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BMW has updated the X4 to the second-gen model after four years since the first one. Four years is not a very long life cycle. However, the German car maker had not given this car a mid-life facelift; this was because it was always planning to replace it with a newer car. The company did this because competition has become stiffer and the car lacks the monopoly it originally had.
At present, Mercedes has the GLC Coupe in this segment and Audi is all set to launch the Q4 to rival it. So as to keep the X4 as up-to-date as possible the company has brought about the newest X4. This BMW uses the CLAR platform that is seen on the new X3. In short, the X4 is a coupe version of the new X3 and under the sportier bodywork.
That said, it isn’t easy for designers to pull off a sporty looking SUV, especially if it were to look like a coupe. The X4, like the X6 has similar polarising styling. While, the first-gen car didn’t look the best, this new one has much nicer proportions and huge 21 inch wheels (on the M Sport variant).
The German car manufacturer didn’t bring the first variant to India as the company wasn’t capable to make it. That said the new plant and more pronounced dealer network. This is why we believe that the company will launch it and plug the gap. With the X4, the German brand is targeting those looking for a bit more style in their SUVs.
On the inside
The coupe-like roof, as you would expect, eats into the headroom. This means, taller individuals will be brushing their heads at the rear. That said, the car does have pretty decent legroom at the rear. If you are going to spend most of the time being driven around, then this is not the car for you. You would be better off in the more-spacious X3.
The dashboard in the X4 is straight from the X3. This is why you get a similar controls, dials and infotainment system. The standard screen on the car is a 6.5 inch unit however; the M Sport variant we drove had a 10.25 inch unit.
The equipment in the X3 is similar to the X3, the top-spec variant also features a key fob with a touchscreen display. The car also has wireless phone charging and a large panoramic sunroof. The X4 has much lesser overall room (including storage capacity) than the X3.
How does it drive?
The X4, as you would expect, has been launched internationally with a number of powertrain options. These include three petrol and four diesel units. We believe the Indian variant will come powered by the same motors found in the X3 here. This includes a 190hp diesel and a 252hp turbo-petrol.
The car we were driving was powered by a 2.0 litre, four cylinder, turbo-petrol motor. The SUV has a claimed 0-100kph time of 6.3 seconds and the engine has a good amount of grunt. The X4 we drove had an eight-speed transmission that shifted quickly and smoothly.
Christopher Früh, who worked on the dynamics of the new X4, admits it has a fair bit of understeer dialled in. “The wider track at the rear, which we wanted more for the looks and the stance, has resulted in making the car understeer a bit,” he says.
This shows, and the steering lacks the feel you would want from a BMW. Früh says this is deliberate. “We ◊ ∆ have built some slack into the steering. Our customers don’t want it to be too quick as it makes the handling edgy and nervous for them at high speeds.”
However, if driven without aggression, the car offers impressive body control and ride and handling. The car is also very agile and the brakes stop the car with good force. But, we did find the car to have a harsh ride however, that could be because of the large 21 inch front wheels.
Should I buy one?
In short, the X4 is a stylish version of the X3. The X4 is less of a family vehicle and more of an alternative for individuals looking for additional style. You will like the X4 if design is important to you and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of interior and boot space. However, you will have to consider the cost. When it goes on sale, we believe it will be priced at Rs 65 lakh, around 7-8 lakh over a similar-spec X3.
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