The BWM X4 enters its second year as the most intriguing spinoff of the compact 3 Series sedan. The sport activity vehicle, as BMW calls it, combines the ride height of a crossover with a fastback roofline reminiscent of a coupe. We like to think of it as high-style hatchback with a dose of ruggedness.
What's New for 2016
A premium Harman Kardon sound system is now standard on six-cylinder models.
Choosing Your BMW X4
BMW has seen fit to equip every X4 with all-wheel drive and an eight speed automatic transmission. The xDrive28i model uses a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder with 240 horsepower, while the xDrive35i gets a 3-liter six-cylinder turbo good for 300 horsepower. Otherwise, there is virtually no difference between the two models.
The X4 starts out with a good deal of equipment, including adaptive xenon headlamps, wood or aluminum interior trim, power front seats with driver memory (leatherette), a sunroof, a power tailgate, rear parking sensors and a 12-speaker sound system with HD radio.
The xDrive35i gets a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, which is optional on the xDrive28i. With the rear seat folded, you're looking at 49 cubic feet of cargo space, a bit more than a hatchback or the smallest crossovers.
You can select one of two optional trim lines to finish off your X4. The xLine carries lightweight Y-spoke 19-inch wheels, dark copper exterior trim and specific interior finishes. The M Sport line gets its own 19-inch wheels, an aerodynamic body kit and sportier trim details throughout.
Leather seating is part of the Premium Package, which also includes satellite radio and keyless access and ignition. The Cold Weather Package adds heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and retractable headlamp washers.
The Technology Package includes a head-up display, integrated smartphone apps and a navigation system (also available separately). You get front parking sensors and a rearview camera with the Driver Assistance Package, while Driver Assistance Plus tacks on a surround-view camera system, active collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning. Adaptive cruise control can be added to the package at additional cost.
Rounding out your choices are adaptive full LED headlamps and active suspension dampers for increased stability around curves.
All of the option packages are worthwhile, but indulging in goodies kicks the X4 into a whole different price class. The Premium Package, with its leather interior, is the most essential in our view.