Just when you thought there was no room for another niche model… along comes the BMW X2.
The BMW X range is simple massive and a reflection of current buyers obsession with high-rise motoring. Even number X models (or SAVs as BMW calls them) such as the X2, 4 and 6 fill the gap between Beemer’s more conventional SUVs the X1, 3, 5, and huge X7. The low roofed X2 is a handsome machine that is an instant like in the flesh and perhaps the very definition of a pure ‘Crossover’. The compact five seater is built using the same core platform as found in the MINI 5 door, 2 Series Active Tourer MPV and the taller and slightly longer X1 SUV, so it doesn’t take up a huge amount of road and is easy to use in urban spaces. Available predominantly in front wheel drive, xDrive versions (rear biased all wheel drive) are also available that deliver a more assured driving experience.
If you squint while looking at the X2 its shape is not overly radical. The car looks squat and has a great stance compared to its taller siblings. Thankfully with your eyes wide open you will easily spot the X2 side on as BMW has put a retro BMW badge on the ‘C’ pillar that is reminiscent of classic Beemers like the 3.0 CSL. BMW’s new larger kidney grille dominates up front and this makes the car appear fresher than most of the BMW range. My test car had the optional M Sport package that gives it more ‘Kerb’ appeal. Large diamond cut alloys and other subtle sporty features were talking points with quite a few admirers who would approach with the line “Is that an X3?”.
Inside the X2 you won’t find the clarity or ingenuity of Volvo’s XC40 design but it is pleasant none the less. X2’s dash is a blend of its larger sibling’s layered construction with more entry point small central screen and instrument cowling. Nothing inside is alarming different from other Beemers and so the switchgear is a familiar friend. My car was equipped with run flat tyres and this made the split level boot very spacious and gave me a lot more confidence on longer runs than cars with regular tyres with horrid inflation kits.
On the road my 2 litre 190hp/400nm auto diesel test car was sporty and fun on twisty routes thanks to the stiffer M Sport suspension. Surprisingly the X2 proved to be a super economical cruiser – I managed over 60mpg on one long trip. A larger touring fuel tank is available that can deliver over 1,000kms – with a light right foot. Cabin road noise is high and I blame my car’s big alloys – although some more sound insulation would not go amiss to be truly premium. Steering is direct and well geared and the 8-speed auto’s gearshift proved super smooth adding to the premium feeling. My only niggles were the driver’s door aperture is tight enough and the front seat belts are not height adjustable – as if to force drivers to sit high and forward.
Car companies are simple beasts – they want customers to stay loyal to the brand and will try their hardest to provide a different model to meet customer’s desires over the years. If a firm has too few models it makes it easier to take your business to a rival and winning custom back is always tough. BMW with its impressive inventory has weaved a sticky web in the premium sector that any spider would be proud of.
With X2 the price is high – my test car with extras was over €58K (the range starts in manual front wheel drive sDrive form -from €39,230 including a promotional 9% discount). Most versions in the specification you want, are circa 50K and that is in X3 territory. Any hint of sanity would say get a KIA Sportage for half the price but the X2 will find a following from urban premium car buyers. Key rivals include the Audi Q3, Jaguar E-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Volvo XC40.
The BMW X2 crossover may be pricey, but it is desirable too.