BMW updates looks of X4 M Competition

Both off the line and at variable speeds, this bold BMW SUV will always be fun to drive.  Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
Both off the line and at variable speeds, this bold BMW SUV will always be fun to drive. Contributed

Bold SUV features high-performance engine.

Any time I can incorporate umlauts into one of my car reviews, I’m going to. So, this week’s tester can best be described in German as Kühn. And yes, there’s the umlauts over the U in the German word Kühn, which roughly translates to BOLD.

I went a long way just to use umlauts there, but since this week I’m driving the bold 2022 BMW X4 M, it warranted some bold German expressions. In fact my tester is extra Kühn with a bold Sao Paulo Yellow exterior (think highlighter yellow with a hint of green).

Upon first glance, this is one eye-catching beautiful SUV. Everything about the X4 is umlaut worthy, including the bold updated looks along with the advanced powerful engine. BMW has subtly updated their exterior including the grilles on many of their vehicles. For the 2022 model year, the X4 gets a refreshed exterior that includes the new-look grille, headlights and bumper. It helps to keep this vehicle looking new and shiny. And sure the bright paint color helps too, but the grille on the X4 is the highlight of this well-proportioned vehicle. The longer hood gives it a car-like appearance, but the sloping back brings it into the crossover realm. Even on profile this is a vehicle that stands out, offering both car and SUV qualities and a whole bunch of distinction.

BMW continues to tout its moniker of The Ultimate Driving Machine for its vehicles. And rather than rely on a fancy slogan, BMW backs it up with a brilliantly engineered, powerful-performing vehicle. My tester was the M Competition and came equipped with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine. With variable valve lift control and high-precision direct injection, the German-engineered engine impresses in all aspects with 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW’s all-wheel drive (AWD) xDrive system completes.

A SUV that drives as bold as it looks is hard to find these days, but the X4 M does just that. Both off the line and at variable speeds, this is a vehicle that will always be fun to drive. If you’re looking for raw power or a mind-blowing exhaust note it may disappoint as the X4 has manners and refinement. The performance is so smooth and controlled; it’s easy to forget what speed you’re driving as the overall comfort is top-notch and worthy of the luxury brand billing.

Inside the luxury spills over everywhere. There’s a special vibe within the comfortable cabin of the X4. However, as a compact SUV, there’s an emphasis on the compact portion with a small back seat and subpar rear storage. The five-passenger X4 is more comfortable for four passengers. A third rear passenger might find shoulder room and legroom to be cramped.

However, BMW’s infotainment system is chock full of technology and integrates smoothly with smartphones. Overall, the infotainment system is better than other European models but is still overly complicated and could stand to be more intuitive. For example, the “gesture controls” are awkward and work sporadically; and if you happen to talk with your hands, you could actually turn up or turn down the volume accidentally. This is a cool but unnecessary technology.

As mentioned, the rear storage area is small with 18.5 cubic feet of space behind the second row. A power liftgate is available, making accessing the area easy. The rear seats can fold down to expand the cargo area to 50.5 cubic feet.

Standard price of my tester, which was the X4 M, was $73,400. However, as is the case with most German manufacturers, there are numerous packages and options that take the price upward. The most important was the M-Competition package, which comes with a slew of high-performance features such as the M-Sport exhaust system, 21-inch V-spoke wheels and M-Sport Seats. My tester also came with the Executive Package, which includes heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, wireless charging and the aforementioned gesture controls.

Final MSRP of my tester was $86,145. The 2022 BMW X4 M Competition has an EPA rating of 15 mpg/city and 20 mpg/highway. I averaged about 17 mpg in a week’s worth of heavy-footed driving.

If I spoke more German (or any German), I might be able to come up with more words to describe the BMW X4 M- Competition, but Kühn sums it up good in both looks and performance.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at Follow him on Twitter @driversside

2022 BMW X4 M Competition

Price/As tested price................................................ $73,400/$86,145

Mileage.......................................... 15 mpg/city; 20 mpg/hwy

Engine............................................. 3.0-liter twin turbocharged 6-cylinder

Horsepower................................. 503 hp/479 lbs./ft.

Transmission................................. 8-speed automatic

Drive Wheels................ All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point................ Spartanburg, S.C.

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