by: Jag Dhatt
It’s no surprise that SUV’s are the hottest selling vehicles nowadays and have been for many years. There’s an appeal to them that just works – you’ve got (usually) all-wheel drive, a higher seating position, comfortable seating for five, and of course, a vehicle that gives you versatility.
A few years ago, a new look for the SUV was launched – the coupe, with BMW and its X6. Many thought the look wouldn’t take off, but boy were they wrong. Within a very short time, other manufacturers launched their versions of the SUV coupe and now, it’s become quite popular.
BMW’s 2019 coupe, the X4 M40i was made available to us and thankfully, during the winter season. It’s just better to test an SUV in conditions when it’s useful. BMW has always made impressive vehicles; even their slogan of “the ultimate driving machine” goes to show their confidence in their products. So, does the 2019 X4 M40i sound like something you want in your driveway? Well, let’s find out.
Why Buy the 2019 X4 M40i:
That Engine: The X4 has two powertrain options, but we’re not even talking about the 4-cylinder here. The M40i has a 3.0L turbocharged straight six-cylinder that puts out 355 horsepower and 365 lb-ft. of torque through an 8-speed transmission. Is it fast? Well, it will get you from 0 – 100 km/h in about 4.8 seconds, which is faster than the Mercedes GLC 43, Audi SQ5, and even the Porsche Macan S. So yes, it’s quick.
That Drive & Handling: BMW isn’t about to build a vehicle that doesn’t match its heritage, and here too, the X4 M40i shines through. First of all, the X4 gets adaptive dampers, which are great for making a softer daily commute; at the same time, they adapt to more aggressive and spirited driving on the weekends. What’s even cooler is that the adaptive system is paired with the GPS system, and in a way, can preload the dampers for upcoming roads situations. Next, depending on the driving mode of choice (there are five), the steering becomes light or heavy, with the latter in Sport Mode. Also, when in Sport Mode, the exhaust pops enthusiastically, making it sound very sporty. BMW steering has always been great, and the X4 M40i’s doesn’t disappoint. Finally, this coupe is equipped with larger brake discs that stop it on a dime.
That Top-Notch Interior: The interior of 2019 X4 is both elegant and modern, and for BMW owners, familiar. The M Sport leather seats are supportive, yet comfortable and offer a good balance for both daily and spirited commuting. There is leather all around, complete with leather stitching as well. Then there’s that gorgeous gauge cluster, digital of course, that really adds something to the eyes. Yes, some of the features of this X4 are part of expensive optional packages, but hey, if you’re going drive this BMW, you might as well opt it out properly.
That Technology: There’s a tonne of technology in this car, just as you would expect. You’ve got the basics in terms of safety, but there’s more, and you’ve got to pay for it. For example, the Premium Package Enhanced gives satellite radio, gesture control, Wi-Fi hotspot, ambient lighting and more. You’ve also got a huge heads-up display, which is 75% larger than the previous year. Then of course, there’s BMW’s iDrive system. Compared to previous generations, it’s come a long way and is actually very nice. However, that being said, for some basic functions, you have to navigate through menus, which I find tedious. In addition, the gesture control is cool, where you can increase/decrease volume, and even answer and reject calls by simple gestures of your finger or hand; but, after a while, it becomes a novelty. And finally, if you have an Android, you’re out of luck – no Android Auto, but Apple users, the iPhone is fully integrated.
Why Pass on the X4 M40i:
Styling: I know I’m going to get some flak for this because it’s a discussion I’ve had with fellow journalists and general society; the census is mixed. Some love the styling while others don’t. Personally, I think it’s a smart looking vehicle, but not quite as aggressive looking as the BMW X6, which I like a lot. The closest comparison can be made with the Mercedes GLC Coupe. Both cars are appealing, but I would give the edge to the X4 based on a better front end. That being said, styling is purely subjective, and the same can be said for this coupe.
Interior Space: Even though the X4 is longer and wider than the previous generation, the interior, especially the back seat, feels somewhat cramped. It’s almost the same size as the X3, and I would expect more. Mix that with the raking roofline, and you’ve got a back seat that might feel claustrophobic for taller passengers. Front head, shoulder, and foot space is good though. Another thing to note is that compared to a non-coupe, i.e. the X3, there is less cargo room – again this is due to the styling and slanting roofline of the vehicle.
Pricy Optional Packages: Yes, the base price for the X4 M40i is $66,000 – but let me say it again, it’s the base price. Add in some optional packages the sticker tag goes up quite quickly. Our fully optioned test vehicle was just shy of $80,000. That’s a lot of money, especially when the X5 starts at $71,500 and the X6 starts at $73,350.
To say that sedans are becoming stale would be premature. But we can with surety say that SUV’s are the hottest selling vehicles today because of all they have to offer. The BMW X4 M40i is a great coupe that would fit and fulfil most buyers’ needs and wants. Its BMW heritage and new modern styling definitely make it worth considering if you’re in the market for an SUV in this category.