2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i review (video)

Mark Davis

As the SUV market flourishes, it only makes sense to create another body style within the SUV realm. In 2014, the BMW X4 joined its bigger sibling, the BMW X6, offering a sportier, coupe-like design alternative to the X3.

Fast forward to 2022, and the BMW X4 now competes against the likes of similar-shaped luxury mid-sized SUVs like the Audi Q5 Sportback, Range Rover Velar, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. You can get the X4 in xDrive20i,‘xDrive30i, and M40i form. Here, we’re assessing the xDrive30i. It is fitted with a familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that outputs 185kW of power and 350Nm of torque. All variants come with an eight-speed auto transmission that drives all four wheels.

Interestingly, the M Sport pack comes as default on all models, which might help to justify the X4’s high price tag. Prices for our xDrive30i in question start from $99,990 (excluding on-road costs).

2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i – THE SPECS

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]Engine: 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder
Output: 185kW@6500rpm / 350Nm@1450-4800rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Wheels: F: 20×8.0, 245/45  R: 20×9.5, 275/40
ANCAP: Five stars
Tare weight: 1773kg
Power-to-weight: 10.13:1 (kg:kW)
Official fuel economy: 7.9L/100km
Economy during test: 7.5L/100km
Fuel capacity/Type: 65L/95 RON[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]Power efficiency: 23.41kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 2.96 seconds*
0-100km/h: 6.49 seconds*
60-110km/h: 4.48 seconds*
1/4 mile: 14.66 seconds at 154.6km/h*
Max acceleration: 0.778g
100-0km/h braking: 3.01 seconds at 37.60 metres*
Max deceleration: -1.273g
Decibel at idle: 43*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 84*
Priced from: $99,900[/column][end_columns]

* Figures as tested by PerformanceDrive on the day. Factory claims may be different

2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i – THE PACKAGE

Within the comprehensive BMW SUV lineup, the X4 is only 43mm longer and 27mm wider than the X3. But it is 55mm shorter due to that sleeker coupe shape. Within its unique silhouette that familiar BMW design language shines through. It goes with the iconic double crested front grille and sharp, dual lens headlamps.

A gradually sloped roofline down to the rear emphasises aerodynamics and speed. The jury is out on the appearance of the rear with its coupe shape and large inbuilt spoiler swoop. It reminds us of an early ’90s Honda CR-X. The LED taillights dazzle with their long horizontal profile that wrap around the sides of the car.

Opening the door to the interior tickles the senses. Modern, driver-centric, and more practical than previous BMWs. There are more holes and bigger cup holders to throw your belongings into. You’ll notice an almost dizzying number of buttons scattered throughout, meaning BMW is keen to have all your customisations laid out for quick access – once you learn where they all are.

A palette of different coloured ‘Vernasca’ leather trims and optional Merino leather are available. Reds, browns, blacks, blues, and oyster cream all look and feel superior in their own right. In terms of trim inlays, there are three to individualise with – aluminium, glossy black, and ash woodgrain. Our test vehicle looks superb with its glossy piano black finish and red leather. But it does show dust and fingerprints easily. The other two textured options might hide the dust better.

BMW’s Operating System 7.0 runs two premium quality 12.3-inch displays – one in the centre dash and one for the fully digital instrument cluster. They both present stunningly with their high resolution and crispness, and the menu layouts are simple to navigate, especially with BMW’s famous iDrive controller wheel on the console.

In the front row, the area around you feels spacious. M Sport seats hug you in place appropriately, though they are highly customisable for varying body shapes. They provide top-notch ergonomics and lateral support for long drives. The second row feels just as accommodating and well-appointed. Only, the entry/exit room is slightly impeded due to that swooping roofline. Three-zone climate control, USB-C ports and plenty of legroom makes a journey for rear passengers just as comfortable as the front passengers.

The boot space measures in as large on paper – 525 litres or 1430 litres with the rear seats folded down. It is capable of swallowing three large suitcases with its long boot length. But you might struggle with taller, bulkier items compared with conventionally-shaped SUVs with that angled coupe shape cutting into the boot. For reference, the X3 offers 550L/1600L.

Cashed up luxury car buyers love the ability to customise their new cars. BMW is one of the best brands for this. But there are some features that really should be standard for a $100k SUV we think. For example, radar cruise control, active shadowing headlamps, and heated or ventilated seats are all extra costs. Some of these features are now standard in Kias and Hyundais that are a fraction of the price.

But some of the good stuff you get includes a brilliant 12-speaker sound system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and digital radio. A wireless phone charging pad, front, rear and side cameras, forward collision and pedestrian mitigation, front and rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and blind-spot sensors, selectable driving modes (Sport, Comfort, Eco Pro, and Individual), head-up info display (though, this one reflected the black area of the screen onto the windscreen too much at night), road sign recognition, park assist with automated steering, M Sport electronically adjustable dampers, performance brakes with painted calipers, and those M Sport seats also come standard on the 30i.

BMW offers a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. The unlimited kilometres meet industry standard, but the three-year term falls short of premium rivals. However, three years of free roadside assistance is above average.

2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i – THE DRIVE

Contrary to previous generation BMWs, the numbers in the variant name have no association to the engine size. The xDrive30i sports a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine that produces a strong 185kW of power and 350Nm of torque. It’s certainly an eager and lively engine behind the wheel.

There is no hesitation for it to kick back and perform, partly thanks to the brilliant ZF transmission. And it produces the goods across the entire power band. With peak torque available at an incredibly low 1450rpm, it pulls up hills in higher gears fluently. At the same time, the engine is content to rev right up to the limiter at 6700rpm, with peak power at 6500rpm.

You can feel an extra surge of oomph above 5500rpm. And the engine sound is just as encouraging from here too. The 0-100km/h sprint is officially rated at an impressive 6.3 seconds. Our testing revealed a time of 6.49 seconds using a Vbox. It’s certainly quick, especially considering the relatively mild power output for this sort of time.

The eight-speed auto transmission is flawlessly smooth like a luxury SUV should be, yet quick to transition through the gears like a sports coupe. Worlds better than some dual-clutch and CVT autos out there. It is also geared for the Autobahns of Germany, which means it idles at only 1850rpm at 120km/h and 1700rpm at 110km/h.

For a non-hybrid engine fuel consumption rates reasonably well in the X4 xDrive30i. It’s officially rated at 7.9L/100km. Importantly, it’s one of few engines that stays economical when pushed hard, too. And thanks to that tall gearing and low-down torque, freeway cruising is notably economical. We drove our test vehicle on the freeways more than in the suburbs, allowing our average to fall to 7.5L/100km. And we were still frivolous with our right foot. 95 RON fuel is required.

There is no off-road driving mode to select, and the tyres are low profile, measuring 245/45 at the front and 275/40 at the back. Even lower if you option yours with bigger rims. So, the X4 isn’t designed to be taken far off the tarmac. Ground clearance of 204mm and all-wheel drive gives some assurance if you want to use the X4 on rough gravel or dirt road.

Where it ultimately glows is on the bitumen. Wide set tyres and M Sport calibrated suspension gives the X4 an edge to be enjoyed beyond the daily commute or to the supermarket. It thrives on a winding country road as it hugs the corners firmly with minimum body roll. The electronically adjustable dampers enable the X4 to offer a smooth and dynamic ride on the same stretch of road.

Individual mode granted from the M Sport package gives you the ability to create a driving profile to suit your desires. If you choose Comfort mode, bumps can still be felt through the cabin as the X4 seems more biased to dynamics. Steering is also appropriately weighty for a firm and stable feel at higher speeds.

The M Sport pack provides beefed up brakes. They have an undoubtedly strong feel and stopping power. But they bring out a terrible rocking-horse effect when coming to a dead stop. Whether braking gently or firmly, it’s near impossible to avoid. We also found this in other models like the X7 and X5.

2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i – THE VIDEO

2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i – THE VERDICT

The US-built BMW X4 is a bold and luxurious SUV for those who seek a sportier design than conventionally shaped, boxier SUVs. It unquestionably struts a sleek and athletic design. Aside from unrefined braking, and some features that you shouldn’t have to pay extra for, the X4 xDrive30i is an option worth placing high on your shortlist.

We especially love its outstanding presentation and driver-centric design on the inside. And behind the wheel, its dynamics make you feel like you are in an actual sports coupe. Matched by a thrilling turbo engine that performs across the entire powerband.

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]PROS:
– Enthusiastic engine with encouraging note, and a silky-smooth ZF transmission
– Superb economy at highway speeds – 1700rpm at 110km/h
– Fuel consumption remains reasonable even when driven hard
– Brilliant sound system considering it is non-branded
– Improved cabin storage and practicality[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]CONS:
– Unrefined braking – nearly impossible to stop smoothly without rocking-horse feeling
– No radar cruise at this price point is astounding
– Boot volume is reduced with the coupe-like shape
– Expensive, comparatively[/column][end_columns]

As always, if you’re thinking about buying a new car don’t forget to click here to speak with our car buying specialists.

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