$31,984 - $35,206

2016 BMW X4 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 BMW X4 was new.


Performance: 8.7

Test drivers say the 2016 BMW X4's base engine provides quick acceleration, and its available larger engine is even more potent. They add that its eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth and quick. Most automotive journalists agree that the X4 feels planted through turns and has accurate steering. The X4's fuel economy is on par with that of most rivals. 

  • "Under the skin, the X4 shares its superb four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines with the X3, lacking only the latter's optional turbodiesel four." -- Edmunds
  • "It would appear BMW's plan was to make the X4 even more sporty than the already sporty X3 it's based on, and to that end it feels pretty quick in a straight line and actually goes around a corner quite well." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "We drove the 3.0-liter six with the M Sport package with 19-inch wheels instead of 18s, sport seats and some aero trim. Immediately we realized we were having a whole lot of fun on some powerfully twisty roads in northern Spain. Indeed, we had a lot more fun than we ever should have had in something this SUV-like." -- AutoWeek (2015)
  • "We didn't attempt any tail-out shenanigans, but we dare say we had more fun in the X4 than the slinky 428i Gran Coupe we drove the day before (more on the latter soon - Ed.), suffering as the latter does from the F30's well-documented steering numbness and dull turn-in characteristics." -- Autoblog (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2016 BMW X4 xDrive28i comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower. The X4 xDrive35i comes with a 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on both models. The EPA estimates that the base X4 gets up to 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is similar to  rivals' estimates.

The X4's base engine earns praise for its abundance of power. The available turbocharged six-cylinder engine is even stronger, and reviewers say it produces swift acceleration at any speed. The 2016 X4’s eight-speed automatic transmission also impresses automotive journalists who say it is smooth and responsive.

  • "Both of the X4's engines are absolutely first-rate. The 'base' turbo four-cylinder packs a real wallop when you put your foot in it, pressing you back in your seat and making a mockery of its claimed 240-hp output. The xDrive35i, meanwhile, is quick enough to keep up with a number of high-performance sport sedans. Shifts come quickly yet smoothly from the sharp transmission, making the otherwise welcome shift paddles seem superfluous in most scenarios. In short, there aren't any weaknesses in the X4's powertrain portfolio." -- Edmunds
  • "Fitted with the top-spec turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, the X4 xDrive35i feels plenty quick." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "The 300-hp inline-six in our xDrive35i test car is, as ever, smooth perfection, humming happily up to redline before the eight-speed automatic rips off a lightning-quick shift." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "All X4s shift through an eight-speed automatic transmission that provides quick, smooth shifts and can de-couple the drivetrain in coasting situations from 30-100 mph in order to save fuel." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Handling and Braking

Automotive journalists commend the 2016 BMW X4 for its nicely weighted and accurate steering. Test drivers agree that the X4 feels composed through turns and produces little body lean, though a few critics note that the X4 can feel a bit unwieldy on curvy roads. Some auto writers report that the X4’s optional Dynamic Damper Control system makes the handling sportier, which they appreciate. The BMW X4 comes standard with all-wheel drive.

  • "On the other hand, a letdown may be in store if you're expecting razor-sharp handling from this supposedly sportified crossover. Pressed hard on a curvy road, the X4 feels more ponderous than expected, even though it comes standard with some aggressive features that are optional on the X3, such as variable-ratio steering and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. Nonetheless, it keeps its composure well enough, while its ride is sufficiently supple unless you spring for a set of sexy-looking big wheels (especially the optional 20s)." -- Edmunds
  • "Off the motorway and along the twisty two-laners that snake around the Basque country, however, the X4 proved to be thoroughly entertaining. Steering could use a bit more feel, as ever, but turn-in is sharp and precise, with no delay in response and no on-center dead spot. With its added power, sharp steering response, and rear-axle torque distribution, corner carving in the X4 was easy if a bit surreal, considering how high up we were sitting." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "This quasi-SUV drives much more like a car, despite being based on the same underpinnings as the BMW X3 SUV. But BMW gave the X4 its own personality by lowering the ride height, making it longer, retuning the suspension, and giving it sportier steering. That mix makes the X4 downright fun on a twisty road. It's a treat to dive into corners with, staying planted and unfazed." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

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