Even BMW admits there is a fairly narrow band of SUV buyers interested in the fastback style the X4 offers, but it hasn’t stopped Benz and even Toyota from chasing it down this path. Move past the philosophical points, though, and you’ll find the second-generation X4 to be a fine machine, with more rear legroom, better handling, quieter engines and a softer ride. Much like the less polarising X3, actually. You either get the X4 or you don’t. Yet for the people who do get it, they swear by its not-X3-ness. By its "sporty" advantages over the boxier version of the same chassis architecture. By how sleek it looks. And, perversely, even by how so many people don’t get it. For all of its challenging philosophy, though, the first- generation X4 was a surprisingly good SUV, in the modern, soft-road idiom. And when the second generation arrives in SA in September, it will be all that and more. It is refined beyond its initial ambitions, it has speed and assurance and handling that the gen o...

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