By Sala Masindane
The first-generation BMW X4 was well received in South Africa, it had also bridged the gap between the X5 and the X6. What was also vitally important is that some who were calling for an X3 coupe and BMW duly responded with the X4. Now in its second generation, we spent some time with the BMW X4 XDrive 2.0i to see if it will maintain its spot in the market and is also remain competitive with the likes of Mercedes Benz GLC Coupe.
In terms of looks, what stands out is a large BMW kidney grille in a three-dimensional look in the center of the front end. Complementing this are the twin LED headlights with dynamic contours as well horizontal fog lamps as they add to the upmarket look of the X4. At the back, the rear LED lights with a three-dimensional shaping and the twin exhaust tailpipes that are chrome finished are some of the best features of the new X4 to look as together as they make the car appear sporty and larger.
The boot and rear space
Before we even go far, we need to discuss the key feature of the X4 and that is the back end, which some love or dislike. It has been more tilted as opposed to the previous generation and does come with a boot space trade-off (although the boot is larger compared to the first generation), well most coupes do come with that trade off. While we still on the boot, it is relatively decent at a claimed 525-litres (25-litres more than the Mercedes Benz GLC Coupe) but the problem will arise when trying to stack things up in the boot. The lower tapered line for the boot will make it impossible to close risking damage to the back window. However, there’s still tethers and strapping to ensure that stuff doesn’t move around. The through-loading between the back seats will also come in handy for the fisherman who may not be interested in adding roof-rails as accessories. Whilst entering the back was a struggle for a taller individual like myself as the slopping roof line has compromises the height of the opening of the back-door, there’s enough legroom and space for three occupants at the back. Perhaps as rebuttal to perceptions about the shape of the car, space is not limited at the back. It is also practical there are medium sized door bins, two cupholders and netting behind the seats for extra storage.
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Today we say hello to the new @bmwsouthafrica X4. The new X4 has grown in size. There is an increase of 81 millimetres in exterior length to 4,752 millimetres, 54 millimetres added to the wheelbase (now 2,864 millimetres) and an extra 37 millimetres of width (1,918 millimetres). Notwithstanding the growth in size, the X4 is 50 kilograms lighter. In terms of new looks, in the centre of the front end stands a large BMW kidney grille in a three-dimensional look. Twin LED headlights with dynamic contours as well as horizontal fog lamps add to the classy look of the BMW X4 models. At the back, the LED rear lights have a three-dimensional shaping and twin exhaust tailpipes. Interior? Inside the new X4 ups the ante on luxury. X logos are embossed into the electroplated surfaces of the doors, there is new Vernasca leather upholstery and an instrument panel in Sensatec trim can all be found on the extended list of optional extras, as can three-zone automatic climate control, active seat ventilation, ambient lighting, as well as the Ambient Air package, the BMW Display Key and the panoramic glass roof. How practical is the new x4? There are three full-size seats in the rear offering more legroom than before with the growth in the body. Load space can be expanded from 525 litres to a maximum of 1,430 litres by folding down the sections of the rear backrest, with its standard 40:20:40 split. #bmwx4inSA #bmwx4 #bmw #X4 #SUV #Coupe #NewCar #Luxury #Premium #SAV #suvlife #sheerdrivingpleasure #city #durban #jozi #joburg #capetown #picture #photo #photograph #photography #carphotography #sky #clouds #bluesky #palmtrees 📸 @salaontop
The interior and drive
Moving to the front there’s no sign of real reduction in size due to this being a coupe. The X4 logo plaque was a constant reminder as to which BMW model I was in. That signature logo is also seen on the door plates. Standard on the X4 is the 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen iDrive navigation system that is Bluetooth and USB ready. It comes with the BMW hand gesture, where you can increase the volume on the audio with use of your finger or can be controlled by the rotary dials. I had the convenience of the automatic climate control that has separate dial controls for the drive or passenger and cruise control with brake function. The latter can also be controlled on the multifunctional steering wheel, the media and the connected smartphone can also be operated on the steering wheel. The test unit was fitted with the optional telephone wireless charging (R7000), this came in handy when I had forgotten my USB cable at home.
This, being an SUV, the driving position is quite high and comfortable. The M sports seats are extendable for more tight support. There are a couple of blind spots on the X4 which makes it tricky to drive daily, these include one in the front, the tiny back window and another one when looking over your shoulder when pulling out of parking spots. Fortunately for me the park distance control (front and rear), driver assist plus with active cruise control (R26,800) and Lane charge warning (R13,950) made life easier. The air-suspension that we had experienced previously on the BMW 640i GT we tested was missed on the X4 as the suspension did feel hard and couple more bumps on the road were felt. The 2.0i turbopetrol engine with 140kW and 290Nm is no slouch on the road, whether it on highways or city driving. It was also pleasing to maintain a fuel consumption of 8.2l/100km which is not a far cry from the claimed 7.8l/100km. Look the X4 is one of those SUVs that are fun to own and drive, but my suggestion is that bigger families would rather opt for the BMW X3. Nonetheless it is not a bad choice and more practical than you would think, especially with this bigger second generation of the X4. The BMW X4 xDrive 2.0i is priced from R843,000.
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