2022 BMW X4M Review: An SUV With Coupe Aspirations

2022 BMW X4M
The 2022 BMW X4M features a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine making 473 horsepower. BMW USA

BMW started the whole coupe-shaped crossover trend in 2008 with the jelly-bean-shaped X6. The bodystyle has now proliferated across the market, copied by everyone from Mercedes to Porsche to Audi. BMW followed the X6 up with the smaller X4 in 2014.

The second generation debuted in 2018 with the new high-performance X4M, and four years later, BMW updated it adding more power with a pricey Competition Package along with gentle exterior and interior modifications.

It still suffers from its shape, which leaves less cargo space in the trunk compared to the X3 SUV.

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The 2022 BMW X4M comes with a new turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that makes 473 horsepower and 457 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. This Competition version boosts those figures to 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque (and adds black accents, sportier seats and several other interior changes). Every X4 comes with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

The X4M has three drive modes, Normal, Sport and Track, adjusted via buttons on the center console. Those modes adjust throttle sensitivity, transmission shift points, the adaptable suspension, and the steering feel. BMW has engineered the car to adjust those variables on its own or individually to suit a driver's personal preferences.

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All modes in this M variant are sporty, but Sport is a good mix of drivability and speed. The paddle shifters swap gears quickly and add to the fun when entering an expressway on ramp. In Track mode the X4M is too aggressive from a standing stop.

What the X4M has going for it over its taller X3 brethren is its driving character. The X3 SUV doesn't wobble or lean, but the lower X4 feels planted to the road and confident around sweeping turns at any speed.

2022 BMW X4M
The 2022 BMW X4M gets 17 miles per gallon combined. BMW USA

The test car was wearing winter tires, which are more comfortable than all-seasons or summer tires, and meant the X4M was surprisingly supple over broken Midwestern pavement, even with the optional 21-inch wheels (20-inch wheels are standard).

The cabin of the X4M Competition features leather-wrapped, power-adjustable lightweight seats as standard equipment but two-tone versions with Alcantara inserts are also available. They work well for slim drivers, with side bolstering to keep the driver in place around corners.

2022 BMW X4M
The contoured seats work well for slim drivers, with side bolstering to keep the driver in place around corners. BMW USA

BMW's iDrive 7 infotainment system features a 12.3-inch touch screen that can also be controlled with the rotary wheel on the center console, steering wheel buttons and by voice. The rotary seems to be the easiest with both jog and tap controls. It also features redundant buttons for navigation, radio and media.

The system features gesture control, allowing the driver to change the radio volume, pause and skip tracks, accept and end calls just by waiving fingers through the air, but it has a steep learning curve, and hand talkers should beware.

2022 BMW X4M
The center console of the 2022 BMW X4M is where all the mode buttons and infotainment adjustments are. BMW USA

The second row has space for two child seats and room for kicking legs, and there's still room in the front for adults. The front child seat latches are easy to connect, however the headrests barely move because of the low roofline, making it hard to feed the rear belt over the seat back. The 2022 BMW X4M starts at $74,395 including destination but before the $7,000 Competition Package.

Its most natural competitor would be the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe, but the V8-powered model isn't currently on sale with Mercedes citing a supplier problem last year as the reason. The next closest is the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe, with 385 horsepower and 384 lb-ft, which costs $67,550. The Porsche Macan starts at $56,250, but the more comparable Macan GTS costs $79,900.

The X4M is the most expensive, powerful, and inefficient model in the X4 stable. It returns 15 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. The less powerful but more efficient base X4 xDrive30i starts at $52,795. Slightly more powerful and less efficient, the mid-grade X4 M40i starts at $62,400.

BMWs usually fall on the sportier side of the equation, compared to Mercedes or Audi, and this is the sportiest of all X4s. Buyers that don't need the extra bit of cargo space the X3 gives, but want all-wheel drive and tight, balanced handling, will be wholly satisfied with the 2022 BMW X4M.