BMW X2 Review
The BMW X2 is a more sporty version of the X1 family SUV, and prioritises style over practicality
Strengths & weaknesses
The BMW X2 repeats a trick the firm has performed in its larger SUVs - taking a traditionally shaped practicality-focused SUV (in this case the X1) and wrapping it in a sportier-looking body with a streamlined coupe-inspired roofline.
In doing so, the X2 gives away a little in terms of practicality compared with the X1, but it’s still perfectly capable of operating as an everyday family car. Although you will lose a little headroom and legroom for rear-seat passengers, it only loses 35 litres of space in the boot compared with the X1.
Losing a little interior space isn’t really an issue with the X2, though. It’s competing against rivals that also drop practicality a little down the order of priorities. Cars such as the Audi Q3 Sportback and Volkswagen T-Roc.
When it comes to engines, you have pretty much the same choices as with the X1, which means a pair of diesels with 150hp and 190hp, and a choice of two regular petrol models - the 136hp 18i and the 192hp 20i. There’s also the high-performance 306hp M35i - which has no equivalent in the X1 range - as well as the plug-in hybrid X2 xDrive25e.
You can choose between front-wheel-drive (badged sDrive) and four-wheel-drive (badged xDrive) with some X2 models, though others - like the M35i and xDrive25e plug-in hybrid - are only available in four-wheel-drive form. Gearbox options include a six-speed manual, and a seven-speed automatic or an eight-speed automatic, depending upon the engine.
Front-seat occupants are as well catered for as in the X1, meaning that there’s plenty of space, supportive and widely adjustable seats, and everything feels solidly built and well designed.
The driving position leaves you feeling rather close to the road, though, and from inside you may well struggle to detect that you’re in a low-slung SUV rather than an everyday hatchback. That will appeal if you enjoy a sporty driving experience, but if you like the lofty driving position that’s so typical of the SUV experience, then the X2 might not suit your tastes.
If you’re a bargain hunter it might be wise to look elsewhere too, as the already-expensive X1 is actually cheaper than the X2 - and it's more practical. At least the X2 feels like a premium product, and a significant step up from the interior of the likes of the VW T-Roc.
The levels of standard equipment are impressive as well. Built-in sat-nav, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and an electrically powered tailgate are all standard-fit on every model. On top of this, the SE-spec entry-level cars get 17-inch alloy wheels.
Upgrade to the Sport models and you’ll get 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, LED ambient interior lighting and body-coloured roof trim. On M Sport models, the alloy wheels grow to 19 inches, and there are heated seats in the front, but the sporty-looking styling is the main appeal at this trim level. There’s also firmer suspension, which makes the car more sporty in feel, but less comfortable.
At the top of the trim level tree is an M Sport X model, which brings leather seats, plus some silver-accented off-roader-style styling additions - to blend sporty and luxury themes.
Should I get a BMW X2?
✔ Interior looks and feels good
✔ Fun to drive for this type of car
✔ M35i version a great hot hatch alternative
✘ Rear passenger room is limited
✘ More expensive than an X1
✘ Doesn’t feel like an SUV from behind the wheel
The concept of paying more for less practicality and space might be an odd one for some drivers, but if you’re seduced by the X2’s sleek styling then you are unlikely to mind paying the premium for those looks.
You also don’t have to sacrifice much in the way of everyday usability, and the X2 is undoubtedly a more sporty-feeling car to drive than the X1 - justifying the sacrifice in practicality somewhat.
Part of the reason for that is how car-like it feels from behind the wheel and, if that appeals to you then the X2 is probably the most car-like of all the coupe-SUVs. If you want a more raised-up off-roader experience, however, other cars - most notably the Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40 may well be more up your street.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Plug-in hybrid
- Best BMW X2 for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
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The BMW X2 is to the BMW X1 what the X4 is to the X3 and the X6 is to the X5. That is to say, a more sleekly styled, lower-roofed coupe version of a more upright family SUV. It’s the car you’ll choose if rear headroom and boot space are less of a priority for you but style and the driving experience are more important.
It loses less interior space and boot space than you might think, though; those rear seats are perfectly usable for adults, and the boot is almost as large as the one you’ll find in the BMW X1, so the X2 is still decently practical as a relatively small family car.
Thanks to being lower and shorter than the X1, and with a different suspension setup, the X2 also has a more sporty feel - though the most sporty version by far is the M35i version, which you can read more about below.
Apart from the M35i model, the X2 uses the same set of engines and transmissions as the X1. It is, however, more expensive than the equivalent X1 on a like-for-like trim and spec level.
BMW X2 M35i
Although the X1 doesn’t come in a dedicated high-performance X2 M flavour, the extra sportiness of the X2 means that BMW felt it was appropriate to add one of its famous ‘M’ badges. The result is the X2 M35i, which gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that also sees service in the Mini Clubman JCW small performance estate, as well as the fastest version of the 1 Series family hatchback - the M135i - and the M235i Gran Coupe.
Power output is more than 300hp, which is transmitted through all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. That's enough to fire the X2 M35i from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. That puts it on par with hot hatches such as the VW Golf R, and offers a direct rival to the likes of the VW T-Roc R and Audi SQ2.
|SE||From £4,995: Even the base-model SE X2 gets plenty of equipment, with rear parking sensors, sat-nav, cruise control and dual-zone climate control, plus 17-inch alloy wheels included.|
|Sport||From £4,995: Sport spec brings larger 18-inch alloy wheels, plus body-coloured roof trims, LED headlights and LED ambient interior lighting.|
|M Sport||From £4,995: As well as firmer suspension and a smarter-looking body kit, you get bigger 19-inch wheels when you move up to the M Sport models, along with heated front seats.|
|M Sport X||From £4,995: In truth, the M Sport X doesn’t offer all that much on top of the regular M Sport, apart from appealing leather seats, although its silver-accented styling is a little more rugged-looking.|
Diesel power may be less popular than it once was, but the prospect of impressive fuel economy means that diesel is still a great choice if you do a lot of miles. What’s more, the relaxed, efficient power delivery suits the SUV body style.
All of which means the best powerplant in the X2 range is a diesel. Specifically, the 190hp xDrive20d, which is the more powerful of the two options. This can whisk the car from 0-62mph in a quick 7.7 seconds, deliver smooth motorway performance and allow for relaxed overtaking. It also offers strong claimed fuel economy of 51.4mpg.
If you want to maximise your fuel efficiency, minimise your emissions, and give yourself the option of short trips on electric power - provided you charge the battery regularly - the xDrive25e is the best bet. It has a 1.5-litre petrol engine working alongside an electric motor to give a combined total of 220hp.
This gives it sprightly performance, though it’s not as quick as the X2 M35i, yet is also in theory able to achieve 156.9mpg, and has an electric range of up to 32 miles on a full charge.
You’ll only achieve this sort of fuel economy if the majority of your trips are short enough to make the most of the car’s electric capability - and you remember to charge the car regularly. Fail to do so and the car has to lug around all the weight of the battery pack and electric motor with little electric assistance, meaning you can expect to burn lots of fuel.
With petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions, plus a variety of trims - at a variety of price points - there’s an X2 out there to suit plenty of different budgets and lifestyles.
|BMW X2 xDrive25e Sport: The plug-in hybrid variant of the X2 is pricey, but if the majority of your journeys are relatively short and you have somewhere to conveniently and cheaply charge up the car’s battery pack, running costs for everyday driving could be very low.|
|BMW X1 xDrive20d Sport: The prospect of 50 mpg-plus will keep your wallet happy - something that’s always under strain when you have a young family - while the easy going performance of the 190hp diesel engine should keep you happy behind the wheel, too.|
|BMW X2 M35i: 306hp, four-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox are good starting points for a performance model, as is the 4.9-second 0-62mph sprint time, which is very quick for this type of car.|
|BMW X2 xDrive20i M Sport: The most powerful non-hybrid petrol model that isn’t the M35i is the least fuel-efficient model in the range, its performance isn’t as effortless as the 20d diesel model, and M Sport trim gives it an uncomfortable ride and a high price tag.|
If you’re after a smallish SUV with sleek coupe styling, the most direct rival for the X2 is the Audi Q3 Sportback, but it’s several thousand pounds more expensive for the cheapest version, and the BMW is marginally more satisfying to drive.
Less rakish but arguably more elegant is the Range Rover Evoque, which looks smart inside and out and will go a fair bit further off-road than the X2, but is a little less sporty-feeling on the road.
Meanwhile, if a coupe-style SUV appeals but you have a tighter budget, the VW T-Roc is a smart-looking alternative, and significantly cheaper. The 300bhp T-Roc R is a great alternative to the X2 M35i, too.
BMW X2 practicality: dimensions and boot space
At 4,360mm long, 1,824mm wide (almost 2.1 metres when you add in the door mirrors) and 1,526mm tall, the X2 has more or less the same physical footprint as a family hatchback such as the Volkswagen Golf, but is a little taller, in keeping with its SUV style.
It is, however, lower than the X1 by about 10cm. It’s even a few centimetres shorter than the Audi Q3 Sportback, one of its closest rivals, making it one of the sleekest-looking and lowest SUVs around.
|Length 4,360mm||Width 1,824mm|
|Height 1,526mm||Weight 1,485kg - 1,805kg|
The BMW X2 loses a little boot space to the larger, more family-oriented X1, but it still has a reasonable luggage capacity of 470 litres. That’s around the same as the much larger and more expensive 4 Series Gran Coupe. Fold the rear seats down and boot space expands to 1,355 litres.
It is worth noting, however, that plug-in hybrid versions lose around 60 litres of luggage capacity compared with the petrol and diesel X2 models, owing to the need to slot the battery pack and electric motor in.
Compared with rivals, the X2 offers a little more room than the 445-litre boot in the VW T-Roc, but falls short of the 530-litre boot of the Audi Q3 Sportback.
|Seats up 410-470 litres||Seats down 1,290-1,355 litres|
BMW’s recent reputation for reliability and owner satisfaction is a little patchy - as is the case with many premium brands. For example, although the model itself didn’t actually feature in the 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey (as the number of X2 models featured in the survey were too low), the closely related BMW X1 finished a lowly 74th out of 75 models tested.
As a brand overall, BMW fared a little better, finishing 21st out of 29th manufacturers in the same survey. Not great, but that betters its 2020 result of 27th and puts it ahead of both Land Rover and Audi.
BMW's warranty covers cars from new for three years, but there’s no mileage cap on the car during this time - impressive when you consider that rivals Audi and Mercedes set 60,000-mile limits on their three-year warranties.
|3 years||Unlimited miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £721
Compared with the X1 - which is slightly more in-demand and whose more family-oriented packaging gives it a broader appeal - the X2 doesn’t hold onto its value all that well. Equally, It doesn’t help that the X2 is more expensive than the equivalent X1 in the first place.
This is a potential benefit if you are buying secondhand with cash, making it more appealing for the price, but even then it’s still likely to lose a reasonable amount of money while you own it. As a result, you have to really love the way the X2 looks to choose it over the X1 - unless cost simply isn't much of a consideration for you.
That said, BMW’s diesel engines are fuel-efficient which will help if you’re focused on low running costs but are really sold on the X2's looks, while the high-performance M35i model brings the formidable pedigree of BMW’s ‘M’ division to the X2 party, which gives its range-topping model plenty of sporty appeal. Since, there's no sporty X1 equivalent, if you want a sporty, small BMW SUV, this is it.
The SE-spec 18i and 18d models represent the best value for money in the X2 range, since they include plenty of standard equipment such as cruise control, dual-zone climate control and parking sensors. The engines, meanwhile, are reasonably fuel-efficient, with the sDrive18i petrol model delivering 45.6mpg and the 18d diesel an impressive 56.5mpg.
For a little more power, you could look at the xDrive20d Sport, which offers a good balance of value for money, power and fuel efficiency. It’ll zip from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds, while being capable of fuel economy of 51.6mpg. Of course, the real performance-focused model is the hot hatch-fast 306hp M35i.
And if your heart is set on the most eco-friendly choice, the plug-in hybrid X2 xDrive25e can manage up to 32 miles on electric power when fully charged, although if you regularly take on long motorway journeys, its claimed fuel economy of 166.2mpg is not very realistic.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
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