2018 BMW X4 Rating Breakdown
2018 bmw x4
EPA est City/Hwy
18/25
Starting at
$59,250
Engine
3.0L Turbo
Power
355 hp

Starting at

$59,250

Engine

3.0L Turbo

Power

355 hp

City/Hwy

18/25

Seats

5


The Car Connection Expert Review
Aaron Cole

Aaron Cole

Managing Editor

DISLIKES
  • Pricey at more than $48,000 to start
  • $2,000 for CarPlay? Really?
  • Rear seat head room is compromised
  • Cargo area is oddly shaped
bmw x4 2018

The 2018 BMW X4 is a statement of style, for some. We’re not sure exactly what it’s saying at times, but we don’t much mind.

Our parents were right: look good, feel good.

It’s hard not to smile behind the wheel of the 2018 BMW X4. Maybe it’s the sloping roofline cribbed from the larger X6. Maybe it’s the available 20-inch wheels slathered with a thin paint of rubber. Or maybe that the X4 is an on-trend crossover that prioritizes style of substance—and somewhat silly, it’s still a smile.

We give the X4 an 8 on looks with the understanding that it’s not going to be for everyone. But for the shoppers who are considering “coupe” crossovers, the X4 looks great and its interior is good too. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Like the X6, the smaller X4 gives up some function in the form of fashion. The X4 is based on the outgoing X3, but cleaves hulking chunks of cargo area for a dramatic fastback roof. The whole crossover is athletic in appearance and approach, so long as it’s not an outdoor sport. The bulky fenders wrap around available 20-inch wheels, and while entry and exit into the back row isn’t ideal, who needs it? The back bench is cramped anyhow.

Inside, even base X4 trims get wood accents and an interior that’s decidedly upmarket. (It should be for nearly $50,000 to start.) Throw more money at the X4 and the interior starts to look better, especially Long Beach Blue with Nevada White Leather. Might as well embrace the trend while it’s around.

The 2018 BMW X4 is a statement of style, for some. We’re not sure exactly what it’s saying at times, but we don’t much mind.

Offered with a good or great engine, the 2018 BMW X4’s wheelhouse is in performance.

The 2018 BMW X4 hits its stride in performance.

Neither engine feels underpowered and in M40i spec, the X4 comes alive as being fun-to-drive for an SUV.

We give it points above average for its engine and smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic that’s more than willing—it’s almost tuned to perfection. We land at a 7. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The base engine in the X4 xDrive28i is a turbo-4 rated at 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Its specs are on par with the Porsche Macan with which it competes, but the BMW’s mill is more familiar to us. We like its power delivery, its rorty behavior when called upon, and its willingness to calm down too. All-wheel drive is standard on all X4s and splits power 40/60, front to rear. Although all four wheels can be powered, it’s not a system designed for off-road use. The X4’s available 20-inch tires were our first clue.

The all-wheel drive system can send up to 100 percent of the X4’s power to the rear wheels and a performance controller can split torque side-to-side, provided you’re brave enough to test the limits of grip in a 5,200-pound crossover.

The optional engine is a turbo-6 that was new for 2016, and helps buyers inch closer to M-badged glory (an X4M is due any day now) without splurging. The 3.0-liter turbo-6 makes 355 hp and slingshots the M40i up to 60 mph in less than five seconds. It’s uproariously fun to drive although we stop short of saying it’s a sports car. Like any performance SUV, the M40i doesn’t hide its tall ride height and drivers sit on top of the crossover’s mass, rather than in it. Tossing the M40i around feels less like skiing (carving through corners) and more like tubing (you’re along for the ride).

The standard 8-speed automatic is nearly telepathic in its downshifts, and seamless in its upshifts. It’s one of the better ‘boxes on the market, and it may rival the 8-speed automatic found in the Corvette when it comes to spirited drives. BMW’s 8-speed almost makes us forget about a manual—almost.

The X4 offers a traditional double wishbone-rear multilink setup for the suspension, upgradeable to adaptive dampers that can dial in firmer response for $1,000. We prefer the optional setup for its comfort and flexibility, although we’d prefer that the steering communicate in the same ways as the wheels.

Offered with a good or great engine, the 2018 BMW X4’s wheelhouse is in performance.

Nominally a five-seater, the X4 is best with two up front and two occasionally in the rear.

The BMW X4’s shape cuts a check that rear seat passengers will be asked to cash.

Although we think the related X3 is a bona fide five-seater, the X4 seats four passengers—just.

Tall rear-seat riders (think 6-feet or lankier) may struggle with rear-seat room. Cargo space is down markedly from the related X3 too—the X4 boasts 17.7 cubic feet in an odd-shaped area.

We give the X4 points above average for its front seats. It earns a 6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X4 is equipped with synthetic leather, power adjustable front seats from the outset, but opting for the M Sport package or the M40i trim level replaces those with deeper, sportier seats that have good support. We like those best for a wide range of body types.

The rear seats are deeply contoured to prioritize two passengers—we wouldn’t advise three for long, if ever. The X4 is based on the outgoing X3 and shaves just a few inches off of rear leg room, but the bigger compromise comes in rear-seat head room. The X4 shaves a precious 2 inches of head room from the old X3, even more with a sunroof. The sloped rear hatch means that head space doesn’t get much better for taller people, who may sit further back in the seats.

The cargo area holds 17.7 cubic feet of gear with the second row in place, or 49.4 cubes with the seats folded. The X4 is less versatile than the X3, with less vertical space for taller objects but beauty is pain, right?

Nominally a five-seater, the X4 is best with two up front and two occasionally in the rear.

The 2018 BMW X4 doesn’t have a complete set of crash-test results, and advanced safety features can add up quickly.

The BMW X4 hasn’t been tested by federal or independent safety officials. We don’t expect that will change anytime soon either—neither agency usually tests high-dollar, low-volume cars.

Without that data, we can’t assign a safety score. We’ll update this space if that changes. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Aside from crash data, the X4 comes equipped with a standard complement of airbags for front and rear passengers, including dual stage front airbags and side curtain airbags for rear passengers. Stability and traction control systems are standard, as is a rearview camera. BMW also throws in a standard emergency responder notification system if a serious collision that may include injuries is detected.

There are advanced safety features available, but BMW buries many of those in pricey packages. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking are available for $1,200. That’s decent value, although some mainstream automakers are bundling that into the base price.

Blind-spot monitors, a head-up display, and speed limit display is $1,700, but we’re not as sold on that value.

Parking sensors and a surround-view camera system cost $700.

Aside from safety equipment, the X4’s roofline eats into outward vision thanks to its low roof pillars and obstructed rear hatch. We’d prefer that blind-spot monitors were standard equipment on a car with such limited vision for the driver.

The 2018 BMW X4 doesn’t have a complete set of crash-test results, and advanced safety features can add up quickly.


All 2018 BMW X4s are well-equipped, with good features available. None of them are inexpensive however.

The 2018 BMW X4 has two stories to tell when it comes to features.

First, unlike several other BMW models, the X4 comes handsomely equipped at the outset. Every X4 includes all-wheel drive, synthetic leather upholstery, 19-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, power adjustable front seats, wood trim, a 6.5-inch infotainment display with Bluetooth connectivity, a power tailgate, and a rearview camera.

The other story? It starts temptingly close to $50,000 in base guise—an eye-watering sum for a relatively compact crossover. Shoppers with that kind of coin, mazel tov.

We give the X4 points above average for good base features, the sink that BMW can throw at it in options, and its infotainment system. It gets an 8 out of 10 before the bad news: BMW offers Apple CarPlay in a bizzaro option blunder that asks $2,000 for what other automakers throw in for free. We land at a 7. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

This year, BMW has shuffled up its optional packages for the X4, but the same basic idea remains. The X4 is available in base configuration with several packages and a handful of stand-alone options. Few X4s will leave the factory without one, or several, add-ons.

The most popular stop for many buyers in snowy states will be a cold weather package that adds heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel for $950.

A Premium Package ($2,200) adds softer interior hides, satellite radio, and keyless ignition. Its value is debatable.

An M-Sport package ($1,700) may be a better option, by our book. It adds a few exterior appearance items, but also sportier front seats, a grippier steering wheel, and better looking wheels.

Several safety packages are available, which we cover above.

Thankfully, BMW has portioned out some of the better options bundled in packages into stand-alone options. Heated front seats ($500), adaptive dampers ($1,000), Harman Kardon surround sound ($875), are just a few.

Frustratingly, Apple CarPlay compatibility is a $300 option—excessive in its own right—only after optional navigation ($1,700) is selected. That effectively makes CarPlay is a $2,000 option, according to BMW. And Android Auto isn’t even available. Yikes.

Opting for the X4 M40i brings the uprated engine, deeper sport seats, leather upholstery, keyless ignition, adaptive dampers, and parking sensors.

The packages largely follow the X4 xDrive28i, except the M Sport appearance package is standard on the X4 M40i.

All 2018 BMW X4s are well-equipped, with good features available. None of them are inexpensive however.

Sleeker shape for the 2018 BMW X4? Sure. Better mileage? Not really.

The 2018 BMW X4 doesn’t prioritize fuel economy above style. Its shape may cut a sleeker hole in the wind, but it may not mean much at the pump.

The EPA rates the 2018 BMW X4 xDrive28i (aka the base version) at 20 mpg city, 28 highway, 23 combined. The X4 M40i is rated at 18/25/21 mpg. Both of those figures are good enough for a 6 out of 10 on our efficiency scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X4’s chief rival manages roughly the same mileage figures. The Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Coupe is rated at 22/27/24 mpg, and the AMG GLC43 Coupe manages 18/24/20 mpg by the EPA’s calculators.

Sleeker shape for the 2018 BMW X4? Sure. Better mileage? Not really.


Fuel Economy Information

Ratings Based on 6 cyl, 3.0 L, 8-Speed Shiftable Automatic w/Sport Transmission

21

Combined

4.8 gals/100 miles

18

City


25

Highway

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