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BMW’s X4 combines the performance and size of its X3 sibling in a more stylish and sporty fastback design. Starting with a standard turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 248 horsepower, it can be loaded up with performance goodies, including BMW’s M package, which includes a 382 horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder. Like other BMWs, the X4 offers a clean, modern, and well-laid-out interior that, while not particularly luxurious, offers a good blend of comfort and support.  

That is the BMW X4’s mission, which it successfully executes. But while it is good at its mission, it’s not the best in its class. In fact, there are several other sporty SUVs the company ranks higher. 

A BMW X4 driving on a highway.

The BMW X4 is a stylish and sporty SUV

Edmunds summarizes its review of the BMW X4 by saying,

“Thanks to its sleek fastback-style roof, the X4 will appeal to people who think the related X3 is too dull and predictable. You lose some utility in the process, and you have to pay more compared to the X3, but overall the X4 succeeds in its mission to be a stylish and sporty SUV.”

The X4 has impressive performance. A 7.6 second 0 to 60 mph time wasn’t that impressive but more than adequate for the base engine. However, where the X4 stood out was its handling. The X4 felt solid and composed with sharp and accurate steering. It inspires confidence whether you’re driving across down or down a twisty road. 

The 2023 BMW X4’s interior failed to impress

Where the 2023 BMW X4 failed to impress was its interior, which ironically was let down by its sporty, fastback styling. Once settled, backseat occupants had a decent amount of room, roughly the same as the BMW X3, but the rear seat cushions were low and flat.

The design of the seat cushions is deliberate to compensate for the lack of headroom. However, the back seat is a less comfortable place to spend time than the X3, or some of the X4’s competitors. 

Trunk space is also affected by the styling. The X4 has 19 cu-ft of cargo volume, compared to 29 cu-ft in the X3. Fortunately, what the X4 lacks in space, it makes up for in versatility with 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, tie-downs, and sliding cargo rails. It should also be noted that there is plenty of storage for phones and other personal items, and the back seat had enough room to accommodate child seats. 

Exterior visibility is also compromised by the styling. The narrow back window provides little visibility, and the view out the sides isn’t much better. It’s a good thing the X4 has a high-resolution backup camera and a blind-spot warning system.  

These competitors might be better than the BMW X4

While Edmunds liked the BMW X4, there were seven vehicles it liked better, including the following four SUVs which ranked at the top of the list. 

No.4 BMW X3

Not surprisingly, the BMW X4’s biggest competitor is the BMW X3. While the X3 doesn’t have the same swoopy fastback styling, it offers the same features and performance in an attractive package for a starting price that’s about $8,000 less than the X4.

No.3 Acura RDX

The Acura RDX stands out with edgy styling and provides a comfortable interior and a long list of standard features for a low base price. While it lacks some of the luxury or elegance of other small SUVs, it offers a strong engine and sharp handling.  

No.2 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is the gold standard for this class, with an elegant cabin and near-faultless balance between luxury and performance. Ranking second on the list, it includes a variety of engines and a long list of available luxury features.   

No.1 Genesis GV70

At the top of the list is the Genesis GV70 which presents unmatched value in the small luxury SUV class. Its styling, spacious and comfortable interior, and features combined with a low base price make it a fantastic bargin. 


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