BMW X2 review
The low-slung and less than practical BMW X2 is an SUV oddity, but it’s stylish and good to drive
The X2 is an interesting proposition within BMW's extensive line-up. It’s certainly a crossover because it can neither be pigeonholed as an SUV or a jacked up hatchback. The X2 prioritises style over practicality and while it’s fun to drive with its low-slung driving position, it lacks the commanding view that many buyers like in this kind of car.
The cabin delivers the high level of quality and kit that we've come to expect from BMW, although it’s starting to feel dated next to its peers. If space is a priority for you, then you will be better served by the roomier, and less expensive, X1 instead. Within the 2 Series level of BMW cars there’s also the more commodious 2 Series Active Tourer MPV as well.
About the BMW X2
The X2 arrived in 2018 to fill a small gap between the X1 and X3, and like other ‘even-numbered’ X models it’s designed with a sportier brief than more practical ‘odd numbers’. That said, the X2 isn’t a four-door coupe SUV like its bigger X4 and X6 stablemates, but rather a low slung and swoopy five-door that retains a modicum of estate-car practicality.
It may look sporty – for an SUV crossover at least – but the X2 is pleasant to drive rather than an enthusiast’s delight, being based on the same front- and four-wheel drive UKL2 platform you’ll also find underneath the MINI Countryman.
The X2 is available with both drive options, and cars fitted with the 4x4 system have BMW xDrive badges, while front-drivers are referred to as sDrive models. BMW enthusiasts set great store by the marque’s rear-wheel drive platform as the key to fine handling, but the X2 manages to deliver a decently pleasing set of driving responses in spite of its raised ride height. That’s at least partly due to the fact the X2 rides lower than most SUVs, which means you don’t get such a commanding view of the road when you’re driving it.
Diesel engines are no longer part of the X2 line-up, which leaves the core of the range populated by 18i and 20i-badged 2.0-litre petrol engines. The former is only available as a front-wheel drive model, while the latter gets BMW's xDrive four-wheel drive system.The 18i comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the eight-speed auto that's standard on other models, is available as an option. Meanwhile the 20i is offered exclusively with a seven-speed auto.
The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) xDrive25e offers an alternative powertrain option, and uses a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol unit plus a electric motor fed by a 10kWh lithium-ion battery for a pure-electric driving range of 32 miles. But sitting at the very top of the X2 range is the 302bhp M35i, with the high-end performance variant also fitting with xDrive four-wheel drive and an eight-speed auto as standard.
Buyers no longer have the option of the SE or M Sport X trim, leaving just the Sport and popular M Sport specifications. Prices for the X2 span from around £35,000 to more than £50,000, which puts it at the heart of the premium crossover and SUV class. Add some options and those costs rapidly spiral – so be careful when looking at the list of extras.
Rivals include the Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-Pace, top-spec versions of the Volkswagen T-Roc and MINI Countryman, as well as lower-spec versions of the Range Rover Evoque, plus the ageing Audi Q3 and more hatchback-like Mercedes GLA. However, there are other rivals in-house, because the BMW X1 offers a similar drive but with a more practical interior and newer tech, while the 1 Series offers lower running costs and sporty handling in a cheaper, more car-like package.
For an alternative review of the BMW X2, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe low-slung and less than practical BMW X2 is an SUV oddity, but it’s stylish and good to drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveX2’s engine line-up isn’t the most thrilling, but it’s still fun to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe X2 offers efficient petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains, which helps to keep running costs reasonable
- 4Interior, design and technologyA high-quality interior that’s typical of the badge, is combined with sporty SUV styling
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceX2 boasts similar interior space to the X1, though that rakish body costs in places
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe X2 gets all of BMW's latest safety tech, and shares its top Euro NCAP score with the X1