The second generation of BMW’s X4 SUV/crossover/coupe has just hit the virtual streets. The X4 is one of those fast-backed, coupe-like SUV crossovers that most Americans don’t fully embrace, but Europeans really seem to love. Although that form factor is obviously going to compromise cargo capacity, it does look much better than the traditional “two-box” truck design.
Look, I, like any other self-respecting gearhead love the fastback design, shoot even the name is totally boss. When it comes to applying the fastback design to trucks, well, that’s when things get kind of iffy. On the one hand, it takes away from the practicality aspect. On the other, we’re not talking real trucks here, and we’re not even talking real off-road oriented SUVs. So what’s the big deal if you give up a little interior volume for looking chic und moderne and everso continental?
The thumbnail sketch of the 2019 X4 – which BMW wincingly refers to as the “eye-catching athlete” – is how it’s chocked full of tech gizmos and performance goodies. It will be available as either the X4 M40i or xDrive30i. The track is wider so the center of gravity is much lower and, with its “latest generation suspension,” BMW says it’s fun to drive. There’s the standard “Navigation Professional” with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, an iDrive Touch Controller, and real-time traffic and parking information. There’s a multi-color heads-up display which is 75 percent larger for 2019.
Power & Performance
All this stylish, high-tech slathered goodness is powered down der Bahn by a rather nice set of drivetrain options. Hey, you do know that “M” in BMW stands for “Motor” right? The “normal” option is the Bavarian’s four-cylinder engine found in the X4 xDrive30i. It’s good for 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. 60 mph comes up in 6 seconds, which is pretty quick, when you realize this thing weighs about 2.8 Lotuses. The 4-banger uses BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology, High Precision Injection, Double-VANOS variable camshaft control, and the VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing system.
If you take it up a notch (and we here at Automoblog generally recommend taking it up a notch), the BMW M Performance model comes with an inline six-cylinder engine. That plant cranks out 355 horsepower and 365 lb-ft. of torque, with 60 mph coming up in 4.6 seconds. In short, go with this model.
Power hits the road through an eight-speed Steptronic transmission with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive standard. If you’d like, gear selections can be done manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. Also standard is a Launch Control function. Why? Why would you need something like that on a (potentially) off-road going vehicle? Spaß! Lots and lots of Spaß! If you desire less Spaß, the standard-fit Driving Experience Control switch lets you choose from Sport, Comfort, and Eco Pro modes. If you buy either the M40i or the xDrive30i, a Sport+ mode is added.
Safety & Security
Also standard is Active Guard with Frontal Collision Warning and Automatic City Collision Mitigation and Braking. Active Guard also includes Daytime Pedestrian Detection and Speed Limit Information. Not sure what happens to peds at night, but let’s not ask, shall we? Active Protection is standard, which is a collection of pre and post-crash safety systems that identify and act before, during, and after an incident.
Pretty & Functional
And even though it is relatively fast and sporty looking, the 2019 BMW X4 is actually functional as an SUV/crossover. There are heated and electrically-adjustable seats, active seat ventilation, and three-zone automatic climate control with separately adjustable temperature controls in the rear (so you can get the passengers to shut up). The standard panoramic moonroof has much larger dimensions than the previous model too.
There are three full-size seats fitted in the rear compartment and the trunk has a capacity of 18.5 cubic feet which can be expanded to a max of 50.5 cubic feet by folding down the rear backrests with the standard 40:20:40 split. For “added ease” (cough, fat Americans, cough) the backrest sections can be released remotely from the trunk. There are additional compartments, USB ports, and 12V sockets, as well as functional hooks and rails in the trunk.
The 2019 BMW X4 will be available in July with prices starting at $50,450 for the 30i and $60,450 for the M40i, which, I’ve got to say, is reasonable.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.