The BMW X4 is a close cousin to the more common X3. Both are compact luxury SUVs, but the X4 differentiates itself with a sloping rear roofline that’s meant to make it look more rakish and sporty. Unfortunately, this also compromises rear-seat headroom and cargo space, but those sacrifices may be worth it if you want to have something slightly different than the other cookie-cutter crossovers you see in your neighborhood. A punchy turbo four-cylinder engine is standard equipment and a powerful turbo inline-six is optional, and the X4 is pleasant to drive thanks to those engines and its robust handling. Its interior is nicely appointed as well. Serious speed is on offer in the high-performance X4 M model, which we review separately.
What’s New for 2021?
Newly standard equipment includes SiriusXM satellite radio, Android Auto compatibility, and several driver-assistance features. There are also some changes to the various option packages.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The M40i’s turbocharged inline-six is impressive, but the 30i’s turbo four-cylinder provides plenty of power. We’d choose the base model for its better fuel-economy numbers, and we’d add the $2800 Premium package to get niceties such as heated seats, wireless smartphone charging, and proximity-key entry.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The base BMW X4 xDrive 30i gets its motivation from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. In our time at the track, this model made the sprint from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 6.1 seconds. If you’re in the mood for something more high-octane, the X4 M40i will be an ideal fit. This model is equipped with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder that produces a beefy 382 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. BMW’s X4 M40i hustles from zero to 60 mph in a scant 4.2 seconds, according to our track tests, and its engine note is as impressive as its acceleration. Launch control is standard. Both trims come with an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. Regardless of which X4 you choose, you’ll be treated to an SUV that matches keen handling with a ride quality that’s easy to live with.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the 2021 X4 xDrive 30i achieves mileage of 23/29 mpg city/highway. That’s an improvement on the fuel economy offered by rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 coupe (up to 22/28 mpg). In our tests, we observed highway fuel economy of 33 mpg. With the X4 M40i, estimated EPA fuel economy stands at 21/27 mpg. We were able to achieve real-world fuel economy of 28 mpg on the highway during our time with the SUV.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Clean modernity is the name of the game within the X4’s premium cabin. The center stack looks a bit like the shield of a superhero, and it sits beneath a stylish floating touchscreen. The X4’s 35.5 inches of rear legroom is less than you’ll get with its more pragmatic relative, the X3 (36.4 inches). Also, the X4 forces you to make some compromises when it comes to cargo space. This model provides just 19 cubic feet of cargo capacity with all seats in place and 51 cubic feet with the rear seats lowered. The X3 fares much better in this area, providing 29 cubic feet of room for your belongings behind the second row and 63 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The base-model X4 comes with HD radio and a 12-speaker sound system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability is standard with a one-year trial, and this allows you to seamlessly connect the vehicle with your device. Unfortunately, BMW will charge you for CarPlay after your trial period has ended. An integrated navigation system is standard, and the infotainment system comes with a 10.3-inch display screen. The X4 offers a gesture-control feature as an option. This amenity allows the driver to control the infotainment system using five simple hand gestures.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2020 BMW X4 hasn’t yet been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). There are lots of standard and optional driver-assistance features available. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The X4’s warranty is great when compared with the coverage offered by less expensive mainstream models, but it’s merely average when viewed next to the protection provided by its rivals in the luxury segment. Complimentary scheduled maintenance is provided. Not all models in this segment offer this perk, so that’s a feather in the X4’s cap.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles
More Features and Specs