The X4 offers an imposing presence that you cannot miss even in a crowd of other cars, says Pavan Lall.
Crossovers sit in a strange no man's land when it comes to cars.
They are neither pure sport utility vehicles (SUVs) or utility cars that have been designed to go dune-bashing or ambling across brooks and brush.
Neither are they sedans or luxury limousines designed for pure refinement and luxury.
Technically, a crossover, or crossover SUV, is a vehicle with increased ride height on unibody chassis construction shared with passenger cars, versus a traditional SUV that is built on a body-on-frame chassis construction akin to pickup trucks.
The BMW X4, which picks up where the X3 left off, offers sportive handling, punchy acceleration as well as top-quality interiors.
If there's a but, then it would be that trunk space could have been larger and pricing could have been more rational.
Even so, the X4 offers an imposing presence that you cannot miss even in a crowd of other cars.
The X4 has gotten a mild design tweak for this year, with its exterior styling whittled down to appear more streamlined and sleek.
This is specifically true of its headlights, grille and front bumper, all of which come together in a fusion of aggressive but composed modernity.
The X4's cabin deserves a special mention for what is top-notch all the way, from its plastics, cool metallic brushes and leather accents to the sleeker dashboard and the easy-to-use infotainment system with a screen almost as big as a laptop.
However, there's no mistaking the way the X4 lords over other cars on the road given its height and size advantage.
Its large cabin space that gives occupants a sense of unbridled security will please home-makers with children no end, but the space is great as long as it is for a small four-member family.
Interesting side note: the X4 is described as a “compact crossover” across the pond but qualifies as a large-ish vehicle here, hence the incongruence on number of passengers it can seat despite its size relative to other cars.
Inside suspension is hard but never brittle.
Like most premium cars, it includes loads of features such as driver blind spot monitoring and forward automatic emergency braking.
As the X4 is revved into motion, its handling is impressive and agile and never tiresome even in traffic-laden highways.
For those interested in funky new colours that stand out, the Bavarian car-maker also launched new versions -- Silver Shadow and Black Shadow, essentially codes for limited editions with cosmetic tweaks.
The bottom line is that with its futuristic designs and a customer positioning that is geared for a new and emerging demographic, it's likely that the X4 will age well over time.
That's key in a market where prices for luxury cars are not going down anytime soon and supplies seem to remain constrained for the present.
• Power:195 hp
• Transmission: 8-Speed Steptronic Sport Automatic Transmission
• Cylinders: 6/4
• Displacement: 2,993 cc
• Acceleration 0-100 km/h in 5.8 sec
• Price: Rs 70-73.90 lakh
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com