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Auto review: BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe gets a redesign for its second generation

The sportster, freshened from its 2014 introduction, boasts an enhanced athletic look with more light, power, and aerodynamics.

The new BMW X4 boasts an athletic look

The new BMW X4 boasts an athletic look with more light, power, and aerodynamics. Photo Credit: BMW of North America/Fabian Kirchbauer

The BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe, launched in 2014, is all new for its second generation for 2019, with sportier proportions, a wider track, lower center of gravity, improved aerodynamics, and updated suspension settings.

The X4 commands attention with a coupelike roofline, athletic curves and compelling color choices.

Plus, a new panoramic, two-panel moon roof lets in more light and air, with a power shade to reduce glare as needed.

Two models are available: xDrive 30i, starting at $50,450; and M40i, from $60,450. Both have standalone design features and model-specific 19-inch light-alloy wheels. Colors, wheels and interior trims vary depending on the trim chosen.

A 248-horsepower 2.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo inline four-cylinder engine powers the xDrive 30i, while a 3.0-liter BMW M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine powers the M40i, both paired with an eight-speed Sport Steptronic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters, and Launch Control function.

BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive is standard, as well as Driving Dynamics Control with Sport, Comfort, Eco Pro, and Sport Plus modes.

My xDrive 30i was an xLine sub-trim with special front and rear underguard elements and rocker panels in Glacier Silver metallic that accentuated the vehicle’s off-road appearance, and window surrounds and styling accents in satin aluminum. The M Sport sub-trim starts at $53,170, with exclusive packages, fewer exterior colors, and changes in the interior.

Standard 19-inch light-alloy wheels were replaced by 20-inch Y-spoke bi-color orbit gray wheels, wearing low-profile, performance run-flat tires ($950).

The interior was roomy and inviting, with redesigned sports seats featuring boldly contoured bolsters for excellent lateral support and manual thigh extensions on the front seats.

Aluminum trim pieces had accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, giving the doors and center stack an air of elegance. The upper door accent pieces extended to meet the dash, where an “X” logo was embossed into the surface – an unexpected, eye-catching detail.

Well-placed, easy-to-use controls were set in glossy black. Ambient lighting in six selectable colors surrounded the center stack and instrument panel, highlighted the door panels, and accented the footwells.

Large storage trays, roomy door pockets, lots of cupholders and smaller compartments offered plenty of places to stow personal items. Multiple USB ports and a wireless charging pad ($400) under the center stack kept passengers connected.

Three full-size seats in the rear with adjustable back had an additional inch of legroom, a 12-volt outlet, and adjustable temperature controls. My X4 had Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices.

BMW’s advanced real-time traffic Information with updates every three minutes advise the driver of traffic incidents on the current route – green is flowing traffic, yellow is minor or modest congestion, and red is heavy congestion. During route guidance, events on the calculated route are overlaid on the map.

The iDrive operating system provides more flexible and ergonomic control of the vehicle, navigation, communication and infotainment functions, with a tile-style menu layout on the freestanding monitor. The latest voice control allows natural speech patterns to find points of interest, such as “find a bakery near me.”

Standard safety measures included Active Protection, which pre-tensions belts and closes windows and the moon roof when an accident situation is imminent. An Attentiveness Assistant monitors the driver’s behavior for signs of fatigue or inattention, then displays a notification suggesting a break.

Night-vision pedestrian detection illuminates the person or animal, flashing a red icon, sounds an alarm and prepares the brakes. Intelligent emergency call has automatic location and severity detection, even below the threshold for air-bag deployment, and help is available at the push of a button, or automatically if needed.

With a ground clearance of 8 inches and a fording depth of 19.6 inches, the BMW X4 is ready to conquer nearly any terrain.

BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe

Base price: $50,450

Price as tested: $61,545

Passengers: 5

Engine: Intercooled turbo I-6

Fuel: Premium unleaded

EPA fuel economy: 20 mpg city, 27 highway

Length: 112.7 inches

Width: 76.3 inches

Weight: 4,323 pounds

Bottom line: Athletic redesign

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