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BMW X4 M40d drive

It appears the great era of the turbo diesel is coming to a quicker end than its turbo petrol sibling. Europe, which led this era for the past twenty

By Thami Masemola on 13 Feb 2020
It appears the great era of the turbo diesel is coming to a quicker end than its turbo petrol sibling. Europe, which led this era for the past twenty odd years, has decided that diesel is a bad guy that needs to be stopped. And as such, several big European cities are now banning this fossil fuel for life. Luckily we in South Africa are not yet affected. Diesel is still relatively clean, burns slower than petrol and offers the advantage of greater pulling torque. Very few examples of this combo are as forthcoming as in the BMW X4 M40d.

Touted as a performance niche SUV, the X4 M40d combines all the attributes of a modern diesel-powered vehicle, with the performance of a powerful SUV. Which is perhaps a good place to start. The car is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel engine that produces 240kW of power and 680Nm of torque, figures generally traditionally with performance petrol engines. Through the 8-speed automatic transmission and xDrive AWD system, BMW says the X4 M40d will accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds, topping off at 250km/h. This gives it the performance of the old Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG of 2002.

However, whereas the E 55 averaged about 14 litres per 100km in fuel consumption, our test X4 M40d returned only 7.8 litres per 100km as far as our road test is concerned. That means from its 68 litre tank one could realistically drive about 850km without filling up. Of course this depends on a variety of variables, but it is certainly possible.

While the X4 is still a bit awkward to look at – generally all Coupe SUVs are – this new one is more palatable. The front end is more sculptured, with a more proportional look between the LED headlights and double kidney front grille. The side view is expectedly sporty, with the roofline sloping immediately from above the A-pillar, all the way to the boot spoiler. As a result of this rear headroom is slightly compromised, and so is the rear window.

Luggage space
ranges from 525 litres when all the rear seats are up, to 1 430 litres when they are down. This is not that much smaller than the equivalent X3’s (550L to 1 600L). The car rides on standard 245/45 R20 103W XL / 275/40 R20 106W XL front/ rear tyres with 8J x 20 light-alloy / 9.5J x 20 light-alloy wheels. The ride does get a bit choppy or uncomfortable on roads that are less than perfect, of which there are plenty out there. But on smooth tarmac is acceptable.

Some of the standout features fitted into the X4 M40d include the iDrive infotainment system with ConnectedDrive, Live Traffic reports, leather interior, a multifunction sports steering wheel, Harman Kardon sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, Gesture Control and the BMW display key that shows things like how much fuel is left in the car, even from a remote location.

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