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From the Driver's Seat - 2015 BMW X4

The all-new BMW X4 provides an interesting lesson in just how many ways you can slice a pie - and still have a piece worth eating. The X4 is the newest member of a lineup of BMW X-vehicles that already includes seven models ranging from the 150 horsepower X1 to the 555-horsepower X6 M. Built on an X3 platform, the X4 slots in between the X3 and X5, but while the front looks like a more aggressive version of the X3, the rear is pure X6 with that coupe roofline that screams Style!

Inside is a luxurious and beautifully-detailed space trimmed in wood and aluminum, contrast stitching of the leather upholsterty and comfy seats with a nice, elevated view of the goings-on outside. In the back, despite the coupe roofline, there's a fair amount of both head and leg room in the back seat, though frankly it is easier to get into than get out of, and when you put the back seat down, there's also a fair amount of cargo space.

Under the hood is where you'll find the only significant difference between the two versions of X4 being offered - the X4 xDrive28i and xDrive 35i. Both come standard with all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission; even the two engine choices are both turbocharged. One is a 240 horsepower 4-cylinder, the other a six that puts out 300 horsepower. So the 4 is merely quick, while the 6 is fast; 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds vs. 5.2 seconds.

On the road, you really feel the all-wheel drive gripping the pavement, but the X4 also demonstrated BMW's signature smooth ride, sharp steering and precise handling. Our test vehicle had the Premium Package that gets you the wood and aluminum trim, keyless entry, satellite radio and about a dozen other things we can't live without these days. The Driver Assistance Package include a back-up camera and the Technology package upgrades you to a head-up display. The M Sport Option includes both cosmetic and go-fast upgrades that really emphasize the athletic abilities of the X4.

So you've got all these Xs to choose from. Has this particular pie been sliced so thin that it doesn't make any difference which one you choose? Not really. Each one makes its own eloquent case, and while the X4 may emphasize performance and style over utility, it still looks unique and puts a smile on your face when you drive it. And that's a piece worth eating.




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