Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |   |  2015 BMW X4 xdrive 28i - Tested
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2015 BMW X4 xdrive 28i - Tested

A fun crossover with plenty of space and a luxurious interior

Apr 2, 2015

BMW is rolling out its newest specialized entry into a rather crowded arena. The 2015 X4 is four-door coupe-like crossover facing competition from more traditional SUVs, sedans, station wagons, actual four-door coupes, and some sort of slightly less lifted but taller roofed crossover vehicles. The strangest part: All the cars just listed are also from BMW.

2015 BMW x4 xdrive 28i center console 02 Photo 2/20   |   2015 BMW X4 Xdrive 28I Center Console 02

First, like the X6 is related to an X5, the X4 is basically a sexier version of its platform mate, the X3. It shares powertrains and many other mechanical components, and even the interior is a cloned X3. The main difference is that the X4 stretches the front occupants out a bit more, to the detriment of those in the back. That, combined with the low roofline, means 1.7 inches less of both legroom and headroom in the X4. The X3, even with its tall roof, only manages an extra 10 percent more space in the luggage compartment: 550 liters, compared with the X4's 500. For reference, the 3 Series GT has 520 liters, while the 3 Series Sports Wagon makes do with 495.

2015 BMW x4 xdrive 28i shifter 03 Photo 3/20   |   2015 BMW X4 Xdrive 28I Shifter 03

The interior never feels cramped in the front. Adult passengers may not want to sit in the back for a road trip, but it's bearable around town. Taller passengers in skirts or dresses may have a tough time not having a Hollywood starlet moment with the combination of high floor, low seat, and low door opening. It's still easy, however, to load a child into a car seat.

Material quality is typical of BMWs in the mid-$40,000 base price area, which is to say rather nice. While this might be a less expensive alternative to the X6, it certainly doesn't look it from the outside. The size and proportions really make it stand out amid Southern California's sea of 3 Series, and you don't look just like any other SUV driver.

The X4 xDrive28i doesn't stand out as much in performance, at least not in a straight line. The last 328 GT xDrive we tested hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds; this X4 is noticeably slower at 6.3 seconds. Likewise in the quarter-mile, the GT managed a 14.5-second run at 95.1 mph. The X4 did 15 seconds flat at 89.7 mph. Both are powered by the same 248hp, turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder bolted to an eight-speed automatic.

This X4 weighs 4,145 pounds, while the GT tipped the scales at 3,959 pounds. That difference doesn't sound like much, but it's perceptible on the street. It may be more about tuning, but the X4 feels slower and requires far more effort. It almost begs to be driven in Sport Mode and to keep the engine spinning energetically. That's fine when you feel like a sporty drive, but a frenetic engine can soon get old in rush-hour traffic. I love BMW's turbo four, but it feels a bit out of its element here.

2015 BMW x4 xdrive 28i driver side rear quarter view 06 Photo 7/20   |   2015 BMW X4 Xdrive 28I Driver Side Rear Quarter View 06

The suspension tuning might also be slightly to blame. In most BMWs, I would describe the suspension as firm but never harsh. The X4 crosses the line to harsh without apology. I know there has to be some differentiation between the X3 and X4, but perhaps it should have been more the styling than the tuning. Of all the variations mentioned earlier, the X4 has the worst ride quality.

That said, it does pretty well around the figure-8 and being driven hard on the road. Cornering is flat and turn-in is responsive for a vehicle this tall. Unfortunately, physics still wins and the X4 lags behind the lower-set 328 GT in lap time. The X4 completes the figure in 27 seconds flat; the GT nips it at 26.6 seconds.

2015 BMW x4 xdrive 28i passenger side front view 08 Photo 8/20   |   2015 BMW X4 Xdrive 28I Passenger Side Front View 08

The GT feels less composed, though, and exhibits more body movement, so it isn't as rewarding to drive. We tested a rear-drive 328i Sport sedan (back in 2012) that turned in a 25.9-second lap. I'll also note that the 328i is an absolute dream to drive around the figure-8.

Perhaps quantitative testing is the wrong way to look at the X4. This isn't a "numbers" car and, unlike the X6, I never had any desire to take it to a track. This car is about style and giving buyers of compact SUVs another option.

2015 BMW x4 xdrive 28i passenger side view 09 Photo 9/20   |   2015 BMW X4 Xdrive 28I Passenger Side View 09

For a small family, this thing would be great. It offers a decent amount of space, a luxurious interior, and a fun drive. You could choose worse cars to pull up in at the next PTA meeting. So far, the X6 has been a big hit for BMW, and we can't imagine the X4 not following suit. While I would probably choose a 328d xDrive Sport Wagon, there are a fair number of people who wouldn't be caught dead in such a vehicle. I'm sure all our readers are more enlightened than that.

Our tester came in at $54,550 and felt decently equipped, but I have a feeling most will leave the lot with an even higher price. For an extra $3,300, you can get BMW's glorious 300hp, turbocharged, 3.0L six-cylinder. If the X4 is the SUV for you, look into that bigger engine.

2015 BMW x4 xdrive 28i driver side rear quarter view 11 Photo 13/20   |   2015 BMW X4 Xdrive 28I Driver Side Rear Quarter View 11
2015 BMW x4 xdrive 28i center console controller 20 Photo 17/20   |   2015 BMW X4 Xdrive 28I Center Console Controller 20
Michael Febbo
125 Articles
2015 BMW X4 xdrive 28i - Tested
Tech Spec
Base Price: $45,650
Price As Tested: $54,550
Vehicle Layout: Front-Engine, AWD, Five-Seat, Four-Door SUV
Engine: 2.0L, 240hp, 258-lb-ft turbo, DOHC 16-valve I-4
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Curb Weight (F/R Dist.): 4,145 lb. (49/51)
Wheelbase: 110.6 in.
Length X Width X Height: 184.3 X 74.1 X 63.9 in.
0-60 mph: 6.3 sec.
Quarter-Mile: 15.0 sec. @ 89.7 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph: 128 ft.
Lateral Acceleration: 0.85 g (avg.)
MT Figure-8: 27.0 sec. @ 0.65 g (avg.)

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE CARS

There are Japanese classics, and then there are these old-school JDM oddballs - educate yourself on some uncommon J-spec machinery.
Alex NishimotoApr 3, 2020
It takes an extraordinary type of Nissan buff to import a JDM Skyline, especially one that's not on everyone's wish list, however, one that is just as iconic as the GT-Rs we all hold in such high regard.
Sam DuApr 3, 2020
Whose Type R is cooler? Shyam Sookram's Mugen-themed DC2 Integra or Adam Elghriany's Spoon-themed EK9 Civic?
RodrezApr 3, 2020
Spot Giann Carlo de Castro's Evo pounding the streets of NorCal and you'd have to assume this was a build mapped out and well-planned for years. The truth is, this Evo wasn't even on his radar.
RodrezApr 1, 2020
There are reasons why dudes like Mike Reid drop two grand on authentic JDM Honda ITR Recaro seats and three Gs on Volk rims for his EM2 Civic. The answer: quality. It's that simple.
Jonathan ThompsonApr 1, 2020
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP