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From Late June




2020 BMW X4 M Competition review

August 27, 2021

Bowen's Report Card

2020 BMW X4 M Competition review


Just say you’re really cashed up, perhaps you have two kids and a wife/husband. Plus, you want a prestige car that falls into SUV territory. Well the BMW X4 M Competition can help with all that. But is 375kW really needed in one of these? No, that’s stupid, but bring it on baby!


The new bi-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six produces 375kW at 6250rpm combined with a massive 600Nm of torque. This means it will sprint from home to Woolies in 4.1 seconds or was that 0 – 100km/h? Power is sent to all four-wheels on demand thanks to a tech-laden All-wheel drive system.

The Drive

You will never fall asleep at the wheel of the X4 M Competition. That’s because it slowly shakes all of your fillings out of your melon. Incidentally, I don’t have any fillings. You see Gosford council added fluoride to the water supply during the 80s and 90s when I was a wee lad. But that’s a whole new conversation for another day.

I love the dual-M buttons that sit either side of the M steering wheel. They allow you to adjust suspension settings and traction control functions on the fly. On actual roads there’s no way I could live with this car, it’s just too tightly grounded. But having said that, BMW had to walk a very fine line here. It’s like the boffins said, let’s build a rocket ship that will never see dirt.

But irrespective of what drive mode you’re in, the X4 M Competition is firmer than the Queensland border restrictions. I first drove this car on a giant clay pan in South Australia, as one does. We flew into a tiny airport and headed to the Flinders Rangers and beyond.

It was one of the best car launches I’ve been to. There’s nothing better than drifting a $164,900 car, while fine bulldust invades the cabin through every vent or seal possible.

Design wise the X4 is a bit of a hit and miss don’t you think? But at least you can get the same manic vibes from the X3 M Competition. From the B-pillar back, it merges into something I can’t stand. In fact, I don’t think even my cat liked it. But I’m pretty sure if our cat was big enough he’d eat us, so what he thinks I’d take with a grain of salt.

These are minor issues that only stand out when you jump in and out of various cars. Given the squashed backend, the X4 can carry 525-litres, that’s around 25-litres on the X3. Thankfully you can lower the rear-seats that are set out in a 40:20:50 split-fold configuration.

Value For Money

The X4 M Competition kicks off at $164,900. You can pick a BMW M Competition car via the host of glossy black trim found sprinkled around the car. If your budget is a tad smaller checkout the X3 M Competition, which starts from $157,900.

Both are backed via a five year/80,000km warranty. Although extra cover is available via a Basic $3,685 package or a $8,173 Plus package, it just depends on how hard you intend on pushing your car.


The X3 M & X4 M Competition have everything you need in this area. There’s a new head up display that’s very detailed, plus a full array of driver safety technology you’d expect at this level. The red start/stop button is there, joined by the M1 and M2 buttons. The latter, found on the super chunky M steering wheel, alter the driving dynamics dramatically, depending on your mood.

You’ll be pleased to hear Apple CarPlay makes an appearance via the 10.25-inch screen. It’s just a shame BMW will hit you up with a subscription plan. What I found a little bit disappointing was some of the in-car presentation. The car is still running iDrive 6, which is ok, but you can also roll out of a dealer with a lesser model that gets drive iDrive 7.

What I Love

There’s a stack to love but most of those memories are from that clay pan, it was full noise. These two cars offer weaponised performance but will spend most days lurking around wealthy leafy suburbs.

Bowen’s Report Card

Driving around north-western Sydney far from the claypan, did highlight some of the X4’s less than pleasant characteristics. The M sport seats are a nice touch, but not so much if you’re above playing weight. Good luck if you’re six-foot with rear headroom down, due to the sloping roofline. It’s tough, brutal and epically fast. If you can cast aside the rock-hard ride, go for it! It’s an 89 out of 100 for me.