I drove a $58,000 BMW X4 'Sport Activity Coupe' on a 250-mile road trip - here's the verdict on this offbeat SUV
- The 2019 BMW X4 is a "sport activity coupe," a fastback SUV that strives to combine sporty driving with crossover versatility.
- The styling is a bit confusing, but the X4's peppy 248-horsepower four-cylinder motor and crisp handling won me over.
- The BMW X4 has a pretty firm ride, so it might be the best highway cruising choice.
One of the more perplexing vehicles I've tested at Business Insider is the BMW X6.
Back in 2015, I sampled the X6 M, a high-performance version of the vehicle, a "sport activity coupe."
"It's certainly the oddest segment in the motoring world, outside of 'shooting brakes' (two-door station wagons) and limos with hot tubs," I wrote.
That impression has long stayed with me, even as this weird segment has grown. It was the first thing I thought about when BMW was kind enough to loan me a X4 for a week. Would this smaller, less burly version of the X6 M, this fastback revamping of the stalwart X3 SUV, strike me as strange?
As it turned out, I had a good test lined up: a 250-mile round-trip run to my daughter's sleepaway camp in New York's Catskills. There would be highway driving and some nice twisty, windy roads to put this sportif SUV through its paces.
That's what these vehicles are all about. The idea is to combine crossover SUV versatility with sports-sedan styling and that whole "ultimate driving machine" vibe. I daresay, for the Bayerische Motoren Werke chariot to be all things to all people - but mainly something different from buyers who can't accept a sedan but don't want the stigma of an SUV.
A word on the "coupe" part of "Sport Activity Coupe." A coupé, of course, should have just two doors, not be a convertible, and historically not be a utility vehicle. Times change, obviously. You have to abandon your allegiances to traditional automotive nomenclature. Why? Because BMW says so.
This SAC, a 2019 X4 xDrive 30i, also arrived with all-wheel-drive, which again sort of bucks the whole coupé ideal, giving life to the notion that two-doors with sporting pretensions should be rear-wheel-drive machines.
But anyway, we must address the contraption before us, and so onward. Here's what I thought: