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New BMW X2 becomes the coupe-SUV it was always meant to be

BMW’s new baby coupe lands in 2024 to rival the Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes GLA

The original BMW X2 launched in 2018 as a slightly sportier, sharper-looking counterpart to the contemporary X1 small SUV on which it was based. Now, the new second-generation X2 has received the full coupe-SUV treatment, gaining a heavily sloping roofline and aggressive looks that leave no doubt about the connection to BMW’s larger X4 and X6 coupe SUVs.

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The X2’s most direct rival is the ageing Audi Q3 Sportback, but there’s no shortage of small premium SUVs on the market for it to go up against. Among them are the sporty Cupra Formentor and Jaguar E-Pace, while the Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes GLA have lots of kerb appeal and both received facelifts in the past year.

Design and dimensions

Our reigning Small Premium SUV of the Year is the third-generation BMW X1, the car that the new X2 is based on. For buyers weighing up which to go for, it may be the X2’s bold looks that seal the deal. It’s certainly not subtle, with an enormous set of BMW kidney grilles dominating the front end, flanked by an equally large set of LED headlights that extend well into the flared wheelarches. You can even add an illuminated grille if you have the urge to highlight this controversial design feature to passers-by. The side profile, meanwhile, is defined by the roofline that slops dramatically towards the rather blunt rear end.

At 4,554mm long, the new X2 is 194mm longer than its predecessor, while its wheelbase has been stretched to 2,692mm (+22mm). The car also measures 1,845mm wide (+21mm) and stands at 1,590mm tall (+64mm). 

Engines and performance

While the X1 is offered with a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines, the X2 is available in the UK with just two petrol engine options. The range kicks off with the mild-hybrid sDrive20i, powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a small electric motor. Combined, the setup produces 168bhp and 280Nm of torque; enough to propel it from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds. CO2 emissions are rated between 136/km and 148g/km, while BMW says it averages 43.5-47.1mpg on the WLTP combined test cycle.

The high-performance X2 M35i xDrive swaps the three-pot for a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine generating 296bhp and 400Nm of torque. Both engines are paired with a seven-speed Steptronic transmission, but the M35i adds BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system into the mix, helping it sprint to 62mph in 5.4 seconds. Top speed also jumps from 132mph to 155mph, along with CO2 emissions and fuel consumption which rise to 174-181g/km and 35.3-36.7mpg, respectively.

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There is however a rather aptly named all-electric version called the iX2 xDrive30. It also has all-wheel drive thanks to an electric motor on each axle that together produce 309bhp and 494Nm of torque. The iX2 can hit 62mph in 5.6 seconds and max out at an electronically limited top speed of 112mph. Feeding the iX2’s motors is a 64.8kWh battery that provides enough juice for a range of up to 279 miles, and with a maximum charging speed of 130kW, a 10 to 80 per cent top-up from a suitably fast DC rapid charger should take just 29 minutes.

Interior and technology

Inside, the cabin features a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel and a 10.7-inch central touchscreen housed behind a single piece of glass that curves towards the driver. The two displays run the latest version of BMW’s iDrive called Operating System 9, which includes a new “QuickSelect” feature that supposedly allows you to activate key functions without the need to trawl through submenus, and provides shortcuts.

Cabin space has been increased, including 25mm of extra kneeroom for those in the rear. There’s been big gains for luggage capacity as well, though the exact figures depend on which powertrain you opt for. The M35i boasts 560 litres of boot space – 90 litres more than the original X2 and 20 litres more than you get in the boxier BMW X1 in fact. That figure grows to 1,470 litres with the rear seats folded down – 75 litres down on the equivalent X1.

The iX2 gets a slightly reduced 525-litre load bay, while the mild-hybrid sDrive20i’s 515-litre boot is the smallest of the models announced, though both expand to 1,400 litres with the rear seats down. Maximum towing capacity for the X2 stands at 1,800kg, while the iX2 can haul up to 1,200kg at most.

Prices, specs and UK release date

Order books for the new BMW X2 are now open, with the X2 sDrive20i starting from £39,365. It comes in M Sport specification as standard, equipped with adaptive M suspension, a sport steering, LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated sport seats, a leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two-zone climate control, a powered tailgate and reversing camera, plus a raft of driver assistance systems. The iX2 xDrive30 also comes in M Sport-spec, and is priced at £56,540.

Optional extras will range from a panoramic glass sunroof and Harman Kardon sound system, to Vernasca leather upholstery with special diamond quilting and two Frozen paint finishes from BMW Individual. There'll be plenty of option packs too, including an M Sport Pro Pack that bundles additional black exterior trim, a rear spoiler and upgraded braking system with red brake calipers, among other bits.

The M35i xDrive is priced at £47,395. As well as the larger, more powerful engine, the M35i model also gets a 20-inch rims, and a more aggressive look by way of a new front bumper with large air intakes, more prominent side skirts extension and black M side mirrors, plus rear spoiler and diffuser. It also gets M-branded pedals and sill trim, an M leather steering wheel plus M-specific graphics on the displays.

The new BMW X2 and iX2 will make their public debut at the 2023 Tokyo Motor Show in October this year, before UK deliveries begin in March 2024.

Click here for our list of the best SUVs on sale right now...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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