The 2019 BMW X4 has seating for five passengers. The rear cargo area measures 18.5 cubic feet if the second row seats are in upright position. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2019 BMW X4 has seating for five passengers. The rear cargo area measures 18.5 cubic feet if the second row seats are in upright position. (Manufacturer photo)

2019 BMW X4 ‘sports activity coupe’ is sleeker, sportier

The all-new version of the 5-passenger car adds a host of comfort, safety and connectivity features.

BMW brought out the idiosyncratic X4 for 2015 and called it a “sports activity coupe,” even though it had four doors and a rear liftgate. Four doors and a liftgate normally make a vehicle an SUV or at least a wagon, but the X4’s fastback styling and BMW’s signature high performance refuted both of those labels. So, “sports activity coupe” has stuck.

BMW has crafted a new, second-generation X4 for 2019 that is a better fit for the description. As I recall, in my review of the original X4 I said it looked like a sedan that had gained a lot of weight over the holidays. The 2019 version is considerably sleeker and more aerodynamic.

Width, wheelbase and overall length have been extended, and the center of gravity is lower, so the 2019 X4 handles tight turns with more finesse and provides a more tranquil experience on the highway. The extensions also create more space for passengers and cargo.

The BMW X4 has lost a lot of weight this year, thanks to the utilization of less ponderous materials in the chassis and body structure. Don’t interpret that as meaning some weakness has crept in. An increase in the proportion of aluminum as well as high-strength and ultra-high-strength grades of steel has produced a much more solid X4 body structure, which in turn improves agility and provides better protection for occupants.

Other additions to the new-generation X4 include a host of comfort, safety and connectivity features, bringing it up-to-the-minute.

There are two versions of the 2019 BMW X4: the xDrive30i and the M40i. The former has a twin-turbo four-cylinder engine generating 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The latter comes with an inline six-cylinder with 355 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. Both models have an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Pricing, including a $995 destination charge, starts at $51,445 for the xDrive30i and $61,445 for the M40i.

My tester was the X4 xDrive30i, whose turbocharged four-cylinder engine accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds and provides peak torque from 1,450 rpm to 4,800 rpm. If you’re not familiar with the science behind these numbers, let me help. Simply put, it means the xDrive30i has way more than enough power to please a mentally stable person driving on public roads.

Fuel economy ratings for the xDrive30i are also better by 2 miles for both city and highway driving: 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway as opposed to the M40i rating of 20 mpg city, 27 highway.

Inside the 2019 BMW X4 xDrive30i you’ll find beautifully tasteful styling, plenty of infotainment, connectivity (including WiFi hotspot) and safety controls logically arranged and easily understood, and the legendary BMW build quality that seems intended to outlive all of us.

Night driving is enhanced by subtle ambient lighting surrounding the cabin, which can be brightened, dimmed or dismissed altogether, and there’s an assortment of different colors. A more important enhancement to night driving is the X4’s all-LED lighting, which brightens the road ahead significantly – a tremendous help on the many dark rural roads around Snohomish County.

My tester’s bottom line was bumped up by $2,900 in driving assistance packages that driving enthusiasts might not want, and another $4,850 in assorted luxury and fancy appearance items my notoriously frugal oldest brother would summarily reject even though he can easily afford them.

2019 BMW X4 xDRIVE30i

Base price, including destination charge: $51,445

Price as driven: $60,550

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

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