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BMW X4 xDrive30d 2014 review

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering would you buy one?

What is it?

Another addition to BMW’s lineup of sporty SUVs. Smaller and more practical than the odd-looking X6, it sits on the same platform and has the same running gear as the more conservative X3. BMW says this car is targeted at customers who desire premium motoring with a point of difference.

How much?

Prices for the X4 start at $69,900 for the entry level petrol model. It’s another $3500 for a 2.0-litre diesel, or $83,900 for this very desirable 3.0-litre diesel. 

What are competitors?

Think Audi Q5, Volvo XC60 or perhaps the Range Rover Evoque. No Benz in this segment yet, but it won’t be long and Benz will be wanting to launch with a splash.

What's under the bonnet?

A 3.0-litre straight six cylinder diesel punches out a healthy 190kW of power and 560Nm of torque, the latter from a low 1500 revs. 

Drive is to all four wheels although the all-wheel drive system remains predominantly two-wheel drive most of the time. All X4s come with an eight-speed auto, in this case a sports auto that includes gear shift paddles. 

How does it go?

Gets off the line fairly quickly and has plenty of torque on tap. Sits flat in corners and the dash from 0-100km/h takes only 5.9 seconds which is faster than the original WRX. 

Is it economical?

With a 67-litre tank and rated at 5.9L/100km, we were getting 7.4 after just over 500km, but with not quite 4000km on the clock we would expect this figure to improve. Diesels don’t start producing at their best until 10,000km. The X4 also features auto stop-start and brake energy regeneration to reduce fuel consumption.

Is it green?

Not bad. Gets 3.5 out of five stars from the Government's Green Vehicle Guide (benchmark Prius scores five out of five). This one discharges 159g/km of CO2 into the atmosphere. Fitting optional low rolling-resistance tyres trims this figure by another 7g/km. 

Is it safe?

No rating from ANCAP but we would expect the X4 to score a full five stars. Comes with front, side and curtain airbags, along with a rear view camera, front and rear parking sensors, electronic traction and stability control, ABS anti-lock brakes and a string of other acronyms including CBC (Cornering Brake Control), DBC (Dynamic Brake Control), Dry Braking function, Fading Compensation, Start-Off Assistant, HDC (Hill Descent Control) and Performance Control.

Is it comfortable?

Easy to get in and out of. Front seat occupants sit 20mm lower and rear seats 28mm lower than in the X3. Rear legroom is adequate. The rear features two individual seats but it can carry five at a pinch, with a rear seat that splits 40:20:40.

What's it like to drive?

Seats are comfortable. Colour scheme in our test vehicle was garish, with a combination of grey wood, chocolate coloured leather and contrasting light brown stitching. 

Good combination of performance and economy. The diesel is for the most part smooth and quiet. 

Needs a rear screen wiper because water beads up making it difficult to see. 

Head up display was fitted but very difficult to see even at its brightest setting with polarised sunglasses. 

Satnav does not provide current speed limit with speed camera warnings.

Is it value for money?

To an already long feature list the xDrive30d adds Surround View with 360 degree visibility with help from cameras in the exterior mirrors, a wide-angle camera in front and the rear view camera, exterior mirrors with anti-dazzle and fold function, dual exhaust pipes, 9-speaker 7-channel audio and Dynamic Damper Control that offers a range of settings to suit conditions and customer preferred settings.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

X6 M 4.4L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $72,100 – 91,190 2014 BMW X Models 2014 X6 M Pricing and Specs
X5 M50D 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $48,000 – 60,720 2014 BMW X Models 2014 X5 M50D Pricing and Specs
X1 Sdrive 18D 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $16,800 – 23,430 2014 BMW X Models 2014 X1 Sdrive 18D Pricing and Specs
X1 Sdrive 18D Sportline 2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $17,800 – 24,750 2014 BMW X Models 2014 X1 Sdrive 18D Sportline Pricing and Specs