BMW's eye-catching X2 crossover tested on Irish roads
Pros: Rather unique, engaging drive, cabin layout
Cons: Less practical than the X1, expensive options
The X2 is the newest addition to BMW’s ever-growing X range, which includes popular models like the X1, X3 and X5. The X2 is quite unlike any of its X stablemates too, with unique styling, a distinctive low-slung stance and a sporty drive. The X2 competes in a hotly-contested corner of the market which includes the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, MINI’s Countryman and the Jaguar E-Pace amongst others. We spent a week testing it shortly after its official Irish launch, to see if it can prove popular in the class.
What is it like?
Intriguing is the best way to describe the X2’s styling, and even though it is based on the same underpinnings as the BMW X1, they differ greatly in terms of design.The X2 is low-slung and sleek from the outside, with large air intakes on the front bumper, highly-positioned rear windows and a pronounced rear silhouette. BMW emblems are uniquely-placed behind the X2’s rear window, and wide kidney grilles up front lend it lots of road presence. We drove a high specification M Sport model that is kitted out with 20-inch double spoke alloy wheels and M Sport exterior trim. There are over eight colours to choose from, but we reckon Galvanic Gold is the attention-grabbing choice!
Stepping inside, the X2 mixes sophistication and refinement like few other cars in its class. Our high specification M Sport X test car has colour coordinated stitching to match the exterior, and the driving position is focused and very comfortable. As standard, the X2 is equipped with BMW’s latest infotainment system and a slick integrated digital display which can be controlled by touch or through a rotary iDrive controller. The X2’s cabin is accommodating enough for four adults; however smaller children may find it hard to see out of the highly-placed rear windows. Although boot space (470 litres) and cabin storage is less than what you will find in comparable SUVs, it should be plentiful for most buyer’s needs.
From launch, the X2 is available with one XDrive20d engine variant, a powerful 2.0-litre diesel unit with all-wheel drive and 190 horsepower. We drove the XDrive20d with an eight-speed automatic transmission and It can sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.7 seconds and go on to a top speed of 220km/h. Thanks to the all-wheel-drive system, it gathers pace and grips instantly off the line, however lower specification models are fitted with front wheel drive. BMW rates fuel economy at around 5 litres per 100 kilometres and annual motor tax is €270. Later in 2018, additional engines will be added to the range including an sDrive20i petrol unit and an sDrive18d diesel unit. We also expect BMW to announce a hot M version of the X2 soon, although the SDrive18d is likely to be the leading choice here in Ireland.
The X2 sits lower to the ground than most crossovers, which means it is more driver-orientated than most SUVs. Through corners it is responsive and agile, while the optional X drive all-wheel-drive system adds extra reassurance. The suspension and ride quality is firmer over ramps and bumps than a typical SUV, but this results in better handling through corners. Even with the large 20-inch alloy wheels and sports suspension in our test car, we found ride quality to be good and the X2 is well-suited to long journeys even on bumpy back roads. BMW’s Driving Experience Control button allows various driving modes to be selected, including Comfort, Eco Pro and Sport.
Prices for the new BMW X2 start from €43,110 for the base specification SE model, and there are four trims to choose from. Our test car is the highest specification M Sport X model and it is lavishly-equipped with M aerodynamic body styling, sports suspension, alcantara seat upholstery, anthracite headlining and BMW’s optional Vision, Tech and M Sport X plus packages. Included in these packages are niceties such as BMW’s navigation plus system, a Harmon Kardon sound system, reversing assist camera and enhanced Bluetooth with Wireless charging, however it is keenly-priced at €56,871.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
The X2 strengthens BMW’s crossover offering, with sleek styling, an attractive cabin and a sportier drive than most of its rivals. Thanks to firm suspension and sharp steering, it corners with aplomb and it is very rewarding to drive. The X2 is certainly more style-orientated than the BMW X1 too, however it isn’t quite as spacious or practical. What’s more, with desirable options fitted it can prove expensive. As an alternative to models like the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLA, MINI Countryman and Jaguar E-Pace however, the X2 is certainly enticing and it delivers in just about every regard.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: BMW X2 XDRIVE20D M Sport Auto
Prices from: €43,110
Price as tested: €56,871
Annual Road Tax: €270
Engine: 1995cc four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Top Speed: 220km/h
0-100km/h: 7.7 seconds
Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission
Body style: SUV
Boot Space: 470 litres