Does BMW’s second take at the X4 improve the formula?
It’s easy to get jaded in a world of 700-800 horsepower Hellcats and Demons. The 355 horsepower under the hood of the new X4 M40i xDrive may sound pedestrian and uneventful, but this is not the case. The 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 has the same power output as before, but it packs 22 lb-ft of torque more than the outgoing X4. That’s 365 lb-ft of torque that gives the new crossover enough push off the line to make it exciting to drive. BMW says that a 0-60 MPH run will be over with in 4.6 seconds, and the number sounds believable. The xDrive all-wheel-drive system provides enough grip to launch the no-so-light X4 off the line.
With Sport Plus mode enabled and the accelerator pinned to the floor, the X4’s exhaust note is aggressive enough to put a smile on ones face, but not too loud to wake all the neighbors.
I had the pleasure to drive the new X4 around BMW’s own track at the BMW Performance Center in South Carolina. This is where the X4 really shined. Generally speaking, tall crossovers and SUVs are never that good around a race track. They tend to be heavy and high off the ground. The new X4 seems to be ignoring most of the laws of physics. When equipped with all of the M Performance parts, the X4 M40i stays flat through corners, has plentiful grip, and maintains a neutral balance. It does not plow forward in the corners (understeer), nor it does not really kick its tail out too much either (oversteer).
It’s still a BMW
I am not a racing driver, and a vast majority of X4 owners would not take it to the race track. How does the car behave in normal driving? It is still a typical BMW experience. You can switch between Eco, Comfort, and Sport modes to adjust the car to your driving mood. The differences between the modes are not that jarring, but it’s still there for you. Driving the X4 around town, you often forget that you are in a crossover. It feels more like a low-slung sedan or a coupe.
Visibility out the back is limited by the sloping roof and the small rear window, but driver aides such as blind spot monitoring, and the 360-degree camera are there to help.
In short, if you are looking for more style, luxury, and performance than a more traditional SUV – the X4 is worth a look.