Handsome if compromised cabin
The cabin is handsome and nicely appointed, with a low dashboard that cultivates the driver’s impression they are sitting higher than they actually are. Materials quality looks and feels good, and most of the switches are identifiable and easy to use.
A standard panoramic sunroof stretches overhead, giving the 2019 BMW X4 an airy, well-lit atmosphere. The added weight of that expansive glass panel must surely contribute to some degree of top-heaviness, but if it does, the X4’s suspension hides it so well that I could not detect it from behind the wheel.
The X4 M40i's sport seats are worthy of note, thanks to heavily bolstered side cushions that keep occupants in place during the kind of spirited driving the vehicle really can execute. That support is particularly relevant because the X4 has no overhead handles for passengers to grab when the driver is slicing up the curvy mountain roads just north of Greenville that attract so many cyclists to the region.
Although the X4 is a compact crossover, the rear seat provides ample space for a six-footer to sit behind another six-footer without knees against the back of the front seat or head contacting the headliner.
The compromise for that coupe shape comes in cargo space. The X4 offers 18.5 cubic feet of cargo volume with the rear seats up and 50.5 cubic feet with them folded down. That compares to 28.7 and 62.7 cubic feet in the X3. A price must be paid for style.
The X4 boasts a commendable array of safety technologies as standard, including forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and speed limit information, all of which got through the day without a false alarm.
Once again, BMW delivers its version of a driving machine. Now that it has settled in as an SUV-market native, this marriage of responsive handling and SUV size and space will likely begin to seem as natural as kudzu in South Carolina.
The 2019 BMW X4 is on sale now, with a base starting price of $51,445 (including destination charge) for the X4 xDrive 30i and $61,445 for the X4 M40i.
—Dan Carney, For Internet Brands
BMW provided travel and lodging for the Internet Brands Automotive contributor to bring you this firsthand report.