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All-new BMW X4 offers improved drive dynamics

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I really don’t get the appeal of a four-door crossover SUV with a coupe profile. If you want an SUV, get an SUV. If you want a coupe, get a coupe. This design mutation of a coupe-like-SUV does nothing for me, however, the all-new 2019 BMW X4 does look a lot more pulled together when it is compared to its predecessor.

Powerful, smooth, and exceptionally competent on the highway, it’s a BMW through and through. Further, the interior treatment is a thing of beauty as well. A well-considered evolution, if you’re acquainted with BMW’s contemporary passenger compartments, the familial traits are readily apparent. Controls are well placed, materials are sumptuous, seats are comfortable, and the driving position is ideal. What’s more, the SUV-like ride height also enhances the driver’s ability to see down the road.

Propulsion comes from a choice of two engine configurations. The base powerplant, fitted to the model designated X4 xDrive30i, is a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 248 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The more upmarket iteration, the X4 M40i, brings a turbocharged 3.0-L inline six-cylinder with 355 horsepower and 365 lb.-ft. Both power all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

If you sit behind the 2.0-L four and never experience the 3.0-L six, you’ll be more than satisfied. The engine delivers in any situation you’re likely to encounter on public roads. What’s more, the suspension system is calibrated to enable you to hustle along winding two-lanes with ease. Said succinctly, for most people, the 2.0-L is more than sufficient.

However, the X4 M40i’s more aggressive character does introduce an added element of entertainment. Thrust is commanding and its sound is decidedly performance-oriented. Nice little poofs are emitted from the exhaust system during gear changes under hard throttle. It emits a lively series of snaps, crackles, and pops on overrun when you lift off the throttle. Deliciously visceral, the engine is a huge part of the M40i’s dynamic personality.

What’s more, with its bigger brakes, adaptive suspension system, and BMW’s renowned M Sport differential directing power to improve cornering, you can have a lot of fun exploring the X4 M4Oi’s broad performance envelope. If you like to drive, you’ll enjoy driving this BMW coupe-crossover-SUV, almost as much as you’ll appreciate piloting one of the marque’s M-badged sport sedans.

The cabin X4 is roomier with controls clearly arranged and set within trim finishers featuring a distinctly pared-down design. According to BMW, the low instrument panel and the slightly raised seating position afford drivers a great view of the road ahead.

The automaker explains that the redesigned sports seats with boldly contoured side bolsters provide outstanding lateral support even in extreme handling situations. Top-class materials, precise build quality and a host of well-crafted details set the tone for the premium character of the X4. Also, the lighting mood adjusts as the driver pleases thanks to a choice of six colors.

Bottom line, if you need an SUV and the way it goes matters more to you than the way it shows, this BMW may well be the ride for which you’ve been waiting. It’s fast, agile, nicely balanced, reasonably utilitarian, and very comfortable. For 2019, BMW X4 xDrive30i pricing starts at $50,450, while the 2019 BMW X4 M40i starts as $60,450.