By Cars.com EditorsMarch 1, 2017
About the video
I didn't quite understand the BMW X4 when I first drove one. It was less practical and more expensive than the X3, but it didn't drive very differently. Now, having driven the new BMW X4 M40i, this car make a lot more sense.
(car engine roars) I didn't quite understand the BMW X4 when I first drove one, it was less practical and more expensive than the BMW X3, but didn't drive very differently. We're here with the new BMW X4 M40, and now this car makes a lot more sense.
What's so great about it? Well, let's take a look. The M40 is a comprehensive performance package. It's not quite a dedicated M car, but it's tuned to BMW M performance specifications. And what does that mean? Well, just about every driving system has been touched upon to heighten the driving experience, and that means more power. It has 55 more horsepower than the outgoing 35i for 355 horsepower. And that's enough power you can feel the seat in your pants and this thing for being a compact SUV essentially, is just a riot to drive. BMW says it does 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. It's a half second faster than the 35i. And the standard sports exhaust? Well, it gets louder in the various driving modes and it is loud. I mean, you hear this thing burble, crackle, pop. It's an absolute riot. What makes the M40 such a dynamic package are these optional tires. They're Michelin Pilot Super Sport, and these are big boy tires, they're not something you find in compact SUV's, like the X4. They're tires that are equipped on the BMW M3 and M4, Ford Mustang GT 350 and Cadillac CTSV BMW is not messing around by putting a serious tire like this on the X4 and it heightens the experience. Steering is more responsive, there's a ton of grip, but they do come with a warning. These are summer only tires in the strictest sense. If you're in a cold weather climate, you're going to want to get a set of all season tires, or if you're in a wintry climate, you're going to want a separate set of snow tires because these are extremely aggressive, extremely sticky tires that work best of warm weather. The braking system has been improved with the larger front rotors and more aggressive pads front and rear. Now the pads do create a lot of brake dust even in our short time driving the car, but the brakes definitely work very well. There's good feel, and this isn't a light weight SUV it's around 4,200 pounds, but the very responsive and effective brakes haul it down from speed very well. The M performance tuning is especially evident in the suspension. Now the standard suspension uses adaptive dampers. Now that lets you control firmness in the driving modes, but there's also stiffer springs and stiffer sway bars plus a more aggressive alignment that really make the X4 handle a considerably better than the outgoing 35. It's a lot stiffer, it's more responsive. And for a 4,200 pound compact SUV, it handles really well. Now part of that is also the very high-performance tires on this car, but it's a completely different car in the corners than the 35. The all wheel drive is also been tuned specifically for the M40. Now that puts more bias of torque toward the rear wheels to make it handle more like a rear wheel drive car, even then it's still not exactly an SUV BMW, M3. So what about the X4 35? Well, it's this discontinued for 2017. Right now the only six cylinder X4 that you can buy is the M40. Now if the X4 is going to be impractical and expensive, you gotta make it fun to drive, which the 35 just wasn't the M40 though, this is the BMW X4 they should have been selling all along.
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