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, too.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

Petrol power is covered by the 18i, 20i and range-topping M35i. The sDrive18i produces 134bhp and manages 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds, while the 176bhp 20i front-wheel-drive version completes the same sprint in 7.6 seconds. Adding xDrive four-wheel-drive reduces this time by three tenths.

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. 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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