What are you driving?
A second-generation BMW X4. We've already testd the range-topping and mighty expensive M40d. This review is on the X4 you're actually going to see on our roads 99 per cent of the time: it's the xDrive20d, using the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel to deliver 190hp, 0-100km/h in eight seconds flat and a 212km/h top speed, as well as fuel economy the right side of 50 to the gallon. Well, on paper, at least...
Name its best bits
The 20d is one of those cars that soon convinces you to come down from your 326hp high horse and see sense. You see, here in Ireland, the only petrol version of the X4 we'll get is the M40i, which will be as near as makes no difference €100,000 and punitively expensive to tax. So that's that one out, then. That leaves us with an entirely diesel line-up, perhaps risky in the current anti-derv climate, but a tactic BMW has gone with all the same.
So, you drive the M40d and marvel at its rapier chassis, its thunderous twin-turbo, straight-six punch, its sporty interior that's dripping in premium goodness. And you think 'yeah, might be expensive, but this is the X4 you want to be buying'. And then you remember a 265hp/620Nm xDrive30d is on the way and you suck air over your teeth as you mutter 'but that will be all the inline-six BMW coupe-SUV you'd ever need'. And THEN you try the 20d and realise the six-cylinder engines are superfluous and grandiose.
This 190hp, four-cylinder X4 still feels sporty. It still goes quicker than you think a circa-1,800kg SUV has any right to. It still has a sharp chassis and an ambience of being a little bit more special than an X3. It still absorbs the very worst of road surfaces and isolates its occupants marvellously well from the ruckus of the world flowing by outside. It is still, in short, an X4 Mk2 that makes us seriously ponder if wider public acceptance of these controversial fastback SUVs is just around the corner.
Anything that bugs you?
Same things as with the X4 M40d. That joke of a rear view. The steering wheel that is way too thick to hold. Slightly cramped rear headroom. And price tags that start in the 60-grand region. Or €74,000, for this M Sport model... which is before you've started ramping up the ticket with some of those lovely cost options you've simply got to have.
And why have you given it this rating?
Despite the expense, this is another deeply impressive second-gen BMW X4. It balances the smooth riding characteristics and impeccable rolling refinement required of this sort of level of premium SUV with an eager chassis that feels every bit as BMW as you could hope for from something 1.6 metres tall. In essence, while we all wonder about owning an X4 M40d, the reality is we end up with an xDrive20d M Sport - and we're not disappointed about that in the slightest.
I want to know more
If there is anything specific you'd like to know about the BMW X4 xDrive20d M Sport that we've not covered, feel free to send us a question via the Ask Us Anything page.