject calls, and otherwise interact with the iDrive system with hand movements. The package brought a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and the head-up display. Comfort access keyless entry, lumbar support and SiriusXM radio were included in a Convenience Package for $1,000.
Driving Assistance ($500) and Driving Assistant Plus ($1,700) brought Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert rear, and Speed Limit Information; Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance, Traffic Jam Assistant, Evasion Aid, and Cross Traffic alert front and rear.
BMW Connected digital services are iOS and Android compatible – customers can use Amazon Echo or Google Assistant to remotely check fuel levels, lock the vehicle, activate climate control and more.
Crowd-sourced vehicle-to-vehicle communication with digital mapping company Here sends advance warning of hazardous traffic situations to the navigation system of the pertinent vehicle and other BMWs in the vicinity. It’s sort of BMWs interpretation of radio-to-radio information for truckers.
A Parking Assistance Package ($700) helps locate a parking space, then steers the vehicle into the spot, either parallel or perpendicular. The package included Parking Assistant Plus, Active Park Distance Control, a rearview camera, and Surround View with 3-D view. Parking Assistant Plus has the ability to park the vehicle remotely, using a compatible mobile device.
ParkNow and On-Street Parking Information, available in select cities, allow the driver to search remotely for available parking, and to book and pay electronically where applicable.
Dynamic Damper Control ($1,000) adjusts suspension settings on the fly, monitoring each wheel, adjusting compression and rebound from soft to firm, depending on the current driving conditions, for the most comfort and best handling possible.
Standard safety measures included Active Protection, which pre-tensions belts and closes windows and the moon roof when an accident situation is imminent. An Attentiveness Assistant monitors the driver’s behavior for signs of fatigue or inattention, then displays a notification suggesting a break.
Night Vision Pedestrian Detection illuminates the person or animal, flashing a red icon, sounds an alarm and prepares the brakes. Intelligent Emergency Call has automatic location and severity detection, even below the threshold for air-bag deployment, and help is available at the push of a button, or automatically if needed.
With a ground clearance of eight inches and a fording depth of 19.6 inches, the BMW X4 is ready to conquer nearly any terrain.
My X4 was attractive, comfortable, versatile and well equipped with lots of special features. With $10,100 in options and added features, and $995 destination charges, my X4 delivered for $61,545.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at email@example.com