2019 BMW X4 xDrive 30i Road Test and Review By Larry Nutson
SEE ALSO: BMW X Series News Archive
2019 BMW X4 xDrive 30i
Urban Consumer Friendly
By Larry Nutson
Executive Producer and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
The X-models in BMW’s overall lineup are categorized by BMW as Sport Activity Vehicles. They’re crossover SUVs, in industry terms. The model lineup ranges from the $34,950 X1 to the recently introduced 3-row $73,900 X7. Rumors have it that an X8 may be coming along.
The odd-numbered X1, X3, X5 and X7 are the more utilitarian of the range. The even-numbered X2, X4 and X6 are more stylized with a raked rear roof. BMW modifies their naming, using the terminology Sport Activity Coupes.
I’m coming around a bit to appreciating these so called coupe-like crossover SUVs. I’m likening the X4 to the family sedan of days past and its sibling and more upright X3 to the station wagon of that carline.
Within the last year I’ve driven the X1, X2, X3 and also the new X4, this at its media preview program at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina assembly plant. BMW Group’s only North American assembly plant builds around 1,400 BMW X3, X4, X5, and X6 vehicles every working day. These X-models are for both the U.S. and global markets. If you should happen to pay a visit to Charleston, SC you’ll observe BMWs in the port facility for as far as the eye can see waiting for shipment around the world.
I was pleased to have another opportunity to drive the all-new X4. Timing worked out well in that I would drive it on two road trips within the span of one week. Both of them would be mostly on the highway. One was from my Chicago home on a solo drive to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and back. The second, with my wife along, was from Chicago to Southeast Michigan. Long road trips allow for plenty of time to assess fuel consumption, and also form a good opinion on cabin noise, seat comfort, cargo versatility, navigation systems, driver-assistance safety tech, and more.
The new 2019 X4 is longer, lower and wider giving it better overall proportions and a bit more elegance than the previous generation. Up front it looks just like a BMW with its kidney grille and LED lighting. The 2.1 inches longer wheelbase, wider track and new suspension settings lower the center of gravity for sportier proportions and help with improved aerodynamics.
Around the traffic-congested streets of Chicago the X4 is very comfortable to drive and not at all overwhelming to maneuver. Its size is well suited to the urban consumer. BMW’s Parking Assistant Plus will find a suitable parking space and do the steering and actually park the X4 for you.
In the cabin the 5-seat X4 is very much a BMW with premium materials and nicely supportive seats. Entry and exit is easy since the X4 sits at a comfortable ride height—not too low and not too high. I made good use of the seat bottom cushion adjustable thigh support on my road trips. The X4 provides a good command view of the road with its higher seating position and low instrument panel. The cabin is nice and quiet enabling easy conversation and good audio listening. Tire noise is minimal over nearly every pavement surface.
All X4s have a large 10.25 inch display with navigation as standard. I used the iDrive Touch Controller which eliminates the somewhat distracting need to reach for and touch the display. The X4 is equipped with gesture control for audio volume plus some other features.
The X4 xDrive30i is powered by an I-4 twin-turbo 2.0-L engine generating 248 hp and peak torque of 258 lb-ft, which is on tap between 1,450 and 4,800 rpm. Zero to 60 mph acceleration is in 6 seconds, which is plenty quick.
An eight-speed Steptronic transmission and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive is standard. Gear selections can be selected manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The standard eight-speed Sport transmission offers exceptionally fast gear changes as well as a Launch Control function. Drivers can select SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO set-ups, as well as a SPORT+ mode.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 25 mpg combined with 22 city mpg and 29 highway mpg. I easily beat the highway rating. On my solo run to Elkhart Lake the X4 got 32-33 mpg and on the drive to Michigan and back fuel economy was 31-32 mpg. I did make use of the ECO PRO mode to save a bit on fuel.
On highway trips I typically use cruise control when traffic is light. When going downhill the X4’s system slowed the vehicle a bit too much which then required it to apply more throttle causing a transmission downshift to get back up to the set speed. Adaptive cruise control is available, but was not equipped on this X4. More information, specifications and information on the new 2019 BMW X4 can be found at www.bmwusa.com.
The 2019 X4 xDrive30i has a base price of $50,450. The model I drove was equipped with a number of options bringing the total to $57,895.
The X4 s also offered in a more powerful X4 M40i that features an in-line 6-cylinder twin-turbo 3.0-L engine with a maximum output of 355 hp and peak torque of 365 lb-ft. The X4 M40i accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. So if you are the type to drop the children at weekend sports and then head to the track at your private car club, this may be the right choice.
I also drove both of these X4 models last October at the Midwest Automotive Media Association Fall Rally held at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL. At this drive program automotive writers put these and many other vehicles through the paces both on the road and on the track gathering a further understanding about them.
As U.S. consumers continue their love affair with SUVs we can expect to see more vehicles that look like a car or a wagon, with all having the capability of a utility.
© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy