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Road tests

New BMW iX2 xDrive30 M Sport review: a sharp coupe-SUV

The BMW iX2 has one big problem - the BMW iX1. You’ve got to love those coupe-SUV looks to pick it

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

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Verdict

For minimal extra outlay, the BMW iX2 offers a coupe-SUV alternative to the iX1 SUV - but most buyers would be better off saving that small premium and benefitting from a little more rear head room and practicality. Like the iX1, it’s quick in a straight line and sharp to drive around the corners, but we’d trade some of that capability for more comfort. It’s a little pricey for the range you’re getting, too.

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Coupe SUVs have been around for quite some time now, and while they baffled many on their initial release, with the all-electric age edging ever closer they are now starting to make a little more sense. 

Thanks to their sloping rooflines, they tend to be a little more aerodynamically efficient than their regular SUV counterparts - and when eking out every last yard of range from a battery is so important to some buyers, that counts for a lot. 

In the case of the BMW iX2, it boasts a coefficient of drag of 0.25cd from its coupe-SUV body shape, making it marginally more slippery than the iX1 SUV on which it's based. 

And that design really is new, too. Aside from the door mirrors and a couple of wheel designs, there isn’t a single part of the exterior carried over from the iX1. The pair share the same wheelbase, but the iX2 is 54mm longer than the iX1 (also 194mm longer than the outgoing X2), courtesy of an elongated boot area. 

The shape is a little more unconventional than that of its relative, and we’d suggest a little more gawky than the first-gen X2 - with more dramatic detailing on the tail lights, rear bumper and lip spoiler in particular. It certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste visually, but it’s hard to deny that it stands out.  

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Inside, it’s just the same as the iX1 up front. That means you get a superbly finished cabin with a fantastic infotainment system and a floating centre console inspired by the larger iX. As standard, the swathe of alcantara across the dash and doors adds a suitably expensive feeling, and an optional leather covering adds to this. The controls are fairly intuitive, even if it is a shame that, unlike in larger BMW models, the iDrive click wheel that makes minor adjustments so intuitive is absent.

There are some unique upholstery fabrics to separate the iX2 from iX1, but the key difference comes in the back. That roof slightly improves aero performance, but to the detriment of rear headroom. It’s noticeably tighter in the back, with roughly 40mm or so less room above. Knee room is still just the same - and fine - though. The longer body means a larger boot - 525 litres is a 35-litre improvement. However, the boot lip is much higher and the door a little smaller, so  it’s easier to make the most of the iX1’s storage area.

On the road, the iX2 feels largely similar to drive. In other words, for the first few yards you might become a little irritated at just how firm it feels. It’s by no means harsh - there’s clearly sophistication to the damping - but the body wriggles over every bump in the road to the point where you just wish it would relax a little. Unlike the iX1, there’s no xLine trim riding on smaller wheels to take the edge off, either. 

Add some speed and things improve, with that firmness relaxing ever so slightly while staving off body roll admirably through the turns. Once you’ve adjusted to the very light and darty steering, the iX2 is undoubtedly among the sharper cars in this class to drive, only really revealing its weight over big compressions. Grip is excellent, too. The ride is still on the firm side at motorway speeds, but wind noise is impressively hushed and even tyre roar is fairly well contained. 

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We drove the iX2 xDrive30, which features a dual motor setup producing 302bhp. It feels every bit as fast as the 5.6-second 0-62mph time suggests, making light work of overtaking and delivering superb throttle response. 

However, like the iX1, there are some small doubts over the overall range. We sampled the iX2 in fairly cool conditions, and averaged around 3.1 miles per kilowatt hour. With a 64.8kWh (net) battery on board, that translates into a range of around 200 miles. That will certainly improve in warmer weather, but for similar money, a Tesla Model Y will go much further. A max charging rate of 130kWh allows for a 10-80 per cent top up to take 29 minutes.

Unlike many coupe-SUVs, there isn’t much of a premium to pay for the rakish roof here. Prices for the iX2 xDrive30 M Sport start from £57,445. That’s £570 more than the equivalent iX1, or less than it’ll cost you to add metallic paint to either. A less powerful eDrive20 model starts from £51,615, but the iX1 is available in lower trim levels - which we’d prefer - and that will save you some more cash.

Model:BMW iX2 xDrive30 M Sport
Price:£57,455
From:£51,615
Powertrain:2x e-motors, 64.8kWh battery
Power/torque:302bhp/494Nm
Transmission:Single speed, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:5.6 seconds
Top speed:112 mph
Range:259 miles
Size (L/W/H):4,554/1,845/1,560mm
On sale:Now
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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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