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The BMW X4 is the latest model to join the German brand’s popular line-up of SUVs.

The X4 is to the X3 what the X6 is to the X5 – a coupe-style derivative that aims to attract buyers more on its design and sportier intent than its practicality.

Here’s CarAdvice’s quick, 10-step guide to the new BMW X4 that goes on sale in Australia in June.

Didn’t the X6 polarise opinions when it launched back in 2008
It was certainly a controversial for BMW at the time, with plenty of media criticism aimed at the fact the X6 cost more than an X5 but was less practical despite being larger. But the model has been a success, with 250,000 X6s sold globally so far. If anything, it’s surprising it’s taken this long for a smaller version to reach showrooms.

So it will be more expensive than the X3?
Yes, the X4 starts from $69,900 and will carry a premium of between $9000 and $10,500 over the equivalent X3. However, BMW Australia says the X4 includes additional features valued at about $9000. These include a standard automatic tailgate.

And less practical?
Affirmative again. That plunging roofline chops 50 litres off for a still-useful 500 litres. There’s a bigger loss for total storage space with rear seats folding, with the X4’s 1400 litres 200L shy of the X3. There are three seats in the rear, though.

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The X4 obviously looks different to the X3 but they must share some exterior parts?
Yes, the bonnet, kidney grille, headlights and front quarter panels are all shared with the X3. The X4 features a sportier front end, however, with huge air intakes.

What makes the X4 sportier than an X3 beyond the exterior design?
Standard on the X4 is a torque vectoring system, which BMW calls Performance Control, which can increase torque to the outer rear wheel to help push it around a corner faster. A sporty steering set-up that can vary its speed is also included.
Seating that is lower than in the X3 – 20mm in front, 28mm in the rear – should also add to the sense of sportiness.

The usual choice of petrol and diesel engines can be expected?
Four choices all up – comprising two of each in both 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo and 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo guise. On the petrol side there’s the $69,900 xDrive20i with 135kW of power and 270Nm of torque, and the $87,900 xDrive35i with 225kW/400Nm. In the diesel-powered half is the $73,400 xDrive20d with 140kW/400Nm, and the $83,900 xDrive30d with 190kW/560Nm.

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I want the fastest X4 – that’d be the 35i, yes?
Yes and no. The xDrive35i will be the fastest X4 available with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.5 seconds but local showrooms won’t be getting the xDrive35d diesel that is three-tenths quicker. An X4 M is yet to be confirmed but would be expected down the track to eventually join the second-generation X5 M and X6 M due in 2015.

And the xDrive20d would be the pick if I want to use less fuel…?
A straight yes here. The four-cylinder turbo diesel version of the X4 has official consumption of 5.2 litres per 100km. The 30d is next best with 5.9L/100km. Figures rise to 7.2L/100km and 8.3L/100km respectively for the 20i and 35i petrols.

Which competitor vehicles will the BMW X4 go up against?
Four-cylinder X4s would be natural rivals for the Range Rover Evoque, while the six-cylinder petrol and diesel versions are priced in the proximity of the new Porsche Macan that is offered with the same style engines.

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What about Audi and Mercedes-Benz?
BMW’s compatriots aren’t ignoring the sporty SUV. Audi has confirmed a Q6 model – based on the Q5, of course – is going into production, while Mercedes has also set out its plan to go in the direction of coupe-style SUVs. It has already shown the MLC-Class that rivals the X6, and is also planning a swoopy-roofed SUV based on the upcoming, second-generation GLK that will directly compete with the X4.

Is the X4 genuinely sportier to drive than the X3?
Find out in our review of the BMW X4.




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