With traditional sport utility vehicles all over the market, manufacturers have expanded to a more coupe-like design to entice new buyers. Even with certain concessions, these vehicles have found a market even though most enthusiasts look at them with disdain. Performance aside, these vehicles need to catch consumers’ attention, and this styling direction works. Luxury brands have led the charge with crossover coupés and our tester is no different. This week we have the 2022 BMW X4 M40i to evaluate and go over the good, the bad and the ugly.
For 2022, the BMW X4 has gone through a mid-cycle refresh, giving it some subtle changes from the previous model year. These changes inside and out differentiate the vehicle substantially when put side by side, but overall the X4 maintains the same profile. Outside there are new wheel designs, nips and tucks on the front grill and bumpers. Inside the dashboard has been updated along with small changes to the steering wheel and electronic shifter.
Power comes through via a 3.0-liter intercooled turbocharged inline six-cylinder, with a mild hybrid setup. It’s matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission and power is put to the ground through BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The 48-volt hybrid system helps with performance over efficiency. The engine is smooth and powerful, getting 0-100 times in the low to mid four-second range. Even in Comfort mode, effort required to extract power is minimal. Change the drive mode to Sport and expect to lose your license very quickly, because this motor packs some serious grunt.
Handling is surprisingly good for such an oddly shaped vehicle. Despite its height and slightly awkward proportions, the X4’s steering makes it quite tossable yet well controlled. There is a level of confidence found here that is normally lacking when behind the wheel of most crossovers. Rough roads and potholes are soaked up with ease and little disruption inside.
Inside, the X4 may not be as visually impressive as a Mercedes-Benz GLC, but the overall form and function are top notch. More mature users won’t feel overwhelmed with tech and should feel right at home with the BMW’s corporate and clean design. This is not to say that there is a lack of tech to be found but it doesn’t smack you in the face once you step in like current Mercedes or Audi models tend to do. The gesture controls are more of a gimmick but do work well. Materials are top notch and the optional open pore wood equipped here is a nice touch.
The 12.3-inch infotainment screen is crisp and easy to navigate. We preferred to use the scrolling knob or touchscreen to flip through the various apps and functions. Our 2022 BMW X4 M40i was optioned with the Premium Package Enhanced which includes a handful of items such as ambient lighting, heads up display, a power decklid and the fantastic Harman-Kardon sound system. In addition, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard and works seamlessly with no lag.
For those seated inside, there is enough head and leg room for four adults. A fifth person can jump in the second row but it’s basically kid-only. Sadly with the raked roofline, rear headroom and cargo space is greatly reduced from the X4’s sibling, the X3.
Fuel efficiency is relatively impressive for the X4’s size and performance. We achieved 10.2L/100km during a week of testing in frigid weather and light snow. Ratings sit at 11.2L/100km city and 9.1L/100km highway, for a combined 10.1L/100km. With mostly city driving and liberal use of sportier modes, I was pleasantly shocked with this engine’s fuel economy. The 65-liter tank does require 91-octane premium fuel.
Entry into a BMW X4 does start at $59,574 for the smaller xDrive30i engine, with just 248 horsepower from the four-cylinder. For proper performance as tested here, buyers will need to step up to the M40i model starting at $75,254. Liberally optioned here, our tester came in just under $90,000. Comparables here include the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and Audi SQ5, both available in two distinct body styles depending on which direction the buyer wants to go.
The 2022 BMW X4 M40i is not for everyone with its polarizing exterior design, but sales history has proven that there is an enthusiastic group of buyers that want these things. It still offers the same excellent refinement, upscale feel and driving engagement that we have come to expect from BMW. Our recommendation is to maximize utility and go for a regular X3.