BMW X4 xDrive 30d M

Sport

BMW X4 xDrive 20d M Sport, 2018, front
BMW X4 M Sport, front
BMW X4 M Sport, front
BMW X4 M Sport, front
BMW X4 xDrive 20d M Sport, 2018
BMW X4 xDrive 20d M Sport, 2018, side, profile
BMW X4 xDrive 20d M Sport, 2018, rear, static
BMW X4 xDrive 20d M Sport, 2018, interior
BMW X4 xDrive 20d M Sport, 2018, rear seats

ONE of the many nice touches in this BMW is an eye-catching chrome X4 badge just in front of the gear stick.

For me it invoked the spirit of the X-Men - an American superhero film series that features a go-anywhere, do-anything plane.

Now I'm not saying BMW's X4 can fly at hypersonic speeds, although it can hit 62mph from a standing start in under six seconds. Or that it can deploy holographic active camouflage, although it has a head-up display that gives your speed and allows you to change the radio station.

The only Storm involved will be outside the car and not Hollywood A-lister Halle Berry, playing the weather-controlling mutant, offering to pilot the X4 to your destination.

But this premium SUV coupe does offer a glitz and glamour its admittedly cheaper sibling - the X3 - does not.

It's almost as if BMW took Tom Hanks - brilliant but predictable - and turned him into Brad Pitt as the X4 adds a bit of rock and roll pizazz with a definite hint of the hearthrob.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with an exterior that offers real kerb presence thanks to a mix-and-match design.

From the blue brake calipers on the super sleek alloy wheels to the curved coupe-style roofline the X4 offers a sports car vibe. But it doesn't forget its SUV roots as the lower half of the bodywork is more muscular giving a can-do air to proceedings.

It could look a bit of a dog's dinner in the hands of lesser talents than those employed by BMW, but suffice to say the X4 attracted a lot of positive attention in my week with the car.

Step into the cabin and the sporty theme introduced by the exterior is continued with the M Sport model featuring figure-hugging leather seats with natty blue stitching.

Indeed the materials used throughout the interior are of the highest quality with soft-touch plastics dominating proceedings.

There's plenty of room for four adults with a fifth able to be accommodated in the back reasonably easily thanks to the non-intrusive nature of the transmission tunnel and rear air conditioning unit.

What you do lose though is the drop-down centre armrest between the two rear passengers that offers cup holders hidden behind dinky pop-up covers.

The driver gets a neat semi-digital instrument display and a decent position behind the multi-function steering wheel thanks to powered adjustment. Help is also given via BMW's sat nav system which is viewed on a 10-inch display with a touchscreen facility to support the rotary i-Drive controller.

Being a slave to style in choosing the X4 means you do lose some of the practicality of the X3. That said the split-level boot - allowing valuables to be stored away from prying eyes - boasts a capacity of 525 litres with the rear seats in place and up to 1,430 litres with them folded. There is also a handy powered tailgate operated off the key fob.

There are plenty of cubby holes for a family's nik-naks with a large storage box underneath the arm rest between the front seats, cup holders, a glovebox, useful door pockets, and a place for your smartphone to lay its weary head.

Power was provided in the xDrive 30d by a 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engine - aided and abetted by a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox - which provides sports car performance figures and four-wheel drive while being surprisingly frugal when it comes to use of the juice.

The ride is smooth thanks a suspension that makes light work of the Hammer House of Horror production that is the nation's roads these days, while the handling is sure-footed, composed and nimble for what is a tall and relatively heavy car.

There are various drive modes for better performance or economy, changing the shift points for the transmission which can also be controlled manually via paddles on the back of the steering wheel or by using the gearlever.

BMW call the X4 a ‘sport activity vehicle' and, with its emphasis on an athletic design and dynamic drive, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

FAST FACTS

BMW X4 xDrive 30d M Sport

Price:£53,000

Mechanical:265ps, 2,993cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:149mph

0-62mph:5.8 seconds

Combined MPG:47.1

Insurance Group:41

C02 emissions:154g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty:3yrs/unlimited miles

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