The 2019 BMW X4 is all-new this year, marking the second generation of this luxury SUV. It shows off updated styling, new safety and convenience features, and the powerful performance that’s a hallmark of BMW vehicles.
Two available trims start with the base X4 xDrive30i at $50,450. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter twin turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This was our test vehicle and it delivered a responsive ride with no hesitation when you press on the gas.
Those wanting an extra level of performance have the option of the X4 M40i with its 3.0-liter twin turbocharged 6-cylinder. It has 355 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque with additional performance enhancements for the true driving enthusiast at $60,450. All-wheel drive is standard on both.
The X4 is part performance vehicle and part luxury car in either trim, so as aggressive as it is, there’s no harshness to the ride. You hear the engine when you accelerate, but still somewhat muted, so conversations between front and rear passengers never require raising your voice.
Handling is on the sporty side with tight, centered steering that lets the driver stay in control yet relaxed. A range of drive modes – Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ – let you tailor the feel of the X4 and get just as much of a performance vibe as you want out of your SUV. There are also steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for those who want an added layer of control.
The ride is smooth whether it’s rough pavement or more uneven rural roads, with minimal bounce and sway when you hit the inevitable New England pothole. This year’s X4 has an improved suspension system that reacts better to changes in the road surface and keeps the vehicle more planted, so driving is less taxing.
This is a luxury vehicle with the expected rich interior, but it’s not what you get in the typical luxury sedan. Rather than going overboard to make it feel like a couch on wheels, the X4 never forgets its performance underpinnings.
Standard leatherette seating surfaces cover sport seats with heavy bolstering. They are 10-way adjustable up front, making it easy to find a good seating position, but that bolstering may prove a bit snug for those with a larger frame. The seats are comfortable, supportive, and perfect for keeping you in your seat during more spirited driving.
There’s room for five passengers with a backseat that can truly hold three adults. While shoulder room is ample and even legroom is good, headroom may prove an issue. The X4 has a fastback roofline that slopes down dramatically, so make sure you let the tall guy sit up front.
Infotainment on the X4 includes a standard 10.25-inch touchscreen that you can control in four different ways. In addition to the touchscreen, it responds to voice commands, has a center console controller, and optional Gesture Control. The most novel option of the lot is the Gesture Control. It works well, but if you tend to talk with your hands, be prepared to accidentally tell it to do things.
There’s no Android Auto, but there is Apple CarPlay, and it’ll cost you. While other automakers offer this connectivity feature free on equipped models, BMW offers it free only for the first year. Afterwards, this is a subscription service. It’s an unexpected expense, albeit a small one, especially on an otherwise well-equipped luxury vehicle.
Standard safety on the X4 includes Active Guard with city collision mitigation with braking, speed limit information, pedestrian warning with city braking, and frontal collision warning. Numerous additional features are available including active cruise control with stop and go, active lane keeping assist, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.
The 2019 BMW X4 succeeds in delivering the flexibility of an SUV with the features of a luxury car —without sacrificing on performance. Look for it in your local dealership today.