2016 BMW X4 Review


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2016 BMW X4 Overview

Following its debut for the 2015 model year, BMW’s X4 entry-level luxury compact crossover is expected to carry over into 2016 relatively unchanged, except for one important addition to the trim lineup. Hints abound in the automotive media that Bimmer will add a high-performance M version to the X4 lineup for the upcoming year. The rumored X4 M40i will be positioned above the current base xDrive28i and the currently top-shelf xDrive35i, and is slated to pack a beefed-up suspension, a more athletic profile, a sportier cabin, quad exhaust pipes, and a tweaked version of the turbocharged inline 6-cylinder (I6) powerplant that gives the xDrive35i its grunt.

Starting with the basics, the 2016 X4 is a 5-door posh-oriented crossover ute—all of which are euphemistically called Sport Utility Vehicles by the people at BMW—lacking the practicality of its X3 cousins, but instead adding a slew of standard creature comforts and exterior bling. With their common “x” designation, both the xDrive28i and its xDrive35i sibling boast standard intelligent all-wheel drive (iAWD), but as of now, there is no confirmation that the scheduled M40i performance version will also be delivered with standard iAWD.

Resembling, at least from the windshield back, a fastback sedan out of the '70s, the 2016 X4 will again pack 49.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded, far less than its M3 counterpart’s decently capable 63.3 total cubic feet of toting acreage. Additionally, the X4’s super-sloped roofline significantly cramps rear-seat headroom, which, combined with a narrower stance, leads a number of reviewers to caution that this downsized crossover, though touted to seat 5 in a 2+3 arrangement, will realistically accommodate only a pair of short folks in any sort of rear-seat comfort.

Be that as it may, look for the 2016 X4 lineup to return sporting such standard exterior features as alloy wheels (18-inchers on the xDrive28i and 19-inchers on the xDrive35i), along with a power sunroof, a power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, and LED fog lights and running lights. Inside, barring significant upgrades, this pint-size people-hauler will return boasting premium vinyl upholstery, power-adjustable front seats (with memory for driver's settings), cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, and full power accessories. Additionally, both confirmed 2016 X4 iterations return sporting a standard auto-dimming rear-view mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control, as well as BMW’s recently upgraded iDrive infotainment system bolstered by a 6.5-inch display and Bluetooth hands-free calling.

Standard entertainment features, meantime, will again include a single-CD/MP3 player complemented by 9 speakers, HD radio, and auxiliary audio input.

Options for the 2016 X4 are expected to once again be mostly in package form and to include leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, satellite radio, and a GPS navigation system boasting an 8-inch touchscreen monitor. Further available equipment upgrades include smartphone-interfaced BMW Apps and BMW Remote technology, genuine wood and aluminum cabin accents, and the M Sport package with its sport front seats, sport steering wheel, aerodynamic kit, and unique cabin accents.

Returning standalone options, meantime, should include an active suspension system, self-parking technology, and a premium Harman Kardon audio setup with 16 Surround Sound speakers. And by the way, look for all the stuff packed into the optional M Sport package to come standard in the expected 2016 X4 M40i, along with a few additional items that remain available at extra cost in the lower trims.

Powering the base 2016 xDrive28i will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine mated with an 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission and its steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Look for 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque from this force-fed 4-cylinder, to the tune of 20 mpg city/28 highway/23 combined.

For some added grunt, you might want to consider the xDrive35i’s standard 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 that’ll put out 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, again under the auspices of the ubiquitous 8-speed shiftable automatic. Mileage with the forced-air I6 will again run a comparatively extravagant 19/27/22, but perhaps this peppy powerplant’s 5.2-second 0-60 time will ease your fuel-efficiency concerns.

Oh, and as mentioned, the expected 2016 X4 M40i edition will add some ponies to the turbocharged I6, possibly bringing it into the 360–380-hp range.

Standard safety equipment slated to return to the 2016 X4 includes 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, side-mounted and head curtain airbags, adaptive high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, BMW Assist emergency telematics (via iDrive), a post-collision safety system, and a remote antitheft alarm. A couple of options packages, meanwhile, provide such available safety stuff as a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, a top-down camera, and lane-keeping assistance. Furthermore, both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) give the current X4 top marks for overall safety.

Finally, owners of the current X4 iterations are, by and large, quite satisfied with this cute ute’s sportier look and handling, though all concede that rear-seat passengers are few and far between. Meanwhile, look for this Lilliputian crossover, complete with its anticipated M40i trim addition, to again challenge Range Rover’s Land Rover Evoque in the early fall of 2015.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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