2021 BMW X4 LCI Facelift — Mostly the Same but Better

Alongside its BMW X3 sibling, the swoopier, coupe-like BMW X4 is also getting an LCI facelift. Unsurprisingly, the BMW X4’s updates are essentially identical to the X3’s. Which means it gets some new styling updates to its front end, some tech upgrades inside the cabin, as well as a few powertrain updates. As far as BMW LCI facelifts go, the X3/X4 gets quite the comprehensive upgrade.

Though, it must be said that the BMW X4 gets less of an update than the X3. Where as the X3 is new up front, inside, and out back, the X3 really only gets the first two, as its back end stays mostly the same.

New Familial Face

Just like the X3, the new BMW X4 gets new kidney grilles, which are sharper, more angular, and more aggressive than before. They’re larger but not by much and, thank the Car Gods, they’re appropriately sized. Sure, they’re still big by traditional BMW standards but they’re downright small by modern BMW standards. They’re also joined in the middle and that middle connection houses a camera, called the BMW iCam (because of course it is).

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In addition to the new kidney grilles, the BMW X4 LCI also gets new headlights. They’re the same new headlights as the X3’s and they’re slimmer than the pre-LCI car’s. Not only are they slimmer but they feature a new lighting element design with BMW’s latest laser light tech. The slimmer design makes them more modern and sportier. BMW also went to the trouble of updating the lower from apron, which in its M Sport variant (seen in the photos) looks very sporty.

Out back, though, the X4 looks mostly the same. Its rear apron is a bit more aggressive than before, with some more interesting geometry, but its taillights are pretty much the same. The X4 is a surprisingly popular car for BMW and its back end is one of its signature designs. So don’t fix what ain’t broke, I  guess.

New Tech, Same Design

For the most part, the cabin of the new BMW X4 LCI is the same as the pre-LCI car. However, it does have a handle of meaningful upgrades that, while they don’t massively change the cabin’s look, massively improve its experience.

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In place of the old iDrive screen is BMW’s latest iDrive 7 screen, which is much larger, touchscreen-capable, and far more intuitive. The new iDrive screen joins the new digital dials, which replace the old semi-analog dials and look more modern. Being that tech is more important to customers than almost anything else at the moment, these two seemingly small upgrades will make a huge difference.

Additionally, the new climate controls, from cars like the 3 Series and 4 Series, replace the old ones and look far better. It’s not a huge change but it brings the BMW X4 up to date with the rest of the brand’s lineup.

Powertrains Go Hybrid

The BMW X4 LCI will be offered with a suite of powertrain options. The entry-level model will be the BMW X4 xDrive20i, which will get a 2.0 liter turbo-four with 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft (300 Nm) of torque. It gets an eight-speed auto and xDrive all-wheel drive. BMW claims a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 8.4 seconds, with a fuel economy of 8.4 – 7.6 l/100 km (28-30 mpg).

There’s also the X4 xDrive30i, which gets a similar turbo-four, just with 245 horsepower and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm). According to BMW, 0-62 mph happens in 6.6 seconds, with a fuel economy return of 8.5 – 7.6 l/100 km (27-30 mpg).

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Then, rounding out the petrol engines, is the top-of-the-line BMW X4 M40i, which gets a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 with 360 horsepower and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. It also gets an eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive but hustles from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds.

In addition to the three petrol engine options, there are also three diesel engine options. For starters, there’s the BMW X4 xDrive20d, which comes with a little 2.0 liter turbo-four diesel, making 190 horsepower and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. According to BMW, 0-62 mph takes 7.9 seconds, with a return of 6.5 – 5.8 l/100 km (36-40 mpg). The BMW X4 xDrive30d uses a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six diesel with 286 horsepower and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque. It nails 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds, while returning 7.0 – 6.1 l/100 km (33-38 mpg).

Lastly, there’s a BMW X4 M40d, which is the diesel-powered M Performance model, which uses its own 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six diesel to make 340 horsepower and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque. BMW claims 0-62 mph in a scant 4.9 seconds.

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Interestingly, all BMW X4 LCI engines get 48-volt mild-hybrid systems. Which means they all get 48-volt starter generators that can help start the engine, add 11 horsepower to the engine for additional response, and increase efficiency. It even helps with automatic start/stop, as the engine actually shuts down while coasting to a stop and the starter generator handles the rest. Then, the starter generator helps the car take off smoothly while the engine is still firing up, which helps make auto start/stop less jarring. And because the starter generator is essentially a small electric motor that can power the crankshaft, it can actually allow the engine to switch off while coasting at high speed and send just enough power to the wheels to maintain that speed.

The Same but Better

If the BMW X4 weren’t popular, the brand wouldn’t continue selling it. Despite how niche it may seem, customers love it. Those same customers are going to be happy to know that the LCI update for the BMW X4 keeps what they love about it, while updating what’s aging.

Pricing

MSRP begins at $43,700 for the 2021 BMW X3 and at $51,800 for the 2021 BMW X4 plus $995 Destination. Production begins in Plant Spartanburg in August 2021.

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