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2017 BMW X4

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2017 BMW X4 Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

The 2017 BMW X4 is the latest automotive amalgamation from the German luxury brand. Not content to call it an SUV (sport utility vehicle), CUV (crossover utility vehicle) or even an SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle), BMW has created another acronym: SAC. When you're done sneering, know that it stands for "Sports Activity Coupe." The 4-door, 5-passenger X4 isn't a coupe in the traditional sense, but its stylish shape is meant to evoke one. The tradeoff of this design is less interior space than the X3, but the X4 still offers some practicality thanks to its hatchback design and standard all-wheel drive. Of course, BMW's sporty driving manners are also instilled in the X4, especially the new, more powerful M40i model.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a small SUV that stands out with its style and fun-to-drive nature, the X4 grants looks and performance while still offering a modicum of cargo-carrying practicality. This BMW's standard all-wheel drive (AWD) aids traction amid a variety of weather and road conditions.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If utility is more important than making a vehicular fashion statement, the X4's sibling, the X3, is a more traditional crossover SUV that is still very fun to drive. In addition to offering more interior room, that compact BMW SUV begins about $6,000 less than the X4's roughly $46,000 starting price.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.3
  • 8.9
  • 8.1
  • 8.7
  • 8.1
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#10

out of 35

Fuel Economy

#31

out of 35

Horsepower
View all rankings
2017 BMW X4 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2017

The top-trim xDrive35i is replaced by the M40i, which features a revamped, more powerful 6-cylinder engine that makes 355 horsepower. Other changes for the 2017 X4 lineup include an update to BMW's iDrive infotainment/navigation system, wireless charging for compatible smartphones, and an available in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot.

Driving the X4
2017 BMW X4 Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

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. Even a base X4 xDrive28i with its turbocharged 4-cylinder can make 60 mph in 6 seconds, and the turbocharged, 6-cylinder M40i does it in just 4.7; that was once Ferrari territory. With a taut suspension designed more for twisty roads than rough ones, the X4 is remarkably fun to fling about. The standard 8-speed automatic transmission is terrific, and the character of the X4 itself can be changed via four drive modes, starting with the tame and fuel-efficient Eco Pro all the way to Sport+ for the most aggressive attitude.

DISTINCTIVE DESIGN
Like its big brother the X6, the 2017 X4 is a rolling statement that lets others know you can afford (literally and figuratively) a vehicle that puts style over pure practicality. Of course, with the X4's versatile ways, you get to have your cake and eat it, too.

NEW ENGINE, NEW ENERGY
While the outgoing 6-cylinder X4 was hardly a slouch with its 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, the new variant packs even more punch. With 55 additional horses and 43 more lb-ft of torque, the 2017 X4 M40i offers thrilling performance.

2017 BMW X4 Details
2017 BMW X4 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

While its exterior is distinctive, the X4's interior is BMW-familiar with its horizontally-aligned dash and controls, brushed aluminum accents, center-mounted color display and jet-fighter-style gear selector. Most controls are intuitive, except for the switch for the optional heated steering wheel that is tucked low in the steering column. Somewhat surprisingly, the rear seat can accommodate three in relative comfort, although legroom isn't as good as in the BMW X3. The 40/20/40-folding split rear seat helps customize the cargo area's shape, and when all three sections are folded it expands capacity from 17.7 cubic feet to 49.4.

Exterior
2017 BMW X4 photo

The BMW X4 has generated controversy for its styling, and we'll admit that sleek hatchback lines atop an SUV-like chassis take some getting used to. Nonetheless, we think it’s better executed than the larger X6. The dramatically sloped rear end looks cool, even if it inhibits rear-seat headroom and cargo space. But BMW is banking that X4 customers will be more interested in those stylish lines and sharper handling than in passenger room and cargo hauling. A power tailgate is standard, and hands-free opening is available via the Comfort Access that lets you wave your foot to open the hatch.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Being more of a niche vehicle, the X4 comes in just two trims. The base xDrive28i includes power fronts seats, moonroof, automatic climate control, power tailgate, universal garage door opener and rear parking assist (though you'll still have to pay extra for a rearview camera). You'll also have to pay extra for real leather seating instead of the faux SensaTec. Audio entertainment is provided by a 9-speaker/205-watt system with AM/FM/CD/USB player with HD Radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. New 2017 BMWs include 3 years/36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance and 4 years/unlimited miles of roadside assistance.

Optional Equipment

In addition to a more powerful 6-cylinder engine, the up-level X4 M40i includes leather upholstery, dynamic damper control, the comfort access keyless entry system, sport seats with lumbar support, and a premium harman/kardon system that's optional on the base model. Many of the options for either model are bundled into packages and include Driver Assist Plus with blind-spot monitoring, surround-view camera, lane-departure warning and the available radar-based cruise control. A cold-weather package includes heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel and headlight washers, while the technology package bundles navigation, head-up display, and the BMW Apps remote services help line.

Under the Hood
2017 BMW X4 Engine photo

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. Both come connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard across the board. Fuel economy is surprisingly good for a small SUV, with the xDrive28i achieving in the high-20 mpg range on the highway. That's good news, as both X4 models demand premium fuel to satisfy their appetites.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 5,000-6,500 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,450-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy, est.: 20/28 mpg

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
355 horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
343 lb-ft of torque @ 1,350-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg

The 2017 BMW X4’s style over practicality is not inexpensive. The base X4, starting just over $46,000, is roughly $6,000 more than a base X3; although the X4 includes all-wheel drive, an extra $2,000 for an X3. The up-level X4 M40i starts near $59,000. Loaded, an X4 can top $66,000. Apples to apples competitors to the X4 are few but, for a rough idea, a Range Rover Evoque starts a few thousand below in 5-door guise and a little higher than the X4 in coupe form, the sleek new Jaguar F-Pace also starts a few thousand below the X4, and the smaller Mercedes-Benz GLA begins in the mid-$30,000 range. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their new X4s. With its niche nature, the BMW X4's resale value is expected to hold up well in the years ahead.

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