The 2021 BMW X4 Still Can’t Compete With Its Younger Sibling

There’s a lot of excitement around the 2021 BMW X4. Its exterior is sleek and stylish, its cabin is well-crafted, and it offers some really cool features and technology. The team at Autotrader recently reviewed the new 2021 BMW X4 and explained what we can expect from the new model.

It’s hard not to notice that several times in the review they make comparisons to its sibling, the BMW X3. What is Autotrader really trying to say about these two premium crossovers?

A review of the BMW X4

The 2021 BMW X4, according to Autotrader, presents a stylish fastback design. Its head-turning and keeps the popular higher driving position that is a big draw for crossovers. It’s not as practical as the 2021 BMW X3 but it’s got flair and plenty of attitude.

The X4 costs more than the X3, but its list of standard features and options is long. For some, the features might be enough to justify the price difference. 

It’s available as the base 30i, M40i, and the impressive M high-performing variant. While it’s not common for crossovers to be competitive at the track, the X4 M would be right at home there with a top speed over 170 mph. 

As for new features, the BMW X4 finally gets Android Auto to go along with Apple CarPlay which it already had. New standard features include the Active Driving Assistant package, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic warning, and lane departure alerts. 

You get satellite radio with an all-access subscription to SiriusXM with 360L for an entire year. A Wi-Fi hotspot at 3GB and a three-month subscription are standard now. The M variant gets the twin-screen Live Cockpit Professional system too.

Those in the market for a luxury compact crossover that offers panache, performance, and an impressive list of features should take a closer look at the 2021 BMW X4. 

Pros and cons

The Autotrader team noted several things they liked about the 2021 BMW X4. Interestingly, one was having the option to choose either the X3 or the X4. 

They also really appreciated the standard all-wheel-drive and the powerful engine offerings. The base 30i models get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The M40i has a 3.0-liter six-cylinder that gets 382 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. Either of the X4 M models, M and M Competition, offers a turbocharged engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2021 BMW X4 M models feature a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that gets you 473 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. The M Competition model gives you a bump up to 503 hp, a sport exhaust system, upgraded sport front seats, and thicker stabilizer bars. You also get glossy black exterior trim for a more menacing look.

They also liked the swanky cabin and all the cool technology offerings. 

The team wasn’t a fan of the view out the back which was restricted by the showy fastback design.

The verdict on the BMW X4

The team took a look at safety ratings. While neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) had tested the X4 by the time of Autotrader’s review, the similar X3 earned a top overall score of five out of five stars from the NHTSA. It also took top scores in all test categories used by the IIHS.

The Autotrader team favors the X3, one of BMW’s best-selling models, for its better price and sensibility. Unlike the X4, it has a more conventional roofline that easily accommodates backseat passengers and offers more cargo space. The X4 offers 18.5 cubic feet of space where the X3 has a generous 28.7 with the rear seats up.


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Autotrader found the 2021 BMW X3 to be not only more affordable than the 2021 BMW X4 but also more practical.