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2018 BMW X4 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 BMW X4 was new.


Performance: 8.8

The 2018 BMW X4 features a potent turbo-four base engine and is available with an even quicker turbocharged six-cylinder. The X4 gets average fuel economy for the class, but it's among the best when it comes to handling. All-wheel drive is standard, which is not the case in many competitors.

  • "BMW's SUVs (or whatever you want to call them) have always differentiated themselves with their 'BMW-ness' (or whatever you want to call it). That is, they do a good job imitating a sports sedan while offering the practicality of an SUV. The X4 shifts even more toward the sports sedan, with both trims offering quick acceleration and spry handling." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "There is another key difference between the X4 and the X3. It's called the M40i. Unique to the X4, this high-performance model builds on the outgoing xDrive35i model. With a whopping 360 horsepower and numerous handling enhancements, it ups the ante in this segment just as compelling new performance entries like the Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLC43 AMG Coupe and Porsche Macan GTS arrive on the scene for 2017." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

One of the main differences between the X4's two trims is their engines. The base 28i features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 240 horsepower. It provides enough power for highway driving, and acceleration is pretty quick.

The M40i comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder that produces 355 horsepower. Its acceleration is even stronger, and it will throw you back in your seat when you put the hammer down. It probably provides more power than people need from a daily driver.

When it comes to fuel economy, the base engine is the clear winner. It earns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Those are typical ratings for a luxury compact SUV. With the larger engine, the X4's gas mileage drops to 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

  • "There are no complaints when it comes to performance. 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. Really, this is more than enough power for most shoppers. Only those desiring overkill should consider the M40i, which is a legitimate high-performance proposition with acceleration numbers that rival high-powered sport sedans." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Two turbocharged engines -- one powerful, one really powerful -- tempt the right foot of BMW X4 drivers. On the 2017 X4 xDrive28i there's the tried-and-true 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder we've come to love in so many other BMW models. The new X4 M40i offers a revamped version of the turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder we love even more." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

Most luxury compact SUVs can't move like the X4 can. It has outstanding agility and feels planted around turns, making it one of the most athletic vehicles in the class. Standard all-wheel drive means that the X4 also has plenty of road grip. Of the two trims, the M40i is the better athlete, as the base 28i trim is more comfort-oriented. Still, this vehicle can hold its own against other dynamic SUVs like the Porsche Macan and Jaguar F-Pace. A Dynamic Damper Control system, which automatically adjusts the suspension based on road conditions, is available.

  • "With a taut suspension designed more for twisty roads than rough ones, the X4 is remarkably fun to fling about." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "Similar accolades can be heaped upon the M40i's prowess around corners, as its steering and road-holding abilities should stand up well to not only the Porsche Macan but also other competitors from Jaguar and Mercedes. The same can't quite be said of the xDrive28i, though, which we've found to be a bit squishy and ponderous for a vehicle bearing the BMW badge. It's more comfort-oriented, which may nevertheless be welcomed by some shoppers." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "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)

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