2019 BMW X4 30i XDrive Road Test, Review:

A car, and SUV, a 4-door coupe with a hatch, whatever you think it is, you’re right.

The German brands are all at it. They have a vehicle for every niche, every taste, and every occasion. It is harder to explain which niche the X4 fits in to.

If you think of X4 as an X3 with a rear end which has been sat in by an elephant, you won’t be too far wrong. It has a standard BMW interior, engine and drive train.

Designers have given the profile a coupe-like silhouette with the added convenience of 4 doors, just as they did with the 4 series Gran Coupe.

Once you get used to it, it gets under your skin with its superb handling and generous interior space. That is, if you ignore the elephant in the room, and the one that sat on the boot. Much of the space of the X3 is missing as far as cargo holds go.


You can hear David’s Overdrive programme HERE


The metalwork is impressive.

The body sits high off the ground with a roof which sweeps downwards from the b-pillar.

An over-size kidney grille and BMW roundel leave no room to mistake X4 for any other brand. They’re enhanced by LED lighting

There is a certain chunkiness to the look which appeals to those with an outdoorsy bent. Large 20””M” wheels, and doors which can be unlocked simply by touching the handle, give the outside much poignance.

The slightly bulky look has a solid and stately feel about it, and is adorned with the liberal application of M badging, and chrome highlights on the exhaust. A neat fake vent sits ahead of the front doors in a nod to sporty heritage


Very far from Trappist minimalism, X4 3.0i eschews the less-is-more ethos.

Everything you touch, see, and feel exudes class and quality. Metal finishes can be swapped out for wood if you prefer a warmer atmosphere. Metal finish extends to pedals and look distinctly sporty.

Seats are comfortable, leather-clad, and heated. Top option the latter, you lose the power bolster adjustment.

From the driver’s seat, you can reach all controls without straining.

Cup holders in the centre console are located just in front of the wireless QI phone charging pad. There is a USB which can be easily used, but as it is vertical, might well be filled by wayward coffee.

The thickly padded steering wheel houses the usual auxiliary controls with others discretely contained within the iDrive menus. The iDrive system is controlled via a command system between the front seats. It is further enhanced by a large 12.3” touch screen.

If it all seems a bit hard, you can always use voice control.

The centre stack is neatly divided in to the usual control zones. Infotainment is at the top, where the tablet stands sentinel over the cabin. Vents, radio and direct access buttons are below that, with the climate controls just above the QI pad.

The soft surfaces are deeply padded and finished with contrasting red stitching.

You can change the mood of the cabin lighting if the fancy moves you. What at first looks busy and slightly cluttered, quickly becomes 2nd nature.

Electronic gear selection, a parking brake switch, and drive mode buttons finish off the console.

Rear seats can be snug for taller travellers. The roof slopes dramatically and disappears in to the distance. Sadly, the slope restricts rear vision for which the reversing camera partially makes up.



  • 20” wheels with runflat tyres
  • Upholstery, leather ‘Vernasca’ (MA**)
  • Comfort Access System, keyless access and contactless operation of tailgate
  • Galvanic embellishers for controls
  • Multifunctional instrument display,
  • 3” high-resolution colour display with black-panel technology
  • M Sport brakes, blue painted brake callipers with ‘M’ designation
  • Driving Assistant Plus, incl. Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function,
  • Cross traffic warning on the front,
  • Steering & Lane Control Assistant and Lane keeping assistant with Side Collision Warning
  • Adaptive LED headlights with High-beam Assistant and BMW Selective Beam
  • 20″ M light alloy wheels Double-spoke style 699 M with mixed tyres and runflat tyres
·         Adaptive Suspension

·         Auto Start/Stop function

·         Brake Energy Regeneration

·         Brake-pad wear indicator

·         Driving Experience Control incl. ECO PRO with Adaptive Mode

·         Electric power steering with Servotronic and Variable Sport Steering

·         Hill Descent Control (HDC) with electromechanical parking brake

·         Performance control, optimal torque is distributed to the individual wheels depending on the driving situation

·         Start/Stop button

·         xDrive, permanent all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque split

·         BMW Head-Up Display

·         Cruise Control with braking function

·         Speed Limiter

·         Driving Assistant incl. Approach Control Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning and Speed Limit Info

·         Parking Assistant Plus incl. Rear View Camera, Fully automated parking assistant with Active Park Distance Control (PDC), Surround View, Panorama View and 3D View

  • BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger with Valvetronic
  • 8-speed sport automatic transmission with gearshift paddles
  • Adaptive Suspension
  • Auto Start/Stop function
  • Brake Energy Regeneration
  • Brake-pad wear indicator
  • Diesel particulate filter (X4 xDrive20d)
  • Driving Experience Control incl. ECO PRO with Adaptive Mode
  • Electric power steering with Servotronic and Variable Sport Steering
  • Hill Descent Control (HDC) with electromechanical parking brake
  • Performance control, optimal torque is distributed to the individual wheels depending on the driving situation
  • Start/Stop button
  • xDrive, permanent all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque split

Drive and Engine

Model Code: UJ32

8-Speed Sport Automatic

1,998 cc, 4-Cylinder

185 kW / 350 Nm

Fuel Type: Petrol

Consumption: 7.8 l / 100 km1

CO2: 177 g / km1

0-100kmh: 6.3 sec

BMW vehicles all have a certain flavour to their driving experience, and X4 is no different. The 2.0L engine has just the slightest of polite waits while the turbo spins into life. It changes direction easily, and feels nimble in traffic.

It feels light, and the handling is exactly what you expect from a BMW. A low-ish centre of gravity which allows it to be flung in to corners doing a reasonable impersonation of a sports car. Yet, the ride is sublime most of the time. Potholes can be a trifle alarming with such enormous wheels, but you never feel unsettled or overcome.

Off-roading should be kept to the lightest of duties.

Driver instruments are completely digital and are fixed in a single configuration. As with conventional dials, vehicle status such as fuel consumption can be selected in the middle zone. Further driving details such as speed and navigation are shown clearly in the HUD.

HUD allows a driver to keep eyes on the road even when being ordered about by the lady in the dash board.

Longer drives benefit from active steering which keeps you inside the lane markings. It also works with blind spot monitoring to make sure you don’t take out unsuspecting motorists. Should it detect an object, it will steer you out of harm’s way.

When you reach your destination, fully automated parking can take over if you wish. Once a spot is found, you only need to keep the parking button pressed, and X4 will change direction, gears, and speed. When complete, the driver just has to kill the engine. The BMW selects P and goes to sleep. Don’t forget to pull the brake lever to activate the parking brake.

There is a concierge service too. Depending on the model, it is a subscription which allows drivers to have bookings made for them, directions sent to their navigation systems, or to find car parks or fuel stations. They can even lock and unlock your car, though I can’t imagine why you’d want them to. But, it is there if you drop your keys into a bowl and can’t find them afterwards.

Some of that can be done through the navigation system, but why put yourself out if you don’t have to. BMW is particularly keen that owners should be connected to the world, and to each other. At first the service feels strange to use but I think would quickly become in valuable.

It might not look it, but X4, even in the humble 2.0L turbo petrol version, is a scintillating drive. You’re engaged from the moment you slip into the tailored seats. You feel pampered, and even just a little smug.

Like most German cars there is far too much for a single review.

If you want to carry more gear, take the X3 instead. Otherwise X4 is spacious and comfortable. It can tow 2,000 but probably will never be called on to do so.

It isn’t meant to be a serious off-road contender. It is meant to suit an active lifestyle and to give an impression, and that it does very well.


  • Active Protection
  • Airbags for driver and front passenger, head and side airbags with seat occupancy detection for driver’s and passenger side, knee airbag for driver
  • Inner-vented front and rear disc brakes
  • Central locking with electronic immobiliser
  • Dynamic braking lights
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC)
  • Run-flat safety tyres incl. run-flat indicator
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • LED headlights with extended contents incl. cornering lights and daytime driving lights with LED technology
  • LED fog lights, front
  • Rear LED taillights
  • Electric fold-in side mirrors
  • Interior rear-view mirror and heated exterior side mirrors with anti-dazzle function (driver’s side) and auto-dipping function on passenger side.
  • Lights package, incl. lights in footwell, door exits, reading lights and vanity mirrors

Good Bits

  • Excellent ride and handling
  • Good performance and economy
  • Beautifully designed interior

Not So Good Bits

  • Pricey options
  • No dual range AWD
  • Controversial looks


I started out being less than impressed. I wasn’t at all sure about the looks, and whether or not such a vehicle is needed. It fills a space even we didn’t know there was a space that needed to be filled.

It is elegant inside, and just a little brutish on the outside.

It has the appearance of a Tonka toy that had a good time with a concept drawing. Big wheels, a big body, a low roof, and impressive get up and go, make and compelling argument. It answers a question, which is: Why?

Why, because they can

Facts and Figures: 2019 BMW X4 30i XDrive

  • Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder twin turbo petrol producing 185kW/350Nm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed sports automatic
  • Warranty: 3yr/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Origin: TBA
  • Price: from $83,900 RRP

Author: Alan Zurvas

Rating: 4/5