2016 BMW X4: Continuing to Fill a Crowded Segment

The compact crossover SUV market is so full and crowded that even BMW has missed a step in their numbering.  Typically with BMW when you start at a smaller number and work up the size and function of the vehicle gets larger and better as you go upward.  With this segment being so full an the X3 already on the market, BMW offered the X4 starting last year and it came in as a smaller sized vehicle than the X3, which is a lot different than what BMW normally does.

Even though it’s a smaller sized vehicle it offers what you are looking for from this segment of vehicles.  The X4 is a great SUV to drive and offers a similar feel from behind the wheel to that of a coupe with sporty dynamics and a confident ride.  Even though its built on the same platform as is larger sibling, the X4 shows up with a sportier steering and an upgraded suspension to be a great drive and a lot of fun on the road, which is where this SUV live.  The X4 is not and off roading vehicle, putting much more emphasis on the sport over the utility part of SUV.

To make these upgrades to the suspension and steering worthwhile, BMW offers two great engines to make sure we can have some fun.  The first is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that offers 240 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.  This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the benefit of the xDrive AWD system which offers fuel numbers of 20 city/28 hwy mpg.  If that’s not enough for you the other engine that can be chosen is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that carries in 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque.  This engine is mated to the same transmission and also offers AWD along with a fuel mileage that only drops slightly to 19 city/27 hwy mpg.

Even though this is an AWD vehicle in both models, it’s not really made for off road travel as it doesn’t have a tall ground clearance.  Even with that said though, the X4 is a great vehicle for use during bad weather, making it a selection that will get you through the storm or will handle heading up to the ski resort through some snow for a fun weekend on the skis or snowboarding.

On the inside of the X4 is a familiar look that is bold and dramatic.  The black dash and offsetting white seats make for a great look that makes you want to get in and take a ride.  Add the red stitching and you have a sporty look that is really hard to pass up.  There is room for five to comfortably enjoy the ride and the rear seat folds in a 40/20/40 fashion for odd cargo shapes that may be encountered.  With the seats down you can enjoy up to 49.4 cubic feet of cargo space to have a great way to get gear wherever you need to.

It’s a BMW and as such needs to give you some great features.  The X4 offers you a power hatch, run-flat tires, Bluetooth connectivity, USB functionality, BMW’s Mobile Office for email, text and other items right from your SUV, paddle shifters on the steering wheel, Dynamic Driving features that let you choose from Normal, Sport and Sport+ modes, HD Radio, rear parking assistance, and for the six-cylinder model a Harman/Kardon surround sound audio system is standard.

When you consider options, the X4 does you a favor by cutting the price of some of the packages for this new model year.  The Driver Assistance Plus package gives you blind spot detection, side and top view cameras, collision mitigation and much more is $200 less than last year.  The technology package offers navigation, head up display and real time traffic for $400 less.  The Lighting package adds LED headlights while the Premium package adds upgraded seats and leather upholstery.  The Dynamic Damper Control adjusts the suspension to give you a smooth ride over rough roads.  All of this can add a great deal of enjoyment to your daily driving of the X4.

As a luxury SUV, the X4 shows up at a pretty reasonable price that stats at $45,900 for the xDrive28i with the xDrive35i coming in at $50,250.  Add all the options and the price will come in just over the $60,000 mark.  These prices are pretty good compared to the Range Rover Evoque, which is a direct competitor.  If you are looking for a great on the road SUV that drives like a sports coupe, this is the vehicle for you.

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