2019 BMW X4 xDrive 30i Review: Dialing Up the ‘Sport’ in Sports Activity Coupe

2019 BMW X4
2019 BMW X4. [Photo: BMW]

OVERVIEW

The second generation BMW X4 launches for the 2019 model year with two available models. The X4 xDrive30i is available for $50,450, or the BMW X4 M40i is avialable from $60,450. Both models serve up an eye-catching and sporty persona.

Its sportier drive characteristics over the previous X4 come thanks to a wider track, lower center of gravity, updated suspension and improved aerodynamics. The 2019 BMW X4 is also physically larger. The new X4 is approximately 3 inches longer, 1.4 inches wider and 0.1 shorter in height. Its wheelbase is also 2.1 inches longer than the 2018 model. Short overhangs and powerfully formed, subtly hexagonal wheel arches emphasize the nearly perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axle.

2019 BMW X4
[Photo: Arv Voss]
The introduction of the BMW X4 M40i has raised some eyebrows. After all, who really needs an M version of the X4? And for that matter, who really needs an X4 at all when we have the X3 and X5? Well, folks, in the automotive industry, need isn’t always the operative word. Customer demand more often becomes the deciding factor of a vehicles sales success. The BMW X6M became a big success, and it’s quite likely that the BMW X4 M40i will share that fate. What’s more, even this BMW X4 xDrive30i should also enjoy a high level of popularity.

The BMW X4 provides a taste of the Sports Activity Coupe concept in the premium mid-size segment. As with its larger sibling, the BMW X6, the BMW X4 offers a unique and unmistakable road presence. The appeal of the Sports Activity Coupe concept has been evidenced by the sales success of the X6 models.

While the X4 M40i will reign as the X4’s top model, the 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i is certainly no slouch in the performance arena.

ENHANCED AERO STYLING

The 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i cuts an impressive figure with its balanced proportions and distinctive image. Large air intakes positioned at the outer edges of the front fascia and precise front apron character lines display a muscular persona, lowering its visual centre of gravity more closely to the road while showcasing a sharper dynamic. This effect is further enhanced by LED fog lights positioned beneath the signature twin round headlights, defining the familiar face of every BMW X model.

In profile, the X4’s coupe-like roofline reaches its highest point over the front seats, reflecting the traditional driver focus of all BMWs, before sloping down gently toward the tailgate’s trailing edge. The stretched lines underscore the X4 ‘s sporting coupe image. The X4’s unique design is further reinforced by the fresh interpretation of the signature swage line that runs along the flanks of BMW models. which, for the first time, is split into two. The first section rises gracefully from the front wheel arches to the rear door handles, highlighting the vehicle’s dynamic ability, while the second section accentuates the powerfully sculpted rear fenders. The contoured “C”-pillars, combined with the muscular shoulders, represent a continuation of the theme, as does the broad and low-set rear end, designed to remind the driver and passengers of the performance potential offered even before they climb aboard.

2019 BMW X4
[Photo: BMW]

PERFORMANCE

The motive force for the 2019 BMW xDrive30i comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder. From that engine, you get 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The driving energy is geared to BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i has instantaneous and plentiful acceleration. Even with the smaller 2.0-liter engine, it’s definitely more than satisfying. The ride quality is comfortable, but it is on the firm side, which contributes to its stability. The technology at play is mind-boggling. But unless you drive it to extreme levels, much of the technology will probably never come into play. Even if it does, the driver will probably never really be aware of it.

2019 BMW X4
[Photo: BMW]

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

Entering the now roomier cabin, one instantly notes the premium ambience. Controls and switchgear are sensibly arranged and set off by trimmed down trim finishers. The instrument panel is set low and the slightly elevated seating position affords drivers an enhanced view of the road. The cockpit layout is driver focused helping to always create a sporty driving experience. Redesigned sports seats with boldly contoured side bolsters provide excellent lateral support particularly in spirited handling exercises.

The surfaces of the instrument panel and door paneling merge smoothly into one another, while the X logos embossed into the electroplated surfaces of the front and rear doors provide eye-catching details. The ambient lighting, adding extra light sources around the center console and instrument panel, in the door paneling and in the foot wells, enhances the overall sense of wellbeing. The lighting mood may be adjusted to suit the driver’s mood thanks to a choice of six colors. Large storage trays, roomy door pockets, cup holders and various compartments add to the versatility and functionality of the new X4.

Standard fare now includes  a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, a multicolor Head-Up Display, and three-zone climate control, as well as an array of safety features. BMW features Active Guard with Frontal Collision Warning and Automatic City Collision Mitigation and Braking with Daytime Pedestrian Detection.

One caveat

Rearward visibility in the 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i is quite limited through the rear glass. Entry into the driver’s seat also necessitates folding your head forward to avoid hitting on the radically-curved roofline. On the plus side, the X4’s controls and switchgear are well placed for optimum ease of use. The seating is not only comfortable, but very supportive as well. The damped glovebox and the folding and removable rear cargo cover both offer nice touches and added convenience and functionality.

TFLCAR’S TAKE

Given what some perceive to be a controversial design form much like its larger X6 sibling, the lower price tag of the X4 is sure to attract a new wave of consumers. The bold exterior styling, though not for everyone, gives way to the elegant and comfortable interior design, and the performance characteristics are exceptionally satisfying all-around, and the 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i is certainly more affordable.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $50,450
Price as Tested:
$57,895
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4
Drivetrain (Layout): Longitudinally-mounted front engine, all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 248 hp @ 5,700-6,500 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1,450-4,800 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with Sport and manual shift modes and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters
Suspension: Front: Double-joint spring strut axle with lightweight aluminum anti-roll bar

Rear: Five link rear axle with lightweight aluminum anti-roll bar

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs
Tires: Pirelli Cinturato P7 P245/50 R19 105H (Mud & Snow rated)
Fuel capacity: 17.2 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined mpg

Dimensions:

Wheelbase: 112.7 inches
Length: 187.5 inches
Width: 75.5 inches
Height: 63.8 inches
Turning Circle: 40.0 feet
Curb Weight: 4,146 pounds

 

Arv Voss
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.