The BMW X4 Years To Avoid

The BMW X4 emerged as a luxury compact crossover SUV in 2014. It finds its place within BMW’s extensive SUV lineup, distinguishing itself by blending the practicality of an SUV with the sporty allure and agility of a coupe, often labeled as a “Sports Activity Coupe” by the renowned German automaker.

In the realm of BMW, the X4 occupies a distinctive niche, bridging the gap between the X3 and X5 in size and pricing. While the X3 adheres to the conventional SUV mold and the X5 exudes larger dimensions and enhanced luxury, the X4 stands out as an intriguing anomaly, catering to specialized markets often overlooked by other automakers. Its competitors include luxury compact crossover SUVs boasting sporty designs, such as the Porsche Macan and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.

When contemplating the acquisition of a used BMW X4, one’s primary concern should revolve around its long-term reliability. Today, we’ve curated a list of BMW X4 model years to approach cautiously when considering a used purchase. Let’s delve into the specifics.

Which BMW X4 Years To Exercise Caution?

BMW’s reputation for reliability may waver, but the company has produced some of the most dependable luxury vehicles in the market. Fortunately, the BMW X4 boasts a reasonably favorable track record concerning reliability and endurance, potentially enduring between 150,000 to 200,000 miles when properly maintained.

Nonetheless, it’s important to note that not all BMW X4 model years exhibit equal reliability. Some models face more pronounced issues than others. These particular models are as follows:

2015 BMW X4

2015 BMW X4
2015 BMW X4

At, it’s prudent advice to exercise circumspection when contemplating vehicles from the inaugural model year of a new or substantially redesigned model. The initial model years effectively represent the “beta” versions of cars. Manufacturers may have partially rectified all the glitches and predicaments during this stage. Many of these concerns come to light and receive remedies as subsequent model years progress. Regrettably, such is the case with the 2015 BMW X4.

Here are some of the documented issues with the 2015 BMW X4:

Drivetrain Issues

The 2015 X4 reportedly grappled with drivetrain maladies. Reports surfaced regarding unresponsive brakes, particularly when attempting to decelerate at moderate speeds. This unresponsiveness led to precarious situations at intersections. Additionally, the vehicle exhibited disconcerting and violent shuddering, posing a safety hazard.

One owner reported instances of drivetrain malfunction warnings shortly after purchase. Even after servicing, the issues persisted, sometimes rendering the vehicle undriveable. The amalgamation of drivetrain malfunctions and braking anomalies raises substantial safety concerns, especially considering potential accidents at intersections or highways.

Timing Chain Lawsuit

Another aspect to vigilantly monitor in the 2015 BMW X4 is the timing chain issue, which resulted in a class action lawsuit. BMW vehicles powered by N20 and N26 turbocharged engines, including the 2015 BMW X4, experienced primary and secondary timing chain failures. This lawsuit underscored the susceptibility of these engines to premature failures of both primary and secondary timing chains.

Consequently, timing chain failure may lead to:

  • Desynchronization of the primary timing chain assembly, impacting the synchronization of the camshafts and crankshaft, governing the opening and closing of the engine’s combustion chamber valves.
  • Power loss, collisions between the engine’s pistons and valves, diminished engine performance, stalling, or even outright engine failure.

Although denying all allegations, BMW reached a settlement requiring work to be performed by a BMW dealer. While this lawsuit was resolved, it remains prudent to scrutinize the possibility of timing chain issues when contemplating a used 2015 X4.

2018 BMW X4

2018 BMW X4
2018 BMW X4

To be transparent, the 2018 BMW X4 falls short of being classified as an egregiously unreliable vehicle. We extend our recommendation for this model year if an attractive deal presents itself. Nonetheless, it harbors certain concerns, placing it on our list of BMW X4 model years to approach cautiously. Furthermore, reliability reviews exhibit a mixed reception.

According to, the 2018 BMW X4 represents the least favorable model year in the subcompact luxury crossover category. One owner lamented that the 2018 X4 delivers an enjoyable driving experience, yet its suspension imparts an excessively rigid feel when it comes to comfort. Additionally, the interior manifests a slight decline in attention to detail, leading to instances of misaligned components.

Furthermore, a single owner reported a notable engine issue involving a faulty eccentric shaft. This predicament posed the potential safety risk of the engine abruptly shutting down or decelerating during operation. This issue surfaced despite adhering to regular maintenance practices, triggering a dispute between the owner and the BMW dealership regarding warranty coverage and legal proceedings. It’s crucial to acknowledge that this is an isolated complaint from an owner, and there’s no substantial evidence to suggest it’s a widespread problem.

Which BMW X4 Years Are Recommended for Used Purchase?

Selecting a 2020 BMW X4 is commendable, balancing contemporary features and reliability. This model year benefits from the 2019 redesign, with the M40i’s twin-turbo six-cylinder engine receiving substantial enhancements.

The 2020 BMW X4 offers a variety of potent engines, ranging from a 248-hp turbocharged four-cylinder to a 503-hp engine in the M Competition model. The 2020 X4 showcases nimble handling and robust acceleration consistent with the broader BMW lineup. Furthermore, the SUV boasts a modern, chic, and upscale interior featuring premium materials and an intuitive, user-friendly infotainment system.

However, the distinctive design of the X4 comes at a cost, compromising rear headroom and yielding below-average cargo capacity. There may be better choices for those frequently accommodating passengers in the rear. The average price for a 2020 BMW X4 hovers around $42,296, subject to variations based on condition, mileage, and features.

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