By Barbara & Bill Schaffer
Can?t decide whether to buy a sporty coupe or SUV? You might want to consider the BMW X4i M40 ? it?s about as close to a perfect blend of the two as a car can get.
Before spending any time in the X4 we wondered why BMW would create such an unusual vehicle blend, but after spending a week in it, it made perfect sense.
The BMW X4 could be compared with the much less expensive Subaru Outback only with sportier styling and significantly enhanced performance and handling. Size wise, BMW X4 is about six inches shorter in length and a couple of inches less tall than the Subaru Outback. After driving the X4 M40i we can verify that it fits the BMW?s trademark description of ?The Ultimate Driving Machine??
The major difference between the two available versions of the X4 lies under the long hood. The 28i is powered by a 240-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and the M40i, being of from the M family of BMW performance vehicles, has the latest version (it?s a World Premier) of the 355-hp, twin-turbocharged, in-line 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Both engines use BMW’s smooth and quick shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. They both have steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, and both have BMW?s xDrive all-wheel drive system as standard equipment.
The four-cylinder version is ?quick? producing a 6.0-second 0 to 60 mph time, but the M40i is ?fast? making that run in just 4.7 seconds. The M40i also has a top speed limited to 150 mph. The EPA rates the M40i fuel economy at 19-mpg city, 26-mpg highway and 21-mpg combined. We averaged 20.2-mpg during a week of normal driving.
The M40i has accouterments befitting a BMW M family vehicle including trim with special Ferric Gray metallic accents on the fascias and the side mirrors. It?s shod with light-alloy double-spoke wheels with available 20-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The dual sport exhaust system produces a nice rumble through the black chrome tailpipes.
In standard dress the M40i includes Dynamic Damper Control, Variable Sport Steering, Performance Control, front and rear Park Distance Control, Xenon adaptive headlights with LED fog lights, M leather steering wheel and 19-inch M light-alloy wheels. Nevada Leather upholstery, Comfort Access keyless entry, Lumbar support, and Satellite radio are standard, too.
One of the more impressive standard features is the BMW Connected drive which includes Active Driving Assistant + ACC Stop & Go including Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Pedestrian Warning and City Collision Mitigation.
The navigation system includes BMW Online and BMW Apps as part of the ($2,750) Technology Package to provide an innovative Real-Time Traffic Information System and other handy on-line applications. The ?Tech? package also includes Head-Up Display, remote services and a special instrument cluster.
We think the BMW Assist eCall? is a great safety feature adding an Emergency Call features and Emergency Request (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification in the event no one in the vehicle responds after a crash.
For 2018, the BMW X4 M40i has a base price of $60,245 including the destination charge. With all the available packages and stand-alone options, the price can go slightly over $71,000.
A nice bonus is the BMW Ultimate Care? program with provides free scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles. This includes oil services, cabin filter, vehicle checks, air filter, spark plugs and brake fluid.
The 2018 BMW X4 has a limited appeal, but for someone that wants the best of both worlds, it?s a perfect fit between a sporty coupe and SUV.