Climbing behind the wheel and heading north onto Carmel Valley Road we find 3 Series-like not-quite-brilliant steering feel that leans toward feeling overweighted without paying off with improved sensitivity, stout Germanic autobahn-ready brakes, and, well, hoo-boy! Look at this road! Tight, blind corners, up and down grades, variable surfaces, genuine sports-car stuff. Where have you been hiding, honey? Being in the wrong car for a good road has been a recurrent tragedy in our lives — think of finding canyon roads like this in a minivan, or a ’90s diesel Suburban. That’s our usual luck. And here we were again, steering a bloated balloon.
But it was an M-tuned balloon. Blame it on our dander being up from M2 exposure, but what the heck, we had to have a real go. And it was good. Very, very good. Better than 20 miles of full-concentration 8/10ths motoring (because you don’t do even 9/10ths when you can’t see if there’s a farmer’s pickup around the bend) that unreels in memory like a World Rally Championship YouTube video, snapping off shifts with the paddles, getting the tail loose, employing skills and road wisdom to make haste without waste. With the rear-biased all-wheel drive and all of the crossover’s electronic driver aids engaged to help avoid a big, scary oops into a ditch where no cellphone coverage was evident, the beast tackled the task without mishap. We felt happy to have found such a road rather than regretful that we were in the wrong car for it.
That’s not the world we live in, though.
2016 BMW X4 M40i Specifications
|Engines:||3.0L turbocharged DOHC 24-valve I-6/355 hp @ 5,800-6,000 rpm, 343 lb-ft @ 1,350-5,250 rpm|
|Layout:||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV|
|EPA Mileage:||17/24 mpg (city/hwy) (est)|
|L x W x H:||183.9 x 74.8 x 63.9 in|
|0-60 MPH:||4.7 sec|
|Top Speed:||155 mph (governed)|