A fun to drive SUV filled with practical features, all in one package? Win.
If distinct style paired with practicality are your thing, you have probably turned your head to look at a car like the 2022 BMW X4. It’s the coupe-style, or sportback, small SUV in the BMW X lineup of sport utility vehicles. And for 2022 it was updated with even more fresh, modern details on the outside and a few more luxuries on the inside. With a starting price of just over $51,000 and fully loaded, about $58,000, I took it out on the road for a few days to try out this fun yet practical SUV.
Let’s talk practicality first. A sport utility vehicle is the second-best family car (minivans are first in my opinion), and even though the Sportback style of this SUV limits rear seat headroom and cargo space (you could go to the X3 for more of both), it’s still a pretty great choice for small families. There is 19 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 51 cubic feet with the rear seats down. You will get more of both in the X3.
The BMW X4 Is Built for Canyon Highways
Like the X3, the driving enjoyment is solid, and my first time in a BMW X4 did not disappoint. I liked everything about the drive experience. This SUV feels confident on both busy highways and winding canyon drives. I was able to take the X4 through Topanga Canyon Santa Monica to Woodland Hills, California, a winding road that puts a car like this to the test; if you can hug the curves of the road you can keep your speed up, and it’s fun. I put it in sport mode and enjoyed the thrill of tight turns and hills on the drive. The X4 lead confidently the entire climb and back down again with ease.
The X4 made me feel in control yet joyful behind the wheel. I felt like I truly belonged on the windy roads of Southern California.
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Great for Grocery Runs and School Drop-off, Too
Regular daily driving may be where this car is more at home; that’s certainly where it’ll get a lot of looks. And if highways like the one from Santa Monica to Woodland Hills isn’t your daily drive, but like me, carpool lanes and grocery runs are more your speed, the X4 is perfect. It’s comfortable for city driving and agile for easy parking lot navigation. The perfectly clear backup camera helps with an easy parking spot and parallel parking moves. And advanced driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection and pedestrian detection, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and clear digital gauges make it a driver’s haven.
What’s New for 2022?
The X4 gets an updated look for 2022 that puts it more in line with its more assertive and distinct sisters, starting with the front grille; the kidney shape is has more squared lines and the mesh insert is sharper and shinier. The new grille is framed by new headlights and new wheel designs complete the package. On the interior, the X4 now has the same streamlined media system that you’ll find in other more posh BMW models including the 5 series. This includes a new larger multimedia screen, memory buttons that let you set everything from a favorite radio station to a frequent navigation route, and there’s a new drivers information screen that is larger and has more detailed graphics. Upgrade options include head up display and BMW’s gesture control.
“Gesture control?” This is a hands-free system that allows you to change the radio station, turn the music up or down, or mute it altogether with just a hand signal. A group of sensors in BMW’s media screen senses when your hand as it nears the screen and recognizes certain hand signals such as a thumb swipe or finger swirl. You can flash two fingers in a sort of peace sign at the screen to mute or unmute, swirl your finger left to turn the music down or to the right to turn it up, and you can air-swipe your thumb left or right to tune to the next station. A graphic on the screen will animate the motion so you get the idea and help you learn to use it.
YouTube Video with the X4:
The system, in the experience of my colleagues who also drove the X4, is more sensitive to some hand signals than others and the more you use it the better you get at controlling it. And if you decide it’s altogether annoying, you can turn it off i the BMW’s vehicle settings menu on the multimedia screen.
What Do You Get for the Money?
The BMW X4 starts at USD $51,800 / CAD $59,399, and our test model also included the M Sport and Premium Package topping out at USD $58,740 / CAD $69,694.
The M Sport Package includes M badging, 20″ wheels, aluminum trim, shadowline exterior and anthracite headliner.
The Premium package includes heated seats, head-up display, heated steering wheel, lumbar support and gesture control.
This Car Is Built for California, But it’s Great Just About Anywhere
The X4 is a fun to drive small SUV that is big on style and technology. The advanced driver-assist and safety features are modern and dependable, and the cabin is well appointed and comfortable. It’s great for drivers who love to drive and have fun roads ahead of them, but it’s also great for drivers who just love a car that is distinct and stylish; a luxury performance SUV that doesn’t look like every other SUV on the road.
Disclosure: BMW provided the X4 for our test drive. All opinions are my own.