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New models - BMW - X4

BMW X4 here in July from $69,900

Four more: The BMW X4 debuted in concept form at last year's Shanghai auto show and will arrive in local showrooms in July this year.

Swoopy new BMW X4 pricier than X3 twin, but will offer more standard gear

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BMW logo6 May 2014

BMW'S X4 crossover coupe will carry a premium over the X3 on which it is based, but the German car-maker says it will also offer more than $9000 worth of additional standard equipment over and above its more sedate sibling.

Four variants will be available from Australian launch with a choice of two petrol and two diesel TwinPower turbo powertrains. Each variant will have all-wheel drive as standard, as the swoopy US-built crossover does not yet have a rear-wheel drive drivetrain option.

The $69,900 opening price for the base xDrive20i is $10,900 more than the equivalent X3, while the diesel-powered xDrive20d commands a $10,300 premium over its more conventionally styled sibling at $73,400.

In more powerful xDrive30d diesel guise, the X4 starts at $83,900, a $7400 increase over the X3, while the range-topping xDrive35i (there is no such variant in the X3 range) is priced at $87,900.

The most obvious rival to BMW's baby-X6 is Range Rover's stylish Evoque which starts at $61,419 excluding on-road costs for the all-wheel drive five-door petrol 2.0-litre Si4 Pure, while the 2.2-litre TD4 Prestige at $72,695 competes with the X4 xDrive20d and the more powerful SD4 Prestige costs $76,695.

Described by its maker as the first Sports Activity Vehicle (SAC) in the mid-size premium segment, the X4 features an almost identical front-end styling to the X3 with the bonnet, headlights and grille appearing to carry over, however the X4 gains its own distinctive bumper and lower air intakes.

From the A-pillar back it takes on a sleeker, sportier stance thanks to the dramatically sloping roof-line reminiscent of its X6 stablemate, body-coloured wheel arches, tapered rear windows, narrow tail-light design and boot lid spoiler.

Under the sculpted bonnet of the xDrive20i is BMW's 135kW/270Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine that can push the X4 from a standing start to 100km/h in 8.1 seconds while consuming 7.2 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

The other petrol unit is a 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre in-line six that is slightly thirstier than the base variant with consumption of 8.3L/100km, but is significantly quicker with a 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds.

This sprint time is 0.3 seconds off the time of the 335i sedan which is powered by the same engine but is 1.2 seconds quicker than the larger, heavier X6 xDrive35i that is also propelled by the same 3.0-litre six.

In xDrive20d guise, the X4 is powered by a 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel with a 0-100km/h dash time of 8.0 seconds. Unsurprisingly this variant is also the most frugal with official fuel consumption of 5.2L/100km.

A 190kW/560Nm 3.0-litre in-line six cylinder oil burner sits under the bonnet of the xDrive30d, propelling the SUV from zero to 100km/h in 5.8 seconds while managing to sip 5.9L/100km of diesel fuel.

German rival Audi's SQ5 diesel-powered performance SUV is powered by a 230kW/650Nm 3.0-litre V6 and is slightly quicker than the BMW with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds.

Each variant uses an eight-speed automatic transmission, although the xDrive30d and 35i gain a sports automatic transmission and paddle shifters are standard across the range.

In the cabin, BMW says the front and rear seats are 20mm and 28mm lower respectively than the X3, while the roof-line is 36mm lower. The rear bench features two coupe-style seats but there is accommodation for three passengers.

Cargo space has been impacted by the sloping roof-line but not dramatically, with a capacity of 500 litres with the rear seats up and 1400 litres down compared to 550/1600 litres in the X3.

Standard features in the xDrive 20i and 20d variants include dual-zone air conditioning with rear air vents, bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, USB, Bluetooth phone and audio with voice activation, leather sports seats, power front seats with diver's side memory function, 8.8-inch display screen, sat-nav, a 20GB hard drive front and rear parking sensors a reversing camera, an automatic tail-gate and 19-inch alloy wheels.

The xDrive30d adds power folding external mirrors, dual exhaust pipes, nine-speaker sound system, 360 degree camera and a Dynamic Damper Control system that adjusts the damper settings to suit driving conditions.

The flagship xDrive35i gains an M Sport package which includes 20-inch alloys, sport suspension settings, M branded door sills, anthracite roof-liner, M steering wheel and a 16-speaker harmon/kardon sound system.

BMW started the trend of coupe-style SUVs with the X6 in 2008 and now the X4, but arch-rival Mercedes-Benz has developed its own take on the theme with the MLC-Class that debuted at this year's Beijing show and is set for production next year.

BMW X4 pricing*
xDrive20i (a)$69,900
xDrive20d (a)$73,400
xDrive30d (a)$83,900
xDrive35i (a)$87,900
*Excludes on-road costs.

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