BMW X2 review
The BMW X2 is an SUV that bucks convention with its sporty looks and low-slung seat position
The X2 is an interesting addition to BMW’s SUV line-up, but it won’t be the best choice for many buyers in the sector. This style-oriented crossover sits low compared with tall riding rivals, so while it’s fun to drive, it lacks the commanding driving position that many buyers like about this kind of car.
The cabin delivers the kind of quality and kit that we've come to expect from BMW, too, but again, it's not as practical as some rivals. If space is a priority for you, then you will be better served by the roomier, and less expensive, X1 instead.
Ever since the X5 arrived in 1999, BMW has been a major player in the SUV sector. The BMW X2 went on sale in 2018, and as the name suggests, it fills a gap in the range between the X1 and X3 models. Like other even-numbered X models, the X2 sacrifices some practicality for a sportier look, although it's not quite as severe as other models in the SUV range.
Under the skin, the X2 is mechanically identical to the X1. That means it's based on a platform that's also shared with the MINI Countryman, ensuring the X2 is available with either front or four-wheel drive, with no rear-drive option. That may be alien to diehard BMW enthusiasts, but the X2 still manages to deliver enjoyable handling for what many would consider to be a high-riding SUV. In reality, the X2 falls somewhere between an SUV and a hatchback in terms of its size and ride height.
It sacrifices some interior space over the X1, thanks to its design-led exterior styling. The lower roofline doesn't affect headroom too severely, but the small windows mean it can feel a bit claustrophobic inside, and the view out the back isn't the best, either.
Buyers have the option of four trims to choose from: SE, Sport, M Sport and M Sport X. This is a similar line-up to other BMW models, with each version getting gradually sportier looks as you move through the range. The top-spec M Sport X is a cosmetic upgrade that adds Satin Aluminium exterior trim and roof rails.
There are five engines available, which are badged 18i, 18d, 20i, 20d and M35i. All engines are 2.0-litres in capacity, ranging from the 138bhp X2 18i, up to the 302bhp M35i. The basic 18i, 18d and 20i are badged sDrive because they are front-wheel drive, although you can add xDrive four-wheel drive for extra cost. The 20d and M35i are xDrive only. The 18i and 18d come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the eight-speed auto that's standard on other models, is available as an option. The 20i comes with a seven-speed auto as standard.
Prices for the X2 span from around £30,000 to more than £45,000, 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, while the 1 Series offers lower running costs and sporty handling in a cheaper, more car-like package.
Overall, the X2 is a car that fills a niche that it's arguable didn't exist in the first place, but it's still sure to find buyers wanting some style in an appealing SUV package.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe BMW X2 is an SUV that bucks convention with its sporty looks and low-slung seat position
- 2Engines, performance and driveX2’s engine line-up is restricted to four-cylinder units only, but it’s still fun to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe X2’s small selection of diesel and petrol powertrains is competitive on running costs
- 4Interior, design and technologyA high-quality, tech-loaded 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 Euro NCAP score with the X1