BMW X2 review
The X2 arrives as a more interesting addition to BMW’s ever expanding SUV line-up, but it won’t be the best choice for all. This style oriented crossover sits low compared to tall riding rivals, so while it’s great to drive, feels great inside and boasts eye-catching looks, it lacks the road-commanding appeal of similarly priced compact SUV models, and even the cheaper BMW X1.
4 Apr, 2018
The X2 fills yet another niche gap in BMW’s line-up, though in an attempt not to be seen as a box ticking exercise it gets its own distinct, more youthful design language. It’s a similar approach to the one taken by Audi with the Q2.
As such, a more rakish hatchback rear end, a low stance, plus angular, sporty bumpers are paired off with rugged SUV cladding. However, standing next to the car reveals that it doesn’t stand very tall – its roof is no higher than a family hatchback’s.
Unlike some cars, the X2 retains a lot of what its concept car exhibited back at its public reveal. With swept-back lights, a rising window line (incorporating BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink), ultra-slim hatchback glass and even the BMW badge inset into the C-pillar, all being transferring over from the Concept X2 from the Paris Motor Show in 2016.
Short overhangs help give it a sportier look than the X1, but the two models actually share the same wheelbase. Against the tape measure the X2 is 4,360mm long, 1,824mm wide and 1,526mm tall, so it’s a little bit larger in every dimension that a Volkswagen Golf, but only just.
While the car’s exterior design is quite different to every other car in the X line-up, the interior is much more straightforward. It’s lifted almost wholesale from the X1, so it’s immediately familiar in both layout and quality, with a neat centre panel, top quality materials and a digitalised instrument panel. It should be noted that BMW’s digital instruments are quite unlike Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system, however – they are purely computerised versions of the traditional binnacles.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Basic X2 models get a 6.5-inch infotainment system with sat-nav. Specifying the Navigation Plus pack replaces this with a sharper, 8.8-inch touchscreen, which can also be operated through a trademark BMW rotary iDrive dial. As such, the setup offers the best of both worlds, with the rotor button making the infotainment easy to use on the move.
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As expected of a premium brand, the interfaces are simple and clear to navigate, slick to respond and quick to load. Pairing a mobile phone via Bluetooth is no bother but Apple CarPlay is on the options list and Android Auto is not available at all. A head-up display is offered, sitting just below the driver’s line of sight and supplementing the basic digital dials.
As a sportier looking, coupe inspired SUV, the BMW X2 has a lot of plates to spin in the driving department, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW has 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 typically well-sorted BMW steering entertains. It feels direct and sharp, and is nicely weighted. Although the xDrive models feel a little heavy when pushed, the X2 still turns-in nicely on twisty tarmac. Though we’ve yet to drive one, a front-wheel-drive model will probably feel lighter on its feet.
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 lane departure warning 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 busy low speed ride, even when Comfort mode is selected via the optional Electronic Damper Control toggle switch. M Sport models ride on 19-inch wheels too, and the low profile tyres impede the ride quality on rougher surfaces. They also induce noticeable tyre roar on the motorway, which is a shame as the 20d power unit is impressively refined.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
So far we’ve only tried the 2.0-litre xDrive20d diesel and this 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.
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Joining it will be a lower powered version of the same 2.0-litre diesel unit. These cars will be badged 18d and offered with a choice of 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 a single front-wheel-drive option for the time being. The sDrive20i produces 189bhp and matches the 20d to 62mph, but clocks a top speed of 141mph.
Basic 18d models are offered with manual gearboxes but an automatic option is available and is equipped as standard on 20d versions of the X2. 20i petrol cars get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The X2 has yet to be tested by Euro NCAP, but anything other than a five-star rating would be a surprise as that’s the bar set by the very similar X1.
Plenty in the way of safety and assistance features are available. The Driving Assistant package is optional on entry-level models, but equipped as standard further up the range. Included are high-beam assist, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
The Driving Assistance Plus pack builds on this with semi-autonomous driving functions enabled by camera-based cruise control technology that unlocks acceleration, braking and steering support in stop start traffic or in a single lane on motorways. A solid 9th place finish overall for BMW in our 2017 Driver Power new car survey is also to be commended.
BMW’s standard UK warranty lasts for three years with unlimited mileage. Various warranty extension plans are available too.
The first thing you’ll notice when clambering behind the wheel of the BMW X2 is how low its driving position is for a car claiming to be an SUV. It feels very hatchback like, which is unusual for this type of car.
One of the reasons crossovers have become such a hit in recent years is the tall, commanding view of their road they offer buyers, and this is something the X2 lacks. However, the low-slung seating does make for an excellent position to exploit the car’s sharp handling and taut chassis setup from.
With the level of legroom and shoulderoom comparable with the X1, and the various storage cubbies around the cabin lifted straight from that car too, the only tangible differences are brought about by the rakish rear end. Headroom in the back of the X2 is reduced a little, while the rear window is slim in the rear view mirror, hindering visibility. Bootspace sizes up at 470-litres, which is decent and more than what is offered by the Audi Q3, but it’s 35-litres down on the X1’s luggage area.
The combined cycle fuel economy figures recorded by the four-cylinder units under the X2’s bonnet are fairly impressive, though, as ever, you’d struggle to match them in real world conditions.
Unsurprisingly, front-wheel-drive 18d diesels are the most economical on paper – BMW’s claimed combined figure is 62.8mpg. Officially, more frugal options are available though. For instance, the Mercedes GLA 200d’s official 64.2mpg has it beaten. Naturally, larger, heavier and taller riding rivals like Jaguar’s E-Pace lag a little behind the BMW’s numbers though.
Equip xDrive all-wheel-drive on the 18d and the figure drops to 57.6mpg, while CO2 climbs considerably, jumping up from 119g/km to 128g/km. Elsewhere in the range, xDrive20d X2s return a claimed 60.1mpg with 124g/km coming out of the tailpipe. sDrive20i petrols are the least economical with 51.4mpg recorded on paper, but CO2 emissions of 126g/km are still respectable.
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The platform utilised by the X2 is capable of supporting plug-in hybrid technology, but BMW has not announced plans to electrify its newest SUV in any way just yet.
Full insurance groups for the entire range have yet to be disclosed, though the X2’s various engine and trim combinations should largely mimic the X1’s ratings. That would mean 18d models in group 25 and up, xDrive20d cars in 29 and up, and petrol 20i models occupying territory around group 31.
Residual values for the X2 are predicted to be very strong, according to specialists cap hpi. Depending on specification, brand new X2s should hold on to between 51 and 56 per cent of their value after three years. This means the car outperforms the older X1 on predicted depreciation by some margin, though the residuals outlined by the specialists are broadly in line with other new premium crossovers.