Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

There are three engine choices for the BMW X4, all of them diesel-fuelled. Labels for each engine respectively are the xDrive20d, the xDrive30d and the xDrive 35d.

The xDrive tag is BMW’s name for its four-wheel drive system – all X4s are all-wheel drive.

Kicking off the range, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder xDrive20d has 187bhp, gets from 0-62mph in 8.0 seconds and averages more than 50mpg. It’s available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine is expected to be the biggest seller.

The 3.0-litre straight-six xDrive30d has 255bhp, completes the same sprint in 5.8 seconds and averages a claimed 47.9mpg. It’s equipped with the automatic gearbox only. On the road it’s smooth and quiet with plenty of performance on tap and a nicer sound than the usual diesel grumble; if only all diesel engines were like this one.

The eight-speed automatic transmission is impressive, changing gear almost imperceptibly smoothly apart from the occasional clumsy kick-down on the way out of roundabouts and slow corners.

Top dog for BMW X4 performance is the 3.0-litre straight-six xDrive35d with 309bhp, a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds and claimed average fuel consumption of 47.1mpg. It too is auto only and comes with a ‘launch control’ function, should you ever need to get off the line as fast as possible.

The X4 feels very wide on the road but is otherwise a very easy car to drive. Although its centre of gravity is lower than the X3 you still sit quite high up, which in some ways makes the car feel less agile than it really is.

The four-wheel drive system fitted to all X4 models is quite clever and can vary the amount of torque sent to the front and rear wheels continuously. Under normal driving conditions 60 percent of torque goes to the rear axle and 40 percent to the front, but if conditions demand then 100 percent can be directed to either axle.

As well as improving agility on the road this can also help the X4 out if it’s tackling loose terrain. It can manage the odd rutted trail or steep climb but its relatively low ground clearance for a 4×4 means it’s certainly no Land Rover.