BMW of North America sent its U.S. market a Valentine’s Day present with the debut of the second-generation BMW X4. The new G02 BMW X4 M40i and X4 xDrive30i were released on February 14th as 2019 models. With wider tracks, sportier suspensions, improved aerodynamics, and lower centers of gravity, the new X4 Sports Activity Coupe is clearly intended for fun and spirited driving, even more so than its X3 Sports Activity Vehicle sibling.
The G02 2019 BMW X4 supersedes the first-generation F26 X4, which was BMW’s second offering in its Sports Activity Coupe family behind the ground-breaking BMW X6. More than 200,000 F26 versions were sold globally since 2014, with 19,712 delivered in the U.S. It speaks to the sporty intentions of the vehicle that the launch of the new X4 includes both the X4 xDrive 30i and the more dynamic X4 xDrive M40i.
The all-new 2019 BMW X4 will be available at BMW dealers in July 2018. Prices start at $50,450 for the X4 30i, and $60,450 for the X4 M40i, plus Destination and Handling.
At 187.5 inches, the new X4 is about three inches longer than the previous model. The wheelbase, now 112.7 inches, is 2.1 inches longer than the F26. The new X4 is 1.4 inches wide (75 inches total) and a tenth of an inch lower at 63.8 inches. “Longer, lower, wider” was a common advertising slogan for American cars as far back as the 1941 Studebaker. We’re not comparing BMWs to Studebakers, but in the world of SUVs and SUV-like coupes, where longer and wider means larger interiors for passengers and cargo, and lower—even if it’s only a tenth of an inch—is better for the center of gravity, then longer, lower, and wider is probably a good thing. It helps that the added length is not at the expense of short front and rear overhangs, and the total weight distribution is still 50:50—a BMW signature characteristic.
Another BMW characteristic we expect is the Hofmeister Kink at the base of the C-pillar. The new X4’s Hofmeister Kink is more elongated with sharper angles, but at least it’s there. The kidney grilles on the X4 are of the large variety, in keeping with what appears to be a trend on new BMWs. The headlights are twin LEDs on each side. In fact, all the exterior lighting is now done with LEDs.
New buyers may specify one of two optional model lines. The standard xLine has front and rear underguard elements and side skirts in Glacier Silver metallic with side window surrounds and styling accents in a satin Aluminum finish. The M40i has aerodynamically optimized front and rear aprons and side skirts, and High-gloss Black accents. The BMW X4 M40i can be ordered with BMW Individual parts or M Performance items.
The G02’s cabin is roomier than that of the F26 X4. A lower instrument panel and slightly higher seating means the driver has better visibility. Large storage trays, door pockets, and cupholders provide more room to stash stuff; the sports seats have been redesigned for more lateral support; and driver-adjustable ambient lights all contribute to a more comfortable interior.
The X4 xDrive 30i comes with standard sports seats, while the X4 M40i gets M-specific sports seats, a sport leather steering wheel, and the standard anthracite-colored BMW Individual headliner, along with aluminum interior trim strips. Seat materials range from Sensatec to special BMW Individual leathers. Electrically adjustable and heated seats, active seat ventilation, and three-zone automatic climate control with separately adjustable temperature control in the rear are optional. The panoramic glass moon roof is standard.
Rear-seat passengers get an inch more legroom in the new X4. The cargo area can fit 18.5 cubic feet of whatever will fit. That goes to 50.5 cubic feet if the rear seats are folded down. The rear backrest is very utilitarian with a 40:20:40 split and can be individually adjusted.
Aerodynamics helps with performance and efficiency. BMW has reduced the new X4’s aerodynamic drag by 10 percent through body redesign, active air flap control, new Air Curtains in the front apron, and additional underbody panels. The result is a new benchmark in the X4’s class with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.30. If you don’t think that’s great, remember that the BMW i8’s outstanding coefficient of drag is only slightly lower at 0.26.
The latest-generation X4 gets the latest-generation powerplants. The X4 xDrive 30i has the inline four-cylinder gasoline engine that uses BMW TwinPower Turbo technology to generate 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This gets the new X4 30i from zero to 60 mph in 6 seconds flat.
The X4 M40i contains an inline six-cylinder engine, something we love to see. This mill makes 355 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque and as a result goes to 60 from zero in just 4.6 seconds. Both models transmit the engine’s power to the rest of the drivetrain through a standard eight-speed Sport transmission. It also has Launch Control in case you want to go a little crazy.
As every new BMW is introduced, we see extensions of safety features, driver assistance, and connectivity from previous models and the new X4 proves this out. Its safety features include Active Protection, which initiates protective measures when an accident situation is imminent such as belt tensioning and the closing of windows and moonroof to a small gap; and Active Guard includes Frontal Collision Warning, City Collision Mitigation with Braking, Pedestrian Warning with City Braking, and Speed Limit Information.
We all know that the vast majority of X4s sold will never go off road. However, for those adventurous few who will, the next X4 comes with eight inches of ground clearance and the ability to for 19.8 inches of water. It has a break over angle of 19.4° and angles of approach and departure of 25.7° and 22.6° respectively.
The new X4, as we would expect, is delivered with a seemingly ever-increasing alphabet soup of driving dynamic features, including: Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Antilock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Automatic Differential Brake (ADB-X), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Start-Off Assistant and Hill Descent Control (HDC).
Nineteen-inch light-alloy wheels are standard, with 19-inch, 20-inch and 21-inch wheels available as options.
Besides a more powerful engine, X4 M40i owners will get M Sport brakes as standard equipment, as well as the M Sport Suspension and the flap-controlled M Sports exhaust. The Adaptive M Suspension is an option only on the M Performance variant of the new X4.
Like the BMWs that follow it, the new X4 comes with more technology and more driver assistance and semi-automated systems than its predecessor. If BMW has green-lighted a system for production cars, the X4 will have it. This includes the latest generations of Active Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert rear, and Speed Limit Information. The Driving Assistant Plus Package builds upon that with: Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance, Traffic Jam Assistant, Evasion Aid & Cross Traffic alert front and rear. Most of these will be optional.
To control the technology available to the driver, BMW has included the latest iDrive operating system. If your X4 has the BMW Navigation system Professional, you may interact using a freestanding touch screen monitor with a high-resolution 10.25-inch screen diagonal. The iDrive controller, Gesture Control, and voice command are also available. The latest-generation BMW Head-Up Display has a 75-percent larger projection area.
Another handy option on the new X4 is a WiFi hotspot that provides high-speed Internet for up to ten devices.
The new X4’s built-in SIM card is the nerve center for BMW Connected, with which the X4 and connected devices can handle everything from emergencies to entertainment.
The 2019 BMW X4 is being built in Spartanburg, South Carolina on the same assembly line as its SAV relative, the BMW X3. If offers the same utility as the X3—minus some cargo space—with sportier looks and the latest BMW technology. If all-wheel drive and high ground clearance are important and more than five seats and a huge cargo area are not necessary, the 2019 BMW X4 can be a very attractive vehicle.—Scott Blazey
[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]