2015 BMW X4: First look

Motor Trend

The baby X6 will debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

By Karla Sanchez of Motor Trend

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Putting your clothes in the dryer can be tricky. Your favorite shirt magically transforms from a size ‘large’ to more like something you’d find at Baby Gap. That’s pretty much what happened to the 2015 BMW X4. It’s no longer a size “X6.” Although it’s in a much smaller package, BMW says the X4 combines all the “performance and capability of a premium Sports Activity Vehicle with the style and elegance of a traditional coupe.” The BMW X4 will be unveiled at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

Like the X6, the X4 will be available in two trims. Starting at $45,625 including destination, the X4 xDrive28i will house a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. But for those who want more oomph, there’s the X4 xDrive35i at $48,925, which takes advantage of a 3.0-liter I-6 that puts out 300 hp between 5800 and 6400 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque that peaks between 1200 and 5000 rpm. With those numbers, BMW says the X4 xDrive28i can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6 seconds, with the xDrive35i getting there much quicker in 5.2 seconds. Both engines come standard with xDrive (all-wheel drive in BMW speak) and paddle shifters connected to an eight-speed “sport” automatic transmission. With xDrive also comes Performance Control, which uses the stability control system to direct power to the outside rear wheel when cornering to improve traction.

View Pictures:  2015 BMW X4

Compared to the X3, which is the next-smallest Sport Activity Vehicle, the X6 is 0.6 inches longer and it squats 1.5 inches lower to the ground. This lowers the center of gravity, which BMW says indicates its “sharper dynamics.” Since it sits lower, that means front and rear passengers do too; front and rear passengers are 0.8- and 1.1 inches lower to the ground, giving them the sensation of sitting inside a “classic sports coupe.” But it’s all “Sport Activity Vehicle” on the outside. Like the X6, the X4 has large air intakes positioned on the outer edges of the front fascia and LED foglights underneath the round headlights, but it also has some unique characteristics. The signature character line that runs along the beltline is split into two on the X6, with the first line rising “smoothly from the front wheel arches to the door handles” and the second part accentuating the “powerful sculpting of the rear fenders.” This new styling gives the X4 a more muscular appearance than the X6, but other than that, it looks relatively the same with its coupe-like roofline extending all the way to the truncated rear.

Inside, elegance mixes with sporting intentions, with a high-gloss black panel accented with aluminum trim strips in the wood paneling. With more standard features than the X3, the X4 comes with a sports leather steering wheel, variable sport steering, and rear parking sensors. Also standard is a power tailgate, but for those who want to open it simply by moving their foot underneath the tailgate, that will cost extra. All X4s will also come with the iDrive system, but if you check off navigation, the iDrive controller with a touchpad is thrown in as an added bonus. From the sound of it, you’ll want to upgrade to the touchpad system since drivers or passengers can use their finger to write letters for text input. Also on the options list is a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian and collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot system, surround rearview camera, and a park assist system that parallel parks the X4. If you don’t like making too many trips to the gas station, the X4 is also available with eco mode and a start-stop system.

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The X4 can be further customized with the M Sport package. Per usual, that option will outfit the X4 with an aerodynamics package, a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats, Anthracite headliner, M leather steering wheel, M door sills, M driver’s footrest, and 19- or 20-inch wheels. Although it’s not the real M treatment, we’d guess it’s only a matter of time before we’ll see an X4 M.

With the X6 selling 250,000 units to-date, the automaker hopes the mini version will score just as big. We’ll find out more details when the 2015 BMW X4 is unveiled at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

More coverage from the New York International Auto Show

Written by Lewis Shaw

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