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Unconventional BMW X4 features performance, luxury

By Frederick Olson, Automotive Contributor
Published On: Apr 16 2014 07:39:08 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 01:21:43 PM CDT

Image: BMW

NEW YORK -

BMW is using this week's New York Auto Show for the world debut of its new BMW X4.

Like its bigger brother, the X6, the X4 doesn't fall neatly into any existing category of car. It has the ride height and four doors of a small SUV. However, the sloping roof and rear door are more like a hatchback. On top of all that, BMW labels it a "sports activity coupe."

Whatever you call it, the X4 offers the practicality of a small SUV and the luxury of a BMW in a tidy package that doesn't appear as bloated as the larger X6.

Naturally, the car is packed with safety features like active cruise control, collision avoidance and lane departure warning systems. The X4 can also be had with nice touches like a bird's-eye view camera system and automated parallel parking.

BMWs have always been about performance, and the X4 doesn't disappoint. It features the same potent engines found in the slightly larger X3 SUV.

Those engines include a 2-liter four-cylinder engine good for 240 horsepower or a 3-liter inline-six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower. Both engine choices have twin turbochargers for extra power.

The new SUV/coupe/hatchback will be built at BMW's factory in Spartanburg, S.C. and will show up in BMW dealerships this spring. Four-cylinder models will start under $46,000, while six-cylinder models start at nearly $49,000.