2014 BMW X4 revealed
* Smaller 'SUV coupe' – first pics and info * Slightly longer than an X3, but lower * On sale in July, from £36,590...
This BMW X4 is a smaller stablemate to the X6 and a model designed to appeal to X3 buyers who want something that doesn't look like a regular SUV.
BMW describes the X4 as a 'Sports Activity Coupe'; in truth it's basically a more rakish X3. The X4 is just 1.5cm longer but 4cm lower than the conventional X3 (but still taller than Audi's Q3, for example). You'll sit lower in the X4 than in the X3, too - 2cm lower if you're in the front and 3cm lower if you're sitting in the back.
The new model shares some of its front-end looks with the latest X3, with deep air intakes and BMW's signature double-kidney grille, but its roofline changes radically from beyond the edge of the front door. It drops away quite sharply, in fact, down to a small bootlid at the outer edge of what looks like a sizeable hatchback opening.
BMW claims there's room for three adults on the rear bench seat, and says that the 40/20/40 split folding rear seats mean the boot capacity can be increased from the regular 500 litres to 1400 litres; those figures are 50 litres and 200 litres of the space offered in the X3.
Unlike the X3, all X4s are four-wheel drive – and all of the editions at launch get diesel engines. The X4 xDrive20d has a four-cylinder diesel motor with 187bhp; it can reach 62mph from rest in 8.0sec and a top speed of 132mph. It returns average economy of 52.3mpg and emits 143g/km of CO2 – or 138g/km if you choose the optional the eight-speed automatic transmission instead of this model's standard six-speed manual.
The xDrive30d gets the automatic as standard. Its six-cylinder diesel motor produces 255bhp, enough for a top speed of 145mph and a 0-62mph time of 5.8sec. The combined fuel economy is 47.9mpg and the car emits 156g/km of CO2.
The range-topping xDrive35d (again, only an automatic) has 309bhp and can reach 62mph in just 5.2 seconds, and a top speed of 153mph. Its official fuel economy figure is 47.1mpg and it emits 157g/km of CO2.
The X4's equipment list is more generous than the X3's. Even the entry-level SE edition gets an automatically opening rear hatch, Variable Sport Steering, 18in alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, xenon headlights, a sports leather steering wheel, heated front seats and an upgraded media package as standard.
The next trim level up, xLine, costs £1500 more than SE and adds a different design of wheel, aluminium exterior trim, 'Dark Copper' interior trim, sports seats and leather upholstery.
The range-topping M Sport models cost a further £1500 and get a bodykit, M Sport suspension, M door sill finishers, sports seats and exclusive 19in alloy wheels.
The X4 goes on sale on July 12. The line-up starts with the xDrive20d SE at £36,590, rising to £44,890 for the xDrive30d xLine and £48,990 for the xDrive35d M Sport.