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BMW X4 35d 2016 review

Ewan Kennedy road tests and reviews the BMW X4 35d with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

The days when diesel engines were dismissed as being slow, noisy and not particularly pleasant to sit behind have long since vanished. 

There's no more proof than the introduction of what BMW Australia describes as its new X4 ‘halo' car, the xDrive35d – the ‘d' indicating its powered by a turbo-diesel engine – which uses variable vanes to minimise lag and increase overall power and fuel efficiency.

BMW Australia's product chief, Shawn Ticehurst, says the X4 xDrive35d will assume status as the flagship model in the X4 range, "Since its launch in 2014, the X4 has enjoyed great success, confirming the strength of our ‘X' range of sports activity vehicles."

The new BMW X4 xDrive35d is priced at $89,900 plus on-road costs. The X4 range begins at $71,100 plus on-roads for the X4 xDrive20i four-cylinder petrol variant.


BMW prefers its vehicles to use the tag SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle), rather than the SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) used by other marques. When you look at the styling and study the specs and performance of the X4 35d the title ‘Activity' certainly makes sense.

The M Sport package is standard in the X4 35d, as is the M Aerodynamics package, M leather wrapped steering wheel with gearshift paddles and upholstery in Nevada leather.

Harman/ Kardon surround sound with 16 speakers certainly make life on the road entertaining and pleasant.

A close cousin to the petrol powered BMW X4 xDrive35i, the diesel xDrive35d rides on 20-inch M alloy wheels and uses BMW's Dynamic Damper Control to further enhance handling.

Keyless vehicle access and contactless tailgate operation add to the Activity part of the name.


Superseding the X4 xDrive30d, the 35d has more power and torque, but still has the same fuel consumption rating. Though the '35' would suggest otherwise, the engine capacity is the same, at 3.0 litres. In modern BMW-speak the numbers don't indicate capacity, but the bigger the number the higher the outputs.

In this case the BMW straight-six powerplant produces 230 kilowatts of power and a delicious 630 Newton metres of torque.

We love the massive torque provided by the high-tech turbo-diesel powerplant.

Power is taken to the wheels by an eight-speed sport automatic transmission with Steptronic overrides for the times you think you can outthink the X4's computer.


Multimedia is far reaching, with BMW's ConnectedDrive Freedom, consists of ConnectedDrive Services, Remote Services, Real Time Traffic Information, Intelligent Emergency Call, TeleServices and Real Time Traffic Information.

DAB+ radio, and Harman/ Kardon surround sound with 16 speakers certainly make life on the road entertaining and pleasant.


Many of the advanced safety features routinely found in BMWs are joined by cruise control with braking function, front and rear park distance control, and cameras that provide rear and 360 degree surround views.


This powertrain takes the 35d from rest to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds. It's not that many years ago that big petrol V8s couldn't manage that sort of acceleration. And the big V8s used considerably more than the rated 6.0L/100km of the turbo-diesel Beemmer.

There were times we found ourselves wishing we were in a low-slung BMW 335i rather than in a vehicle with a high centre of gravity.

In real world driving we found the X4 used 6-7L/100km on the open road, and a still reasonable 8-10L/100km around town.

We love the massive torque provided by the high-tech turbo-diesel powerplant. Torque that's there almost as soon as you hit the pedal on the right thanks to the efficiency of the lag-minimisation features in the engine. Fast responses from the eight-speed automatic transmission also play their part in providing sheer driving pleasure.

As the X4 is a sort of five-door coupe interior space in the rear suffers. Legroom is tolerable but headroom will challenge some adults who aren't that far above average.

Road grip and handling are good, but there were times we found ourselves wishing we were in something like a low-slung BMW 335i rather than in a vehicle with, let's face it, a pretty high centre of gravity.


BMW's new-age motoring direction sees a high-performance diesel engine in a shapely body that's part wagon, but mainly coupe. It's likely to generate lot of interest from buyers who think outside the square.

Would a X4 sway you from choosing an SQ5 or a Evoque? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2016 BMW X4 pricing and spec info.

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