2018 BMW X4: First Impression

Since its introduction in 2014, BMW has sold over 200 000 units of the outgoing model (which model, X4). BMW has sold 5.6 million units of their X-Models since 1999 with the introduction of the X5. To put in plain English, 32% of BMW sales in 2017 came from X-Models.  

Image: BMW

The all-new BMW X4 is longer (+81 millimetres), wider (+37 millimetres) but lower by 3millimetres) compared to the previous generation X4. Though bigger than the previous model, it shredded 50kgs making it lighter and agile than the outgoing model. In the metal, it looks fantastic with its iconic coupe-like appearance. Built on the same platform as the X3, upfront LED lights come as standard while adaptive LED headlights are optional. The big grille gives it that bold looks which might give you a fright when it’s behind you on the highway. The new L-Shaped rear lights look stellar and complete the whole bold look of the car.

When it comes to the interior, you won’t be too surprised. Since its based on the X3, the interior feels premium. Soft touch plastics, lots of leather – an all-round very well put together interior. The driving position is now slightly raised and coupled with new redesigned sports seats resulting in more comfort and support when tackling highspeed corners. Interior space hasn’t been compromised, rear legroom has increased by 27mm and load space can be expanded from 525 to a maximum of 1,430 litres by folding down the sections of the rear backrest, with its standard 40:20:40 split. It also has underfloor storage to keep valuables out of sight. All models come standard with an automatic tailgate.

Image: BMW

The X4 comes with BMW’s latest infotainment system which we love so much since it’s so intuitive and so easy to use. You can access it by either swiping through its touchscreen or using the rotary dial. All of this is displayed through a 6.5-inch screen or a 10.2-inch screen (an optional extra).

On launch, we had a taste of the M40i and xDrive20i. The M40i being the most powerful in the range (until the X4M comes out later this year) churns out 260kW and 500Nm from its 6-0cylinder 3.0L turbocharged engine. Its quick – in fact very quick for a car of its size, hitting 100 km/h from standstill in just 4.8 seconds. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed Steptronic Sports automatic transmission.

Image: BMW

Coming standard with M Sport suspension, variable sport steering along with a M Sport differential, which is more rear bias you can be assured plenty of fun either in a straight line or some fast mountain pass driving. M Sport brakes and adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers are optional extras and if you’re a fan of some cornering g-forces and braking late those two are a must when you’re choosing your M40i.

The xDrive20i wasn’t exactly what we expected. It makes do with a 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine which makes 135 kW and 290 Nm. We felt like it lacks that sense of urgency, maybe due to its low torque figure. Nonetheless, when it comes to overtaking and handling it performed well. We had our eyes on the pick of the bunch, the xDrive20d which has a 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbodiesel with 140 kW and 400 Nm of torque. 

BMW will be introducing the 240 kW/680 Nm X4 M40d in Mzansi soon, and we can expect the X4 M later this year. 

BMW has once again built quite a solid car. The new X4 is roomy, looks beautiful and handles very well, an expected outcome from BMW.  In all honesty, it boils down to preference. We’d opt for the cheaper BMW X3, but if you’re a fan of the concept of a crossover -coupe and got the extra bucks, go for it. 

Pricing

X4 xDrive 20iX4 xDrive 20d     X4 M40d    X4 M40i      
 135kW 140kW240kW 265kW
 290Nm 400Nm680Nm 500Nm
 R843 000*  R843 000* R1 132 800*R1 132 800*

*Standard model

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