With the 2014 New York International Auto Show looming large on the horizon, premier German automaker BMW has a laundry list of possibilities for display. One of the choices is to be the all-new X4 Compact Crossover Sport Activity Vehicle. Although the X4 is an all-wheel drive vehicle, this whole line of BMW SAVs is geared more towards those individuals that desire a car-like driving experience and also need the cargo capacity of an SUV, more so than individuals that need some off-road capability. The BMW X line is pretty handy in snowy and icy weather but it is has virtually no ground clearance and limited traction potential. What it does have is a lot of class, style, and a great deal of diversity.
The addition of the X4 will add to the diversity of the “X” line, fitting in neatly between the X3 and the X5 (that is a heck of a lot of Xs). BMW acknowledges the fact that the X4 is more about riding in high-style than about workhorse utility and they are fine with that; especially since X models account for nearly a third of total BMW sales. The X6 is another prime example of a similar situation. Many automotive insiders believe that the X4 will simply be a more economical version of the X6, with a smaller engine and most everything else, including price tag.
The X4 will share a platform with the slightly smaller X3. Engine options will be the same but the X4 will have a ride height that is 1.5-inches lower than the X3 and it will be wider. Typical BMW twin-kidney shaped grilles and a long hood combine with short overhangs and a fast-back style roof line to create a vigorous aesthetic for the X4.
The bottom-tier X4 XDrive 328i will use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at an impressive 240-hp primarily due to variable valve timing and direct fuel injection. The top-tier X4 XDrive 335i will get the 300-hp turbocharged inline-six-cylinder. Both will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and patented BMW X Drive all-wheel drive system. In pre-production testing the 328i accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in just 6-seconds and the 335i required only 5.2-seconds to reach 60 mph from a dead stop. Whether you like them or hate them, you will have no problem admitting that BMW produces as good a suspension setup as there is in the world and the X4 will have it in spades — Sport tuned, no less, with electronic stability and traction control.
The interior is spacious with nearly 18-cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seat or nearly 50-cubic feet with the seat folded down. The split rear bench seat is a tri-folder in a 40/20/40 setup. A power tailgate is included as standard equipment and features innovative motion sensing capabilities for hands-free operation from outside of the vehicle. Plush leather seating surfaces that provide exactly the right blend of cushiony comfort and firm support abound in the X4, along with every imaginable audio, communication, and electronically powered comfort and safety convenience.