It sits in an unusual niche, the BMW X4, being part SUV and part coupé.

Those unusual looks do compromise rear headroom slightly, but there’s still enough space for four to travel in comfort, and five should be reasonably happy.

There’s no compromise in the way the X4 drives. The brakes are superb, stopping car and caravan from 30mph in just 10 metres. That’s well over a metre less than most rivals.

Stability at speed is up with the very best. At 60mph the X4 tows straight and true, and we only noticed some slight movement from the caravan towing at 70mph. Lifting off at speed caused no issues, as the data from the caravan’s Al-Ko ATC sensors confirms.

In the lane-change test, the caravan became a little wayward on the third and fastest run, but the BMW had no trouble pulling it straight again.

The hill-start test also proved straightforward. The electronic parking brake held car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope, then released smoothly and left the powerful 2.0-litre engine and the xDrive four-wheel drive system to do the rest.

As a solo drive, the X4 is quick and sporty, with crisp handling that you wouldn’t expect of such a big and heavy car.

It’s also a practical tow car, with a reasonable boot that coped with almost every item in our testing load of holiday luggage. The presence of a trailer stability system is another point in the BMW’s favour.

However, the X4 is expensive, especially when you consider that the mechanically similar and roomier X3 can be bought for considerably less.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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