After a short four-year lifespan, the BMW X4 moves into its second generation with the new G02 taking over from the original F26. Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the new model receives all the technologies and engines from its close cousin, the G01 X3.

Being a “coupé” version of the X3, the X4 shares an almost identical front end, with trapezoidal headlights (with bi-LED technology as standard and hexagonal corona ring daytime running lights on the upgraded “iconlight” LED units) flanking large kidney grilles. The front bumper has a more aggressive design however, equipped with less black plastic cladding.

The characteristic low-slung roofline, which sweeps towards the rear deck, has been retained, but the surfacing has been made more muscular with prominent rear haunches. The rear end is a stylistic departure from BMW’s X models, with slim three-dimensional L-shaped tail lights and a bumper-mounted number plate recess – the look is somewhat reminiscent of Mercedes-Benz coupés. Twin tailpipes come as standard.

The new X4 comes in regular and xLine variants, the latter coming with matte aluminium highlights and 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels. For a sportier look, there’s the usual M Sport package with sportier front and rear bumpers and body-coloured cladding. The M Sport X line, introduced on the X2, brings with it matte Frozen Grey accents and body cladding, plus chunkier side skirts for a more rugged look.

Informing the new design are proportions that have been adjusted significantly, with an 81 mm increase in length to 4,752 mm – 52 mm of which goes to the 2,864 mm wheelbase. Together with the extra 37 mm width (to 1,918 mm) and the height reduction of three millimetres (to 1,621 mm), the result is a stretched appearance with short overhangs. As usual, BMW claims a perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

Moving to the interior, the main dashboard architecture is shared with the X3, with a lower dash profile and a freestanding infotainment display. The increased dimensions provide an extra 27 mm of rear legroom, as well as an additional 25 litres of boot space, bringing the total to 525 litres. With the standard 40:20:40-split rear seats folded (via a remote release in the boot), this is increased to 1,430 litres.

Buyers can specify electroplated controls and Sensatec faux leather dashboard wrapping, and for the first time the X4 is available with Vernasca leather upholstery. Other options include a much larger panoramic roof, power-adjustable seats with heating and ventilation, three-zone automatic climate control, acoustic side windows (an acoustic windscreen is standard), Ambient Air fragrance and the BMW Display Key.

In terms of infotainment, the X4 comes as standard with a 6.5-inch centre display, with the optional Professional navigation system adding a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Gesture control is also available, as is a 70% larger head-up display and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster.

A full suite of BMW Connected services are offered, with smartphone and smartwatch connectivity, Amazon Alexa and Google Home personal assistant compatibility, real-time traffic and on-street parking information, door-to-door navigation and Microsoft Office 365 functionality. There’s also a standard SIM card slot for emergency calls and BMW Teleservices, as well as a WiFi hotspot and wireless Apple CarPlay.

Available safety kit has also been increased, with the inclusion of semi-autonomous driving features such as Active Cruise Control (ACC) with stop and go functionality, steering and lane control assistant, Lane Change Assist and Lane Keeping Assist with side collision prevention as part of the Driving Assistant Plus package.

There are other driver assists, too, such as priority warning, wrong-way warning and crossroad traffic warning systems. Also offered as an option is the Remote 3D View system that allows you to view the car’s surroundings through your smartphone.

Engines available at launch run the gamut of three petrol and three diesel mills, all matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The range starts with the xDrive20i, powered by a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine making 184 hp at 6,500 rpm and 290 Nm of torque from 1,350 to 4,250 rpm.

That same four-pot is fitted on the xDrive30i, but boosted to 252 hp and 350 Nm. A 2.0 litre turbodiesel is also available, churning out 190 hp and 400 Nm in the xDrive20d and 231 hp and 500 Nm in the xDrive25d. A 3.0 litre straight-six will be added to the range in August powering the xDrive30d, which will push out 265 hp and a whopping 620 Nm from just 2,000 rpm.

Coming as standard is an eight-speed automatic transmission – with the xDrive30i, xDrive30d and xDrive25d models coming with a sport automatic gearbox with launch control – as well as xDrive all-wheel drive. The latter is lighter and more efficient than before, and has a rear-biased setup.

As before, there’s the range-topping (for now, before the X4 M makes its appearance) M40i, making use of a 3.0 litre turbo petrol straight-six that punches out 360 hp and 500 Nm, enabling it to go from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds.

New to the M Performance range is the M40d diesel, which uses the same engine as the xDrive30d but tuned to produce 326 hp and a staggering 680 Nm. With the performance on tap, the M40d will do the century sprint just a tenth of a second slower than its petrol twin, at 4.9 seconds. A sport auto gearbox, M sports exhaust system and an M Sport differential are thrown in on both models.

All models get double-jointed MacPherson strut front and five-link rear suspension, with standard-fit M Sport suspension and variable sport steering for a more dynamic driving experience; larger M Sport brakes are available as an option. Aluminium swivel bearings and lighter tubular anti-roll bars reduce unsprung weight.

With the increase use of aluminium and high- and ultra-high-strength steel, the X4 is now up to 50 kg lighter than the outgoing model. The centre of gravity is also claimed to be lower than the X3’s, contributing to improved handling characteristics.

The Driving Experience Control switch makes a return and provides drivers with Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport driving modes; 30i, 30d, M40i and M40d variants get an extra Sport+ setting. The system also controls the optional Adaptive Suspension dampers, providing either a sportier or a more comfort-oriented ride.