Following the numerical order of things, the BMW X4 fits snugly between the X3 and X5 in the brand’s “sport activity vehicle” lineup, but where those are both tall hatchbacks, the X4 is, um, different. Its four-door coupe body promises style, but at the expense of practicality.
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2018 BMW X4 Overview
What's New for 2018
Built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the BMW X4 is a carryover model for 2018 and sees minimal changes. A rearview camera and BMW’s ConnectedDrive services are now standard for all BMW vehicles. X4-specific updates are relegated to packages and pricing.
Choosing Your BMW X4
All 2018 BMW X4 models feature an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive as standard equipment with a choice of two engines. The entry level uses a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A larger twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter, straight-six pumps out 355 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque.
Fuel economy is EPA rated at 20 city miles per gallon, 28 highway, and 23 combined for the smaller-output engine while the V6 should return 18 city, 25 highway, and 21 combined. Plan on filling your X4, regardless of engine, with premium fuel.
The 2018 BMW X4 is available in two trim levels:
One would be hard-pressed to keep a 2018 BMW X4 at less than $50,000 due to the high-priced options. For example, Apple CarPlay requires navigation, which turns into a $2,000 bundle toward a $50,595 price tag. Instead, spend a little extra for the safety and driver assistance features offered in the Driving Assistance, Driving Assistance Plus, and Parking Assistance packages (with required navigation) for a $53,895 xDrive 28i. Even with more added options, the final sticker will remain less than $55,000.
If you absolutely need more dynamic luxury, move up to the xDrive M40i with Driving Assistance, Parking Assistance, navigation, and heated front seats for $64,845. Keep in mind, though, that this also means opting for the no-charge, non-metallic exterior paints—black or white for 28i, or white only for M40i.
2018 BMW X4 Review
The luxury crossover world has become so crowded that it’s now getting very niche heavy. One of the biggest niche markets as of late has been the crossover coupe, which is an SUV with angled rear glass that gives it the appearance of a coupe. BMW has its own pony in the crossover coupe segment with the 2018 X4. While this new-ish look is polarizing and has its downsides, we took a deep dive to see if these negatives outweigh all the positives the X4 offers.
While we may be a touch obsessed with the X4 M40i, the best value is in the base X4 xDrive28i model. Starting at $48,595 including destination, this model has nearly everything most buyers would want: 19-inch wheels, fog lights, heated mirrors, leatherette seating, a nine-speaker audio system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more.
On top of these desirable standard features, there are tons of options to choose from, like Nevada Leather upholstery, various wheel designs, multiple interior trims, an M Sport package, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Here’s how we would build our X4:
- Model: 2018 BMW X4 xDrive28i
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 240 hp / 260 lb-ft
- Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
- Options:Driving Assistance Package ($1,700, head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, and speed limit info), Parking Assistance Package ($700, surround-view camera and semi-automatic parking), Navigation ($1,700).
- Base Price:$48,595 (including the $995 destination fee)
- Best Value Price:$52,695
The 2018 BMW X4 has a sweet selection of engines for all buyers. The standard engine in the xDrive28i is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a respectable 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Opting for the X4 M40i is a real treat thanks to its 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that cranks out 355 hp and launches this crossover to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Both engines pair with a slick eight-speed transmission.
On the flip side, that potent six-cylinder engine is quite thirsty at 18 miles per gallon city, 25 highway, and 21 combined. Not only does it have quite the appetite, but it also has expensive taste that’s satiated only by premium fuel.
Probably one of its best and worst features is its style. On the good side, the X4 is unique looking and grabs eyeballs at every stop light. There’s just something about that coupe design paired with the available 20-inch wheels that scream for attention. It also certainly doesn’t lack premium looks inside too, as it not only boasts legendary BMW styling, but it also comes standard with wood accents.
As with any aggressive design, you’re bound to push away customers, and the 2018 X4 likely pushes away just as many as it attracts. There are plenty of shoppers who just don’t find that coupe look just pleasing on a crossover, as its proportions just never look quite right.
The Best and Worst Things
The outside-the-box looks of the 2018 BMW X4, while polarizing, are what we love the most. Sure, not everyone will be pleased with them, but at least BMW tried something relatively new in taking a smaller crossover and slapping the coupe styling on it. It’s one of those looks that if you enjoy it when you bought it, you'll continue enjoying it for many years to come.
On the downside, this coupe look comes with significant compromises inside, as its sloped roofline eats up mega space in the rear seats and cargo area. Relative to its non-coupe sibling, the X3, the X4’s 37.4 inches of rear headroom and 17.7 cubic feet of cargo room are 1.7 inches shorter and 11 cubes tighter. This means six-foot rear-seat passengers will feel the squeeze and hauling hockey gear is out.
Right For? Wrong For?
Right for childless singles and couples. The 2018 BMW X4 is perfect for folks without kiddos to haul around. Not only does this eliminate the daily need for the tight rear seat and cargo area, but it also means you can really enjoy tossing the M40i around without worrying about scaring the children.
Wrong for big families. Big families can forget about the 2018 X4. Its rear seat is just too tight, and its cargo room is not up to the task of hauling much cargo either.
The Bottom Line
It’s clear that the 2018 BMW X4 is far from the perfect crossover for everyone, but what it’s built to do, it does very well. This rig is for buyers who love the art of driving but prefer the added ride height and all-wheel drive the X4 provides over the typical sedan.
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