2016 BMW X4

BMW didnt invent the coupe crossover but has committed to it, most recently with the X4, following the larger X6. Its basically an X3 with a tapered roofline, a stylized utility vehicle that gives up function for fashion. The BMW X4 is intended to compete with the Porsche Macan, Range Rover Evoque, and Lincoln MKC. It seats four, though there are seatbelts for five.

The BMW X4 comes with either a four-cylinder turbo or six-cylinder turbo. The base engine is BMWs latest small workhorse, a sweet 2.0-liter making 240 horsepower, mated to a talented 8-speed automatic in the all-wheel-drive X4 xDrive28i model. The 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder turbo makes 300 horsepower in the X4 xDrive35i. The 2.0-liter will do zero to 60 in 6.0 seconds, the 3.0-liter in 5.2 seconds.

Every X4 is all-wheel drive. BMWs xDrive splits power 40/60 front to rear on dry roads, but can go 0/100 if the rears need all the grip. The xDrive all-wheel drive in the X4 is intended to improve road performance, more than making the car off-road capable.

Driving Dynamics Control is standard, enabling you to choose modes to suit your needs or desires. There is Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus, plus Eco Pro for economy.

The BMW X4 was all new in 2015, and there was no M model to compete with the Porsche Macan. But that changes, with the 2016 BMW X4 M40i, which squeezes another 55 horsepower out of the 3.0-liter engine. Torque is 343 pound-feet, propelling the all-wheel-drive coupe/crossover to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 150 mph.

The M40i gets special tuning for the suspension, transmission and steering; a sport-tuned exhaust system with a resonator that pumps some engine noise into the cabin; and 20-inch wheels and tires. The cockpit also gets a leather gear shift lever, steering wheel,  sports seats, instrument cluster and door sills.

Stop/Start is standard, and it often sends shivers through the X4, as it does in every BMW weve driven. Technically, it exists to improve fuel mileage, although the improvement is small; engineers from all manufacturers admit its mostly a gimmick to get credits from the federal EPA that the manufacturers can then apply to the cars with big engines. In any event, the four-cylinder X4 rates an EPA-estimated 20/28 miles per gallon City/Highway; while the six-cylinder gets just 1 mpg less than that. Thats in Eco Pro mode, which totally shuts off the gas when the driver lifts off the throttle.

The BMW X4 is built in the U.S., at the companys big plant in South Carolina, along with the X3, X5, and X6. The X4 has not yet been crash-tested by the government.

The X4 carries over to 2016 largely unchanged. The 2016 X4s Bluetooth and USB add sync for a second phone, functions like photos and calendars, and voice control for contacts and music. A Harman Kardon surround system is now standard on the 2016 BMW X4 xDrive 35i.

2015 Acura ILX

The recent onslaught of new BMW products continues with the introduction of the 2015 BMW X4, officially revealed for the first time at the April 2014 New York International Auto Show.

Like the larger BMW X6, the midsize BMW X4 crossover shares similar proportions and the low, coupe-like roofline. It's slightly longer than the BMW X3, but also slightly lower, with a sleeker, more hunkered-down shape, compared with the more upright silhouettes of the X3 and X5.

Two models will be available, both with all-wheel drive as standard equipment: The xDrive28i is powered by BMW's TwinPower turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The X4 xDrive35i uses a 3.0-liter inline-6 good for 300 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. BMW estimates the xDrive35i will sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, very brisk performance. Both models come with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Suspension on the BMW X4 is tuned more aggressively than on X3 and X5 models. The X4 suspension also features Performance Control, which uses the electronic stability control system to guide power to the outside rear wheel when cornering, reducing understeer (plowing).

Meanwhile, variable sport steering allows for more stability in high speeds in a straight line, but tightens up in corners and at lower speeds for better maneuverability.

Standard features will include BMW's iDrive interface, as well as a power tailgate that opens when the keyholder swipes under the bumper with one foot. Options include the usual array from BMW, like navigation, a color head-up display and the ConnectedDrive services, which allow users to pair their smartphones to access multiple apps and information. Active safety options include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and pedestrian/collision warning with automatic braking. Subscription to the BMW Assist eCall emergency crash notification system is included for ten years.

Like other BMW models, the 2015 BMW X4 will be available with an M Sport option, which adds an even more aggressively tuned sport suspension, unique interior trim, special exterior colors and an aerodynamics package. There's also a choice of 19- or 20-inch M alloy wheels.

If the X6 is any indication, the 2015 BMW X4 should keep the sharp handling of a sedan, while offering additional storage. However, like the X6, the X4's low roofline makes for a less roomy interior than in the more upright crossovers. With all seats in place, the 2015 BMW X4 offers 17.7 cubic feet of space, expandable to 49.4 cubes. A standard 40/20/40-split rear seat makes the X4 more versatile.

Notably, the 2015 BMW X4 will be built in the USA at BMW's Spartanburg, SC assembly plant. BMW recently announced it would expand the plant's capacity to make room for the X4 (and possibly future vehicles), which, upon completion, will make Spartanburg BMW's largest assembly plant worldwide.

The 2015 BMW X4 goes on sale in the U.S. in Fall 2014 with a starting price of $45,625 for the xDrive28i and $48,925 for the xDrive35i, including destination and handling.


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