Pickup trucks get ample attention these but there is plenty of buzz around other segments that didn’t even exist until recently – such as the growing niche compact luxury sport-utes.
The 2019 BMW X4, for example, has landed in the midst of a fierce competition with vehicles ranging from the Porsche Macan, to the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Acura RDX, Lexus RX 350 and new Cadillac ST4. It’s sleek, sporty and pricey – the MSRP on the version that I drove was $57,895 including the destination charge of $995.
The exterior styling is eye catching whether in motion or standing at the curb and carries on BMW’s long tradition of designing cars with a lot both sex and intellectual appeal.
Even though it has the conventional four doors motorists have come to expect on utility vehicles, BMW bill the X4 as a “sports coupe,” due to the distinctively sloping roof line that The front sets off its silhouette The X4’s face is highlighted by BMW’s slotted grille, which hints at the reverse BMW grilles of the past and the rear hatch with its horizontal lines is neatly styled as well as easy to open.
The interior is also nicely done. While the design of the center stack was on the cluttered side, an outcropping of the technology revolution gripping cars, the overall layout and selection of material created an air of luxury and comfort inside a relatively small space.
In a lot of compact vehicles, driver and passenger wind up bumping into plastic but the X4’s interior is nicely trimmed with plush material, while the leather trimmed dashboard is most impressive that adds a most impressive luxury touch.
The sports seats are supportive during a long haul and the level of detail found in the cabin gives it hand-made feel that adds to the vehicles overall appeal.
The visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent even though it is a bit lower than more conventional utility vehicle and the lighting scheme inside the cabin and on the instrument, cluster assisted in making the X4 easier to drive at night when stress levels can easily increase.
The list of comfort and convenience features is long list features such as power seats, a panoramic moonroof, rain sensing windshield wipers, power folding mirrors, Apple CarPlay and a wireless charging pad for smart phones. The X4 I drove also was equipped with head-up display to help keep the driver’s eyes firmly on the road.
Throughout the years, BMWs have won rave reviews for their driving dynamics and handling characteristics. Out on the highway, the X4 comes across worthy partner to vehicles such as BMW’s ultimate driving machine, the BMW 3-series.
The BMW X4 is quick, nimble and sure footed on the pavement where it displays the driving dynamics the German automaker’s fans have come to expect from the company. The steering is very precise and the X4 comes with plenty of braking power.
The powertrain with its 2.0-liter, turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine with 16 valves produces 248 horsepower and 258-foot pounds of torque and the eight-speed automatic transmission deliver the power quickly and efficiently under all sort of conditions. The eight-speed Sport Automatic transmission is also equipped with sport and manual shift modes and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The vehicle I drove was equipped with a M-sport suspension and it did as design on the highway or moving around on city and suburban streets. It certainly enhanced the driving dynamics. However, when I took the X4 off the pavement onto a dirt – and remember going on dirt roads in Michigan is like traveling across open country – the ride became a bit too harsh.
The fuel economy for the 2019 X4, should it matter, is 22 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway. The spec sheet also said it will go from zero to 60 in six seconds and has a top speed of 130 miles per hour.
The X4 is equipped with safety equipment such as side curtain air bags and BMW’s Active Protection System detects imminent accidents, then prepares by automatically pretensioning safety belts, closing windows Driver assistance features, such as blind spot detection, were on the X4 I drove but the pricing information for the car indicated the ADAS was a $1,600 option rather than standard equipment.
The parking assistance package was $700 to the sticker price and the charging pad for smart phone was an additional $400.
The X4 is probably a bit too expensive for most every day commuters but it a load of fun to drive and would look impressive in any one’s driveway.