BMW X2 review | An Excellent Addition to the X Series
The new BMW X2 arrives as the smallest SUV the German auto-giant now makes. Naming indicates that size-wise it should sit somewhere between the X1 and X3; and yet it’s shorter than both. Though there is a reduction in size, it only comes with a small reduction in cargo space, and the sleek new body kit is one of our favourite BMW designs in recent years.
The new exterior profile is something BMW has dubbed ‘Sports Activity Coupe’, a cross between a sedan and an SUV. The X2 is shorter in height than the X1, but is marginally longer and wider in the front and rear. The simple, yet iconic BMW kidney grill on the front has been enlarged and given centre stage, with the carved contours on the side of the vehicle immediately drawing the eye toward it. The rear of the car is raised slightly and tapers down to the front bumper, that has a smaller overbite than other X models. Two BMW badges sit on either side of the vehicle, behind the C-shaped window pillars, a homage to the Batmobile BMWs of the 70s.
The M Sport X package is currently included as standard on sDrive20i models and will yield you some stealthy grey accents on the vehicle’s underskirts and outlines of the windows, a rear spoiler, 19″ alloys and LED lighting. The M Sport package is also offered as a no-cost option and includes the same features as the M Sport X, with alternate rims and different coloured stitching in the interior.
The interior of the BMW X2 is almost identical to the X1, so while it’s not a fresh redesign like the exterior, it does retain a lot of the X1’s excellent practicality. The leather-clad seats are comfortable, offering the right amount of cushioning and hug, while driver and passenger leg room is plentiful. In comparison, there is a little less headroom which quickly becomes apparent if you need to bring the seat up to see over the bumper. The total amount of storage capacity lost from the larger X1 is only twenty-nine litres, which is roughly the size of a small backpack. We love the new X2 design though, so it’s a trade-off we can live with.
BMW’s infotainment systems are some of the best out there. Voice control is accurate for calls and dictating addresses, and navigating through menus is easy and intuitive with the click wheel and touch controls on top. At night the side panels illuminate the interior, with six colours to choose from. Though it’s not an essential feature, it does add an extra touch of personality to the car. The built-in satellite navigation system is easy to use and the map design is excellent. Apple CarPlay is an optional upgrade and the upcoming iOS 12 update will support third-party apps like Google Maps and Waze, your navigation options will be more varied going forward. Unfortunately, Android Auto isn’t offered as an optional upgrade.
The sound system is great, but it was only after we played with the EQ settings that the speakers really came alive. It’s certainly more geared toward bass-heavy music but combined with the quiet cabin, it’s an enjoyable listening experience.
Because it often feels like you’re driving a sporty hatchback, it’s easy to forget that you’re surrounded by the bulkier body of a mid-sized SUV. Getting used to the vehicle’s position on the road in relation to other cars took a little time to get used to. However, once we’d familiarised ourselves with the car’s sizing, we started to appreciate just how fun the BMW X2 is to drive. The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine has 141kW of power and 280Nm of torque on tap, and has no trouble getting off the mark – even in comfort and eco modes. Sports mode boosts the performance even more, with acceleration response as soon as you touch the pedal. There isn’t too much body roll, surprising for a car this size, and has an impressively small turning circle. Some SUVs require up to a full turn of the steering wheel to get around a corner, but on the X2 it feels tighter, and navigating through tight bends is a breeze.
The BMW X2 doesn’t have the same comprehensive list of safety features as its bigger siblings, but there are still plenty of enhancements here. This is primarily due to the X2 using a camera-array for hazard detection rather than radars. Autonomous Brake Assistance is included which will prepare the brakes for impact if it detects a hazard ahead but won’t stop the car completely like Autonomous Emergency Braking will. The cameras are also used for front and rear parking sensors and lane departure warnings but won’t create a birds-eye spectrum of the car’s surroundings like a radar array can. The Heads Up Display that shows speed, speed limit and satellite navigation instructions is excellent at keeping the driver’s eyes on the road and away from the infotainment screen.
BMW X2 Review | The Wrap Up
With no predecessor to go off, the BMW X2 had a clean slate to make a first impression, and it left a very good one on us. We love the new compact design, while the sporty engine makes it surprisingly fun to drive. It still retains most of the practicality of a bigger SUV though, with enough room to carry the gear for a camping trip, and take some friends along too. The X series is one of BMW’s best-sellers and the X2 is an excellent addition to the lineup.