Crossovers and SUVs are even more popular now than they were during the 1990s, and most of that has to do with the increased variety of offerings available to consumers. There is literally a CUV or SUV for any size, taste or budget. And with a total of seven SUVs in its lineup, BMW is leading the charge thanks to its fashionable, coupe-styled SUV lineup – called Sports Activity Coupes – including the all-new 2019 BMW X4.
The BMW X6 started the coupe-SUV trend back in 2007, and it was followed up by the X4 in 2015. As was the case with the original model, the 2019 BMW X4 is based off the X3, and it offers a more distinct body giving SUV buyers something a little different that isn’t necessarily for everyone’s taste. To see if it fits our taste, we recently spent a week with the 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i.
2019 BMW X4 Exterior
While the fastback roofline isn’t for everyone (and there are plenty of opinions out there), the new 2019 BMW X4 has a far more aggressive appearance than its predecessor. This design isn’t as chunky as the 2015-18 X4, and it looks more cohesive than its main rival: the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. The X4 retains an SUV-like presence, while the GLC Coupe looks like a raised up hatchback. Again, this niche coupe-SUV segment is all about pushing the limits of vehicle design, so kudos to both BMW and Mercedes for creating interesting takes on a shared theme.
This tester was equipped with the standard xLine Design package, but the X4 offers a sportier body with the M Sport Design – or you can just go ahead and by the X4 M40i. From the A-pillars forward, the X4 is fairly similar to the X3, but the big changes happen just behind the B-pillar. That’s where the roofline slopes back almost to the rear of the body leaving just a small trunk-like shelf and giving the X4 a large hatchback-like cargo opening. Like the X3, the 2019 BMW X4 has a tall ride height that provides eight inches of ground clearance, which means the X4 can be driven like an SUV. This tester was finished in Dark Graphite Metallic, which is a premium color costing an extra $550.
2019 BMW X4 Interior
The 2019 BMW X4 has more cabin space than its predecessor thanks to a body that is longer and wider (as well as two extra inches of wheelbase), but due to the sloped roof, the X4 loses about two inches of headroom and about an inch of legroom compared to the X3. That being said, there is still a decent amount of room for adult passengers to make the X4 a functional SUV with seating for five and 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space; folding the rear seats down opens up 50.5 cubic feet of space including some hidden space under the load floor. For added comfort and convenience, the X4 comes standard with the a panoramic sunroof and three-zone automatic climate control.
Except for the raked roofline, the cabin design doesn’t stray from the X3’s in terms of layout or technology. including the standard BMW navigation and 10.25-inch display that can be controlled with the touch, the iDrive controller or the optional gesture controls, which is a neat yet gimmicky to way to operate some display functions with hand movements. Gesture control is part of the $1,500 Premium Package that also adds heated steering wheel, heated front seats and a redesigned, full-color head-up display that is 75 percent larger than the 2018 X4. This tester was also equipped with the added style of the $1,700 Tacora Red Vemasca leather interior option, $1,000 Convenience Package (keyless entry, lumbar support for the front seats and satellite radio) and another $400 for the wireless smartphone charging. Apple CarPlay is standard for one year at no charge, but after that, owners must purchase the phone-pairing app.
2019 BMW X4 Powertrain
The 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i is powered by a 2.0-liter twin-turbo and direct-injected four-cylinder that produces 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque – 8 more hp and 2 fewer lb-ft of torque compared to the previous X4 xDrive28i. This engine is paired to an eight-speed automatic, and the X4 comes standard all-wheel drive; xDrive is an option on the X3. With this powertrain configuration, the 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i has EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway*. More importantly, the X4 is a sporty SUV with a zero-to-60 time of six seconds – compared to 4.6 seconds for the M40i.
With a competitive set that includes the GLC, Porsche Macan and Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the new X4 ups its game in performance and handling. For starters, the second-gen X4 has a wider track for improved stability, while its weight distribution is essentially perfect at 49.1:50.9 front to rear. Not surprising for a modern CUV/SUV, the X4 weighs in at 4,146 pounds, which is only 16 pounds more than the previous X4 and ten pounds less than the new X3. The end result is that the X4 is incredibly fun to drive (as long as you keep in mind that it’s still a five-passenger SUV with eight inches of ground clearance) yet it still delivers a smooth, quiet ride. Improving the ride and handling even better, this tester was equipped with the optional ($1,000) Dynamic Damper Control.
2019 BMW X4 Safety
The new 2019 BMW X4 has not been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but it does come standard with plenty of advanced safety features. These include BMW’s Active Guard (Frontal Collision Warning, City Collision Mitigation with Braking, Pedestrian Warning with City Braking, and Speed Limit Information) and Active Protection (pre- and post-crash safety systems). This tester also included the $500 Driving Assistance Package (active blind spot detection and lane departure warning), $700 Parking Assistance Package (Parking Assistant Plus, Active Park Distance Control and Surround View with 3D view) and the $1,700 Driving Assistance Plus Package. This latter feature delivers semi-automated driving with active cruise control with stop and go capability, active lane keeping assistant and frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation.
2019 BMW X4 Overall
With its polarizing design and smaller cabin, the 2019 BMW X4 might not be for everyone, but that’s point of these coupe-like SUVs – standing out in a sea CUVs and SUVs. The sloping roofline trades some practicality for a distinct visual appearance resulting in a fashion-forward SUV that is fun to drive. You don’t have to love the X4, but you also can’t argue with its success. Since its introduction for the 2015 model year, BMW has sold more than 200,000 X4s worldwide (about 20,000 in the U.S. alone) making the coupe SUV a global phenomenon, which means we’re probably only going to see more of these designs in the future.
Just like almost any other trendy, style-driven product, the 2019 BMW X4 commands a higher price with a starting price of $50,450**; that compares to $43,000 for the all-wheel drive X3 xDrive30i. This X4 added extra luxury, safety and technology features resulting in an as-tested price of $61,545. If you want a fun and sporty SUV that doesn’t fit in, the 2019 BMW X4 is the way to go.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation-affiliated BMW dealership and test drive the 2019 BMW X4 today!
* Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
** MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.