2020 BMW X4


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2020 BMW X4 Performance Review


Performance: 8.3

The 2020 BMW X4 is one of the sportiest vehicles in the luxury compact SUV class. It has a lineup of four powerful turbocharged engines. All are paired with a refined automatic transmission that provides brisk acceleration. The X4 feels lightweight and agile around turns, and - apart from the X4 M models - it rides smoothly on everyday road surfaces.

  • What BMW has created may not be a great daily driver, but the X4 M Competition and its more practical X3 twin are still impressive. It goes incredibly fast, and it doesn't fall apart on track. In fact it relishes a closed course. And isn't that what an M car is all about?" -- Autoblog
  • "Anyone with cornering on their mind … will want the X4 M40i. That extra 100-ish horsepower makes it significantly quicker than the four-cylinder model, hitting 60 mph in a claimed 4.6 seconds. Add in the larger brakes, adaptive suspension, and the optional M Sport differential, and you have a surprisingly enjoyable corner carver. The crackling sports exhaust is just a bonus." -- Motor Trend (2019)
  • "When I'm out of the mountains and back on flat terrain, Comfort mode smooths out the behavior of the X4. Steering lightens, the suspension softens for better ride compliance, and the drivetrain settles down for more relaxed motoring. Surprisingly, there's not much tire noise from the wide 20-inchers at the corners, nor is wind noise an issue on the expressway, largely thanks to the X4's slippery drag coefficient of 0.30." -- CNET (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The entry-level BMW X4 xDrive30i has a 248-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. This engine has more than enough punch to scoot the X4 up to speed quickly, as well as pass other vehicles. It also returns the best fuel economy in the lineup: an excellent 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The automatic transmission changes gears quickly and smoothly.

The midlevel X4 M40i features a 382-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine. This engine really comes alive when you step on the gas, and it can hustle the X4 from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. It gets an EPA-rated 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

At the top of the lineup is the X4 M, which has a 473-horsepower twin-turbocharged version of the M40i’s six-cylinder engine. It’s upgraded further to 503 horsepower in the M Competition trim. The X4 M accelerates furiously, and - unlike some twin-turbo engines - the throttle feels very responsive. The catch is that fuel economy drops considerably to 14/19 mpg city/highway.

  • "… the X4 M's … power delivery is so smooth and the throttle response so crisp, it feels like a naturally aspirated engine. Every wiggle of your toes prompts an immediate reaction; there's never any waiting or unexpected surges of acceleration. … The eight-speed auto is a great supporting actor for the engine lead. Around town in its least aggressive setting, it's seamless and unobtrusive. Crank it up to full aggression and shift it manually, and the shifts become more abrupt, and quicker." -- Autoblog
  • "For the uphill climbs and runs out of corners, the X4's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is sufficiently peppy. … Swapping cogs is a familiar ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission, delivering fast and fluid shifts in auto mode and also exhibiting excellent response to manual shift commands." -- CNET (2019)
  • "Acceleration is smooth and strong with very little turbo lag at low engine speeds and great pull as the revs climb. And it's easy to keep the engine speeds where you want them by using the paddle shifters. … Shifts from the eight-speed are dual-clutch transmission fast in sport and sport-plus mode. The inline-six pops and blats on shifts - all natural sound, by the way, which can be heard in the cabin. … Putting it in comfort mode quiets everything down." -- Autoweek (2019)

Handling and Braking

The BMW X4 is exceptionally fun to drive. The X4 slices confidently around turns without teetering. The steering is quick, and the suspension soaks up most bumps and dips in the road without issue. That said, the X4 M models aren’t as tame on everyday roads. They tend to jitter and jolt over rough pavement. Their high-performance brakes also make it difficult to slow down smoothly. Overall, the 30i and M40i models offer a better balance of comfort and sportiness.

  • "… the [X4 M’s] suspension and chassis are clearly happier on the track than on the road. Even in the Comfort setting, you'll be kicked around by every crack and bump, and the sportier settings reveal to your backside ever smaller ripples and grains in the pavement. … The brakes are overkill for the street. Press too hard on the soft pedal and you're in for a sudden stop, at least until you're used to the brakes' aggressive bite." -- Autoblog
  • "Body motions are well controlled no matter the drive mode, and even in its stiffest setting the X4 stays plenty supple, not anywhere near M3 stiff. It never crashed over big bumps either. Body roll is minimal, yet the X4 is comfortable." -- Autoweek (2019)
  • "Even though it's the base model, the X4 xDrive30i will also hold its own on a winding back road. It's no sports car, but with a standard M Sport suspension, it's competent enough in the corners. Especially in Sport+ mode." -- Motor Trend (2019)
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2020 BMW X4

MSRP: $51,100 - $80,400

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