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2015 BMW X4: Up Close

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I’ve never really understood the thinking behind a massive SUV trying to pass itself off as a sporty hatchback. That’s what BMW’s X6 tried to do, with limited success. BMW is making another go at the concept with the new 2015 X4.

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After seeing the X4 in person, I’m still unconvinced this vision has legs.

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The X4 is built on the X3 platform and looks like the X6’s kid brother. Even though it’s smaller, the X4 still has the bulky look of the X6 — especially its tail, which is massive. The exterior styling is doubly offensive because it significantly reduces available cargo space behind the rear seats.

The amount of space between the fenders and tires is also disappointing. BMW normally does a nice job designing its cars so the wheels and tires fill out the openings, but it dropped the ball here.

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The dashboard layout and design is typical BMW, and as such doesn’t break any new ground. The front seats are fine, but I was really disappointed by the rear seats. The seat cushion is close to the floor so you wind up sitting with your knees up. It’s not comfortable at all.

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In blending the design and functionality of a coupe and a crossover, BMW has managed to make the X4 less appealing than either of those types of cars. When you consider that BMW also charges around $4,000 more for an X4 than an X3, I wouldn’t be surprised if sales are low.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

 

2015 BMW X4: Photo Gallery

 

2015 BMW X4: First Look

 

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Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Cars.com Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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