In-depth reviews

BMW X2 review - Engines, performance and drive

X2’s engine line-up is restricted to four-cylinder units only, but it’s still fun to drive

As a sporty looking, coupe-inspired SUV, the BMW X2 needed to deliver a fun driving experience, so BMW spent plenty of time and money developing the X1 based architecture to try and coax out a specific X2 character.

From behind the wheel, the steering feels direct and sharp, and has a weight to it that makes the car feel sporty. Although the xDrive models feel a little heavy when pushed, the X2 still turns-in nicely on twisty tarmac. The steering retains its weighty feel in sDrive models, and when we pitted a 2.0i sDrive M Sport against the VW T-Roc 2.0 TSI R-Line, the BMW came out on top for sporty feel, rolling less, and offering better levels of grip and agility.

Unsurprisingly for a premium product, the X2 is comfortable and easy to drive on long motorway hauls. However, driver assistance tech for the highway is largely relegated to the options list. On any X2, a lane departure warning system and active cruise control will cost you extra, as part of an options pack.

At speed, the firm ride irons out bumps nicely, though the trade-off is a slightly less-civilised experience when travelling at a lower pace, even when Comfort mode is selected via the optional Electronic Damper Control toggle switch. M Sport models ride on 19-inch wheels too, with the low profile tyres further impeding the ride quality on rougher surfaces, and we found the T-Roc in our back to back test rode a little more comfortably. The big tyres also induce noticeable tyre roar on the motorway, which is a shame as the 20d power unit is particularly refined.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The 2.0-litre xDrive20d diesel is likely to be the volume seller, thanks to its decent all-round mix of performance, refinement and fuel economy. It develops 187bhp, is capable of 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds and records a top speed of 137mph. It feels punchy and refined, though cars on bigger wheels do generate some unwanted road noise.

The lower-powered 2.0-litre diesel is badged 18d and is offered with a choice of sDrive front-wheel drive or the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Producing 148bhp, sDrive20d models do 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds, with xDrive versions slightly quicker at 9.2 seconds.

Petrol power is covered by the 18i, 20i and range-topping M35i. The sDrive20i produces 189bhp and matches the 20d from 0-62mph, but clocks a top speed of 141mph and is probably the pick of the bunch. The M35i doesn't feel special or fast enough for its sky-high list price; a Cupra Ateca makes more sense in this area of the market.

Basic 18i and 18d models are offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but an eight-speed auto is available as an option and is equipped as standard on 20d and M35i versions of the X2. The 20i petrol cars get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The PHEV variant is a decent performer, delivering 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds with a 121mph maximum speed via a six-speed auto transmission.

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