On sale July Price from £42,900
Look up the word 'niche' in the automotive dictionary and staring back at you will be a picture of the BMW X4. This coupé version of the X3 SUV has only two natural rivals: the Mercedes GLC Coupé and Porsche Macan, but BMW has proven that mixing the practicality of an SUV with the fashion appeal of a coupé can lead to sales success.
2018 BMW X4 features
The new X4 is longer and wider than its predecessor, with more space in-between its front and rear axles. That equates to more space inside, particularly for rear passengers, while the boot has also grown to 525 litres, meaning it should be practical enough for most families.
Drivers can choose between xLine, M Sport X and M Sport variants, but no matter which version you go for you'll get 18in alloy wheels as standard (although sizes of up to 21in are available). The xLine models receive underbody protection designed to reduce impact if you venture off road, while M Sport X models get a sporty bodykit with larger air intakes.
M Sport models get more aggressive bodywork, including new side skirts and gloss-black trim pieces. LED lights come as standard on all models.
2018 BMW X4 interior
What materials you'll find inside the new X4 depend on which version you go for, but many features are shared with the latest X3. Entry-level xLine models get part-leather sports seats, while M Sport X and M Sport versions get a bespoke sports steering wheel. The options list now includes electrically adjustable seats that can be heated and ventilated, three-zone climate control and a larger panoramic glass roof than in the old car.
The X4 comes with a 6.5in free-standing infotainment screen as standard; it can be upgraded to a 10.3in touchscreen if you opt for BMW's Professional Navigation package. Both set-ups run iDrive infotainment and navigation software, which is among the best in the business both for the features it offers and for its ease of use. As well as using touch, there's a rotary dial on the centre console. A head-up display is also available and can project crucial information such as current speed and navigation instructions directly into the driver's field of vision.
Other new features include BMW's display key, which can show you the car's fuel level, remaining range and service information on a small 2.2in display, as well as an air purification system. An optional storage package adds hinged compartments, USB ports and hooks for the boot.
2018 BMW X4 engines
At launch, buyers can choose between two petrol engines – the xDrive20i and xDrive30i – and three diesels badged xDrive20d, xDrive25d and M40d. As their names suggest, all X4s come with four-wheel drive as standard.
The most frugal option, and our recommended choice in the current X4, is xDrive20d, which has claimed CO2 emissions of 142g/km and fuel economy of up to 52.3mpg. With 187bhp, this engine should have no trouble getting you up to motorway speeds.
If you're looking for more pace, then the M40d is the most powerful option to start with. Its 3.0-litre flat-six diesel engine develops 322bhp, which is enough to cover the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.9sec. If you're able to wait until later in the year, then you'll be able to buy the even more powerful M40i version, which can cover the same distance in 4.8sec. For reference, that's faster than most versions of the Porsche 718 Cayman.
All engines come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard and M Sport suspension is on all models. Adaptive suspension is on the options list, as are more powerful M Sport brakes. If you do wish to venture off road, then the new X4 can tackle steeper hills and ford deeper rivers than before.
2018 BMW X4 equipment
Standard equipment on the X4 includes cruise control and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Optional systems include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane assistance and a blindspot monitoring system. The Driving Assistant Plus package allows the X4 to accelerate, brake, steer and change lanes autonomously at speeds of up to 130mph.
2018 BMW X4 price
Prices for the latest X4 start from £42,900 – an increase of more than £4000 on the outgoing car. At that price, the X4 is slightly more expensive than the rival GLC Coupé but remains a comparative bargain next to the Macan. The X4 has struggled with depreciation compared with its rivals in the past, meaning monthly PCP payments could be high to start with.
It's understandable that, for many of us, the new X4 will simply be too expensive to buy. Good news, then, that we've rounded up 10 of the best used SUVs to tempt you with instead – these will all cost you less than £25,000 to buy.
Best used SUVs for less than £25,000
10. Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is one of the biggest SUVs around. This has its upsides and downsides, though – on the one hand, the GL-Class is genuinely big enough to seat seven adults; on the other hand, it’s cumbersome to drive and very thirsty.
Live with those flaws, though, and you’ll benefit from acres of space inside – when all the seats are folded flat, the GL-Class has room to rival a van – and genuine off-road ability. Keep an eye out for any glitches on your test drive, though; many faults are expensive to rectify and the GL-Class has an atrocious score in our reliability survey.
Surprisingly adept off road and an absolute hoot on it, the Porsche Cayenne shows that it's possible to combine sports car handling with a raised driving position. There’s a price to pay, though, in the form of interior space; the Cayenne is a strict five-seater, with cramped rear seats and a small boot. However, if all you want is space for the kids and an SUV that’s extraordinary fun to drive, there’s little else to match it.
Early V8 models suffer from worn bore liners that require a replacement engine – listen for tapping or knocking noises from the engine – while all Cayennes are at risk of centre bearing failure, which is a moderately expensive repair at an independent specialist.
8. Audi Q7
Another that seats seven, the Audi Q7 has become an enormously popular large SUV. It’s worth noting, however, that despite its size the rearmost seats are rather small, so are best reserved for children. However, if that’s all you’ll ever need them for, the Q7 offers plenty of space in the front two rows, plus great long-distance cruising ability with a smooth ride and little wind and road noise. Watch out for problems with the air suspension, however; this can be expensive to fix.