Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

5 September 2014

South Africa: BMW X4 - Can SUVs Be Sporty and Sexy, Too?

analysis

In a conventional world, SUVs would be tackling the rough stuff, coupés would be cruising palm-lined boulevards, and sports cars would be tearing up the tar of some challenging mountain pass. But as its latest take on the SUV genre proves, BMW doesn't agree. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the new BMW X4.

Whatever happened to normal cars - you know: plain old sedans, or estates, or SUVs? These days, it seems, there are no rules: coupés can have four doors, hatchbacks can be SUVs, and SUVs can be sports cars.

BMW has a track record of breaking the rules. After all, it created the X6 - a strange conglomerate of 4x4 and sports coupé that it calls a Sports Activity Coupé. When that vehicle first arrived, I was convinced it wouldn't fly, but 250,000 global sales later, it's very much a success story. No wonder BMW is bullish about the prospects of the all-new X4.

As the nomenclature suggests, the X4 is a smaller version of the X6. Or, to be more accurate, it's a four-door coupé version of the X3 SUV, very much like the X6 is based on the X5. In other words, the X4 employs the underpinnings of...

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