Combining coupe-like styling with off-road qualities in a compact SUV, the BMW X4 reaches local shores later this year.
Measuring 14mm longer and 51mm lower than the X3, the X4 rides on an identical 2810mm wheelbase albeit positioned 36mm closer to the ground.
A choice of three petrol engines and three diesels are offered, all employ turbocharging technology and all tied to BMW‘s xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Powered by a 135kW/270Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, the BMW X4 xDrive20i claims 7.2 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 168 grams per kilometre.
Using the same engine but with 180kW and 350Nm, the X4 xDrive28i claims 7.3L/100km and 169g/km. With 225kW and 400Nm, the 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder XDrive35i promises to return 8.3L/100km and 193g/km. It’s also the fastest accelerating petrol model, taking 5.5 seconds to reach 100km/h – 6.4sec for the xDrive28i, 8.1sec for the xDrive20i.
Offering model-best efficiency figures of 5.2L/100km and 138g/km (5.4L/100km and 143g/km manual), the 140kW/400Nm four-cylinder xDrive20d base diesel sits below the six-cylinder-powered 190kW/560Nm xDrive30d and 230kW/630Nm BMW xDrive35d.
BMW claims figures as low as 5.0L/100km and 131g/km are achievable with the fitment of optional reduced-rolling-resistance tyres and 17-inch Streamline-style 306 light-alloy wheels.
Available paired to a six-speed manual gearbox in xDrive20d guise and partnered exclusively with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission in xDrive20i form, all other X4 variants come with an eight-speed Steptronic sport auto. All self-shifting models are fitted with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Helping efficiency are automatic stop-start, coasting function (auto), regenerative braking, on-demand ancillary operation and selectable Eco Pro mode.
First seen in concept form at the 2013 Shanghai auto show and later in numerous spy shots, the X4 features large air intakes up front along with signature BMW twin headlights and front fog lights – the latter two both optionally available with LED technology.
L-shaped LED tail-lights, an aggressive rear bumper and a body-coloured rear diffuser panel highlight the rear end.
Inside – where drivers and front passengers sit 20mm lower and rear passengers 28mm lower than in the X3 – the five-seat X4 features high-gloss black inserts, aluminium trim strips and a standard sports leather steering wheel.
Luggage capacity is down 50L on the X3, at 500L, but is accessible via a standard-fit automatically opening tailgate that can be optioned with a Smart Opener to allow hands-free operation. The X4’s 1400-litre total capacity (with 40:20:40 split rear seat backrests down) is also 200L shy of the X3’s 1600-litre maximum.
Other standard equipment includes variable sport steering, performance control and rear parking sensors. BMW ConnectedDrive features include a full-colour head-up display, anti-dazzle high beam assistant, driving assistant plus with lane departure warning, active cruise control with stop-go function, and collision warning.
A Proactive Driving Assistant can also improve fuel saving potential by using satellite navigation route data to identify situations in advance that will require the car to slow down, such as approaching towns, and give drivers suitable recommendations.
M Sport and xLine equipment packages will also be available and include special trim, seat, upholstery and 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheel options.
Due to arrive locally in the third quarter of 2014, the BMW X4 is expected to command a $10-$12k premium over the X3, which starts at $59,000.
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