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Car Review: 2017 BMW Review - 2017 X4 M40i By John Heilig

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2017 BMW X4 M40i Sports Activity Coupe

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


ENGINE: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with paddles
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 355 hp @ 5,800-6,000 rpm/343 lb.-ft. @ 3,500-5,250 rpm
WHEELBASE: 110.6 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 184.3 x 74.8 x 63.9 in.
TIRES: P245/45R19 (F)/P275/40R19 (R)
CARGO: 17.7/49.4 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
ECONOMY: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/25.8 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 17.7 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 4,235 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Audi Q5, GMC Terrain, Range Rover Evoque
STICKER: $66,545 (includes $995 delivery, $7,450 options)
BOTTOM LINE: BMW again redefines the Sport Utility Vehicle market. They did it first with the Sport Activity Vehicle, and now with the X4 Sport Activity Coupe. 

In BMW-speak, a vehicle with an X prefix is a sport utility vehicle, or, again in BMW-speak, a Sport Activity Vehicle. Also, BMW’s “hot cars” are the M-class. Also, even-numbered BMW class cars (4, 6, 8) are a breed apart from the norm.

So the BMW X4 M40i is a sport activity coupe, with 4 doors. As an X it has all the requirements of an SUV - all-wheel drive, utility with great cargo capacity, and off-road capability, although I would hesitate to take it serious off-roading. As a 4, it has unique styling from all other SUVs or SAVs. It has coupe-like styling with a severely sloping roofline. As an M, it has performance, with an engine that delivers 18 percent more horsepower than the “base” X4, and 14 percent more torque. This will propel the X4 from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds on the way to an electronically controlled top speed of 150 mph. 

Acceleration on the highway is stirring, and while there is some engine noise on hard acceleration, it isn’t bad. 

We had paddle shifters behind the wheel, and it is interesting to see the numbers of the gear go up to 8. The standard shifter on the console has BMW’s unique pattern and operation, so it requires a learning curve. After a week, we still made mistakes.

Handling is also very good, as would be expected from a Bimmer. The ride is firm, so it is advantageous to try to avoid potholes. Cornering is fun, and the firm side bolsters to the front seats do a good job of keeping passengers in place. 

Fuel economy is very good for what is basically a performance car. We achieved 25.8 mpg overall, and were well over 26 mpg on some of our longer highway runs. With a 17.7 gallon tank, that’s a range of more than 450 miles before you start running on fumes.

While front legroom and seat comfort is good, rear legroom is tight. I would guess that the seat location is moved forward because of the roofline, but rear headroom is excellent. Both front and rear door pockets are deep and accommodate water bottles plus.

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Interior design is typically BMW with tasteful wood trim abounding. The instrument panel is clear, although the speedometer seems cluttered with kph and mph almost the same size. The tachometer is simpler. 

Tuning can be a challenge, but the audio system is very good once you figure it out.  My only complaint is that the audio doesn’t turn off when you shut off the engine and exit the car. It does turn off eventually, but we got in the habit of turning off the power when we left. 

Heating is good, with an efficient HVAC system and heated seats.  We had fun with the navigation system. The destination can be set by simply speaking it. It’s accurate, even though “she” can’t pronounce my home town’s name.

Front seats are comfortable and there is a deep center console/arm rest between them. Rear seat comfort is also good, with the outboard seats heated. The rear seats also fold flat to increase cargo capacity. There are tie downs on rails in the cargo compartment, with some additional flat storage below the cargo floor.

While the BMW X4 has most of the safety equipment available, I was surprised to find there is no Blind Spot Monitor. Maybe the folks at BMW don’t expect cars or trucks to be advancing on the X4 in the blind spot, but they do. 

Shift into reverse and there’s a lot of activity. First, the outside rear view mirrors dip, giving you a view of the road near the tires. There’s a back-up camera display on the dash that also turns into a 360 degree “overhead” view if you get to close to some obstacles - in drive or reverse - so there’s no excuse for running into things. 

BMW has a penchant for doing things differently. They redefined the SUV into an  SAV, and now have created the SAC to give the segment a touch of stylish élan. Yeah, it isn’t cheap, but it is different.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

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