If there is an SUV to challenge the supremacy of the Range Rover in a posh Jumeirah parking lot, it would be the BMW X5 closely followed by the Porsche Cayenne, going by presence rather than sheer numbers. It was fifteen years ago that BMW introduced the Sports Activity Vehicle with its new X5. What started as a single model in 1999 is today diversified into an entire X range consisting of the BMW X1, X3, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M variants; and come July 2014, they will celebrate the arrival of a new sibling – the new BMW X4.
To the onlooker, the new BMW X4 will seem closer to the X6, combining impressive sports car performance and Sports Activity Vehicle versatility with the elegance of a coupé. Recognizably BMW, what else did you expect, it flaunts large air intakes positioned on the outer edges of the front end and the precise character lines in the front apron as well as a wide track, visually low centre of gravity, long wheelbase and pronounced wheel arches – all suggesting good road holding. The coupé-like roofline of the BMW X4 peaks over the front seats, before dropping gently down towards the trailing edge of the tailgate.
BMW promises a generously sized interior – a driver-oriented cabin where every control is angled towards the driver. 500–1,400 litres of load capacity with the standard convenience of a 40:20:40 split rear seat bench makes for everyday usability, further enhanced by the automatically opening tailgate.
The BMW X4 is equipped with BMW ConnectedDrive that include high-resolution, full-colour Head-Up Display, which projects all important driving information into the driver’s field of view. It comes with the latest-generation Navigation System Professional with ECO PRO route guidance and the iDrive Touch Controllerby which you can input a navigation destination with just a finger.
The BMW X4 will offer two powerful engines, both with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The xDrive35i with a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine delivers a maximum output of 306 hp while the xDrive28i with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine delivers 245 hp. The 0 to 100 figures for the new X4 given by BMW are 5.5 seconds and 6.4 seconds respectively.
Optional: Comfort Access that allows the boot to be opened with a movement of the foot. Anti-dazzle High Beam Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus including Pedestrian and Collision Warning, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Surround View and the Parking Assistant, which steers the car autonomously into parking spaces parallel to the road.
First impressions: The BMW X4 is a smaller alternative to those who dream of an X6, following its sloping towards the rear sort of design. Somehow it reminds me of a duckling, not the ugly kind though, the fittings and options seem alluring, so let’s wait till we drive it before we judge it.