An awful lot of what we see in the auto industry is inevitably quite derivative. After all, it costs an incredible amount of money to design, develop, build and market a new vehicle, so it's always going to be tempting to adopt a "better safe than sorry" kind of attitude. However, every now and again someone comes up with something truly original that almost defies description, and that's exactly what BMW did when it came up with the X6 a few years ago. It wasn't a coupe, it wasn't an SUV, and it certainly wasn't a wagon or a sedan, but it was actually combination of them all. Some observers were quick to suggest it was a vehicle that didn't really make any sense, but how wrong they quickly turned out to be. It's hardly surprising then that after being such a phenomenal success with consumers, the concept is now being rolled out further. As the 4 Series is the coupe version of the 3 Series, it's only natural to do a similar thing with the crossovers in the BMW family, so here's our 2017 BMW X4 Overview to give you the lowdown on what is a seriously desirable addition to what is already becoming one of the industry's most exciting segments.
Like the bigger X6 that did the groundwork for it, the X4 gives up some degree of functionality in favor of unashamedly fashionable styling. The back end of the X3 has been given a coupe-like facelift to give the X4 a curvier and more gracious profile. If you like the look of its bigger sibling, the X4 perhaps does an even better job of restyling the model it's based upon than the X6 did before it. If out and out practicality is at the top of your list of priorities you'll probably stick with an X3, but even then, the temptation to go with the sleek and sporty look of the X4 isn't going to go away anytime soon.
Once you've decided the 2017 BMW X4 is for you, choosing which version to go for isn't going to be an arduous task as the German automaker has kept the lineup incredibly straightforward with just two clearly distinguishable models, which are the X4 xDrive28i and the X4 M40i.
The xDrive28i is an all-wheel drive offering that's powered by the manufacturer's excellent 2.0-liter TwinPower turbo inline four-cylinder engine. In this application it develops 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, which is then sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission with Sport and Manual shift modes and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. This combination gets you to 60 mph from a standing start in just six seconds, and the EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings come in at 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined.*
The xDrive28i will be more than powerful enough for most buyers, but for those who want more, the M40i delivers in a big way. This time you get a 3.0-liter M Performance TwinPower turbo inline six-cylinder, which produces 355 horsepower and 343 lb.-ft. of torque. Although it doesn't have xDrive in its name, the M40i also sends the power to the all-wheel drivetrain through that superb eight-speed automatic. As for the speed, the M40i gets you to 60 in a seriously impressive 4.7 seconds and then takes you onwards to a top speed of 130 mph.
It may be difficult to pigeonhole the X4 as it doesn't really sit in any one widely accepted segment, but that doesn't detract from the fact this is a seriously desirable vehicle that drives and performs as well as it looks. And that really is saying something.
*All vehicle mileage based on 2016 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.