The BMW X3 and X4 have quite a lot in common, both based off the same basic engine, chassis and X-Drive set up. The X4 is really aimed as a 2 seater with room in the back for all your gear, where the X3 offers more room for 2-4 skiers headed up to the slopes.
The BMW X4 wins on both style and performance within this category. The BMW X Series Drive Train is one of the best, if not “the best” traction system designed to enable vehicles to out-perform on slick, icy and snowy roads. I have 1st hand experience on an iced over section of HWY 88 near the Spur – The X-Drive system not only kept it’s composure, but was able to help me accelerate up-hill, and maneuver out of harms way, narrowly avoiding a head-on crash with an “Old School 4×4” barreling down, crashing into several stranded vehicles trying to get up the narrow pass.
The X4 does have a slightly stiffer suspension compared to the more moderate X3, offering more driver feel and performance, but sacrificing a bit on true comfort. It’s not too noticeable, but if you’re sensitive to a bumpy ride you may like the X4 over the X4 – personal choice.
Road safety starts with great handling. Maneuvering your vehicle out of a bad situation and avoiding spinouts is in many ways more important than air bags or other safety features.
Inside the cabin you get plenty of room in the front seats, and a well managed, driver focused dashboard with i-drive system. This is one of the most intuitive dashboard set ups on the market and very easy to navigate from the steering wheel or i-drive knob. You also can use the large touch screen if you’re more inclined / prefer that experience. Personally I like the i-drive knob as it keeps you in a better driving position. Perhaps the passenger could use the touch screen while you drive – allowing your co-pilot some control over the system.
The back seat is super tight, and there is not enough room for me at 6’3″. You would need to be about 5’10” or less to really fit into the back seat with some comfort. So, if you’re looking for a “4 seater”, the X3 is more compatible. I do fit into the back seat comfortably in the X3 – even at my height.
You have plenty of storage room in the X4 – Seats Down for 2 passengers. On the diagonal you have 80 in / 200 cm to fit the biggest of boards. Dimensions are 43″ wide, 72″ Long, 80″ Diagonal.
There are 3 distinct models to consider within the family including the Base X xDrive 30, X4 xDrive M40, and X4 M. The main feature is the power under the hood and you can get more HP and cornering capability than you’ll ever need by spending a fortune. It’s really a personal choice, and depends on how much you value speed off the line vs. money in the bank.
My personal favorite in the line up is the X4 xDrive 30i and it’s essentially the same engine I run in my BMW 4 Series Sedan xDrive. Plenty of power up the hill, and great mileage about 27 MPG all around. I currently have 115k miles on this engine and it runs like it just came off the showroom floor.
X4 xDrive 30i – Plan to spend about $58,000 to get a great set up with leather seats, and a few simple upgrades on styling. Plenty of power out of their super reliable 4 cylinder 248 HP that goes 0-60 in 6 Seconds (same as Porsche Macan 4 cylinder)
X4 xDrive M40 – Plan to spend at least $70,000 to get more speed and some extra styling queues. You’ll have virtually unlimited power with a 6 Cylinder 369 HP launching you 0-60 in 4.4 Seconds
X4 M – Plan on spending at least $80,000 for this thrill seekers rocket ship. With 473 HP, and 0-60 in 4.1 Seconds you will not be passed on the highway… unless you want to. You’ll get all the cool styling, cool race interior, and stiff performance suspension to make this into a race ready SUV.
Here is a good video I found online that reviews the X4