New BMW X2 review

Category: Family SUV

The 2024 X2 is a practical family SUV with a smart interior and tidy handling

Green BMW X2 M35i front left driving
  • Green BMW X2 M35i front left driving
  • Lawrence Cheung test driving BMW X2 M35i
  • BMW X2 M35i boot open
  • BMW X2 M35i interior driver display
  • BMW X2 M35i right driving
  • BMW X2 M35i front left driving
  • Green BMW X2 M35i front right static
  • Green BMW X2 M35i overhead static
  • Green BMW X2 M35i rear left static
  • Green BMW X2 M35i headlights
  • Green BMW X2 M35i alloy wheel
  • Green BMW X2 M35i rear lights
  • BMW X2 M35i interior front seats
  • BMW X2 M35i interior back seats
  • BMW X2 M35i interior dashboard
  • BMW X2 M35i interior infotainment
  • BMW X2 M35i interior detail
  • BMW X2 M35i seat detail
  • Green BMW X2 M35i front left driving
  • Lawrence Cheung test driving BMW X2 M35i
  • BMW X2 M35i boot open
  • BMW X2 M35i interior driver display
  • BMW X2 M35i right driving
  • BMW X2 M35i front left driving
  • Green BMW X2 M35i front right static
  • Green BMW X2 M35i overhead static
  • Green BMW X2 M35i rear left static
  • Green BMW X2 M35i headlights
  • Green BMW X2 M35i alloy wheel
  • Green BMW X2 M35i rear lights
  • BMW X2 M35i interior front seats
  • BMW X2 M35i interior back seats
  • BMW X2 M35i interior dashboard
  • BMW X2 M35i interior infotainment
  • BMW X2 M35i interior detail
  • BMW X2 M35i seat detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

Whether it’s for the Brit Awards or the Oscars, picking out a bold costume is a great way to get yourself noticed – and that seems to be the approach taken by the new BMW X2.

With its chunky SUV body mixed with a sleek coupé-like roof and large front grille, the X2 refuses to be lost in the sea of family SUVs. True, it doesn’t have the curious silhouette of Sam Smith’s inflatable latex suit, but it’s certainly striking enough to have people doing a double take.

BMW’s first-generation X2 ended up looking more like a jacked-up hatchback and struggled to make a memorable impression. It was also shorter than the BMW X1 so practicality took a small hit.

This time round, the second-generation X2 mimics the shape of the bigger BMW X4 and BMW X6 while growing in size (it’s 54mm longer than the X1) so the rest of the family can fit in without resenting the buyer’s purchase decision.

Read on to find out whether the latest BMW X2 is good enough to beat other sleek-styled SUVs, such as the Audi Q3 Sportback, Cupra Formentor and Range Rover Evoque...

"The X2 has decent interior and boot space for an SUV of its size and shape. The engines are punchy, too. Ride comfort would benefit from softer, more compliant suspension, though." – Steve Huntingford, Editor

Green BMW X2 M35i rear left driving

Overview

Given the BMW X2’s sleek looks, this family SUV offers a good level of practicality to back up its coupe styling. A smart interior and tidy handling add to the X2’s appeal, but the M35i’s firm ride detract from the overall package.

  • Spacious enough for four occupants and their luggage
  • Handles well given its size
  • Good level of standard equipment
  • Stiff ride
  • Some road noise
  • Lack of physical controls for infotainment system
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The BMW X2 offers a choice of two petrol engines, both of which come with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

The entry-level sDrive20i produces 168bhp from its 1.5-litre engine and officially takes 8.3 seconds to get from 0-62mph. Power is sent via the front wheels and you get mild-hybrid assistance to help bolster performance and fuel economy.

If you fancy more punch and four-wheel drive, there's the 296bhp M35i, with an official 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds. The power delivery is smooth and the automatic gearbox changes gears in a slick manner, but it doesn’t feel as quick as the performance figures suggest. The engine doesn’t rev particularly quickly, giving the sensation it’s having to haul a heavier car.

Note that the second-generation X2 is not available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

Adaptive suspension is standard on all X2s, but you can’t adjust the softness of it. The M35i we’ve tested so far (with 20in wheels) is so firm that it struggles to settle down at low speeds, even on roads that appear to be relatively smooth. Meanwhile, going over speed bumps will see occupants thrown upwards in their seats.

BMW X2 image
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We’ll reserve judgement on the sDrive20i’s ride comfort until we’ve tried it.

The M35i is better on a twisty country road. The well-weighted steering allows you to accurately place the X2 on the road, and its quick responses make threading the car through corners effortless. With high grip levels and minimal body lean, the driver quickly builds up their confidence.

We’d stop short of calling it fun to drive, though. The M35i struggles to contain vertical body movement over undulating roads. A Mini Countryman John Cooper Works (which uses the same engine and basic underpinnings as the M35i) trades some firmness for a bit less body control, and the Cupra Formentor has a better balance of comfort and grip, although its steering feels less direct than the X2’s.

The X2 has a Sport driving mode, which pipes an augmented engine note through the speakers. It sounds rather unconvincing and is loud enough to mask any sound that may be heard from the quad exhausts. At least you have the option of turning off the sounds when you or your passengers are not in the mood.

The thump from the tyres is something you can’t avoid though, along with a moderate level of road noise at motorway speeds – although out test car’s acoustic side windows reduced wind noise to a minimum. (They're available as part of the optional Technology Pack).

To read about the fully electric version of the X2, see our BMW iX2 review.

"The X2 is sharp to drive by class standards, but the X2, even the M35i version, fails to entertain at a level the best sports SUVs achieve." – Neil Winn, Deputy Reviews Editor

Driving overview

Strengths Neat handling; M35i is quick; direct steering response

Weaknesses Stiff ride on M35i; some road noise

Lawrence Cheung test driving BMW X2 M35i

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

You don’t get a truly commanding view of the road in the BMW X2, but the driving position is fundamentally sound.

The steering wheel has lots of adjustment for both reach and rake, and you can move the seat in several planes. Electric adjustment (including for the lumbar support) is an option on all trim levels.

Sports front seats standard on all versions provide plenty of side support and come with grippy suede-like material to hold you in place when cornering.

You don’t have as clear a view over the dashboard and bonnet in the X2 as in the Mini Countryman but forward visibility is still pretty good, helped by relatively thin windscreen pillars.

However, with small side windows, a narrow rear windscreen and chunky rear pillars, the view over your shoulder and out the rear is compromised. Thankfully, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are standard on all models, while a 360-degree camera is available as an option.

The X2 shares the same dashboard as the BMW X1 and it’s slightly frustrating that there are no physical buttons to operate the climate control system, as there are in the Audi Q3. Fortunately, you can adjust the stereo volume and select your drive modes with physical controls on the lower centre console, beside the gear selector.

The driver gets a 10.3in digital instrument panel with a range of layout options, and there's a 10.7in infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard.

The infotainment operating system is packed full of features, including sat-nav, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and apps that allow you to stream video or play arcade games with your phone as a controller.

It responds quickly to inputs and a row of touch-sensitive shortcut keys running down the side of the screen takes you directly to the most important functions. Unlike earlier versions of the BMW software, the main app screen is now organised into categories, so it’s a little easier to find what you are looking for.

A 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system is standard on the M35i and optional with M Sport trim on the sDrive20i.

The M35i comes with an added slice of suede-like material on the dashboard ahead of the front passenger, but the X2 otherwise offers the same level of build quality and material plushness as the BMW X1.

That puts it up there with the better efforts in the family SUV class, and while there are plenty of plastics, they at least feel high quality and it feels more upmarket than the Audi Q3’s. Even so, a Range Rover Evoque feels more luxurious inside.

"It’s a shame the X2 doesn’t offer the instinctive-to-use rotary infotainment controller you’ll find in pricier BMWs." – Will Nightingale, Reviews Editor

Interior overview

Strengths M35i’s supportive front seats; infotainment system is quick to respond and packed with features

Weaknesses Rear visibility could be better

BMW X2 M35i boot open

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Although the X2 has a lower roof than the BMW X1 there’s still enough head room for 6ft adults. There’s plenty of leg and elbow room too, so it doesn’t feel confined.

There’s a pair of cupholders up front that are deep enough to hold a 500ml bottle each, while the wireless charging tray for a phone (when fitted) has a spring-loaded clip to hold it in place. The lidded centre armrest is quite shallow (and hinged to only open up for easy access to the driver), but there is a larger storage tray beneath it on a lower tier.

Rear-seat passengers will most appreciate the larger dimensions over the previous-generation X2. True, the amount of head room available isn’t as generous as in an X1 or Mini Countryman but a 6ft occupant will have just enough clearance for their head – which is better than having it buried into the roof lining as you would in an Audi Q3 Sportback

There’s plenty of leg room and space for feet under the front seats to stretch out, making it slightly more accommodating than the electric version – the BMW iX2 – with its raised floor (to accommodate the battery).

You can recline the backrest to boost comfort, although a middle occupant won’t want to spend too much time back here, due to a big hump in the floor robbing them of foot space. The Cupra Formentor has a better balance of head and leg room overall, but there’s more rear leg room in the X2 than there is in a Range Rover Evoque.

With boot space increasing by 90 litres over its predecessor (with the rear seats up) the X2 has a 560-litre. It should have little trouble swallowing a large buggy or enough luggage for a weekend away.

On paper, that’s a little more than what you get in an Audi Q3 Sportback and the BMW X1, and far more than is offered in the Cupra Formentor.

The boot's load area is a usefully square shape and has a couple of small storage areas on the side. There’s a small load lip to lift items over and while the height of the boot floor is fixed, there is at least a huge storage area underneath that’s almost the same length and width.

All X2s have a powered tailgate that makes life that bit easier. The optional Technology Pack adds a sensor below the bumper so you can open and close the boot by sweeping your foot. 

Like the Audi Q3 Sportback, the X2 comes with a 40/20/40 split-folding rear bench as standard, which makes it easier to carry long loads and still fit four people more comfortably than a 60/40 format. You can’t fold the rear backrest from inside the boot, though – the release catches are mounted on the seats.

"Being able to recline the rear seatbacks is always a plus in this kind of vehicle, especially when you're off on the family holiday and have a long journey ahead," –  Claire Evans, Consumer Editor

Practicality overview

Strengths Lots of leg room all round; big boot

Weaknesses Rivals still offer more rear head room

BMW X2 M35i interior driver display

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

On a model-for-model basis, the X2 costs a little more than an equivalent BMW X1. The price difference is slightly greater when you compare an entry-level sDrive20 M Sport with a similarly powerful Audi Q3 Sportback S line 1.5 TFSI, but you are paying for a bit more performance, space and a slightly fresher interior in the X2.

With an official figure of 48.7mpg, the X2 sDrive20 is also slightly more economical on fuel and its CO2 output of 131g/km is lower than the Q3 1.5 TFSI, helping to reduce running costs and BIK tax for company car users.

If you’re thinking of buying one outright, it’s worth noting that the X2 loses value more quickly than other premium rivals, including the Audi Q3 Sportback and closely-related Mini Countryman. You can check the latest prices by searching our new BMW deals pages.

Choosing a trim level couldn’t be easier, with just the entry-level M Sport and the high performance M35i model available.

Entry-level M Sport trim is well equipped, with 19in alloy wheels, two- zone climate control, cruise control, automatic windscreen wipers, ambient lighting and heated front seats with part-leather upholstery.

Individual options include a panoramic sunroof and a heated steering wheel, while the Technology Package brings adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry, wireless phone-charging and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

The M35i adds larger 20in alloy wheels, a light surround for the front grille, black exterior highlights, a slightly larger boot spoiler and blue brake calipers.

The X2 is too new to feature in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey but BMW finished 12th out of 32 manufacturers in the league table. That was above Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes, but a fair way below Lexus (which came top) and Mini, in third place.

BMW’s three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty also edges ahead of the three-year/60,000-mile warranties offered by some rivals, including Audi and Volvo.

The X2 is yet to be tested by safety experts Euro NCAP, although all versions come with automatic emergency braking (AEB) and a tyre-pressure monitoring system. The optional Driving Assistant pack adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. 

Lane-keeping assistance, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition is part of the pricier Driving Assistant Plus pack.

"While having just the two trim levels means you're unlikely to be overwhelmed by choice, a trim that has a greater focus on comfort rather than sportiness would add another dimension to the X2." – Dan Jones, Reviewer

Costs overview

Strengths Well equipped; doesn’t cost much more than equivalent X1

Weaknesses Loses its value a bit more quickly than rivals

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FAQs

  • It depends which version you mean. The new 2024 X2 is longer than the BMW X1 but the first-generation X2 was smaller than the X1.

  • Far from it – the new 2024 BMW X2 has just gone on sale in the UK.

  • Yes – the launch of the 2024 BMW X2 coincided with the arrival of the first electric car version, the BMW iX2.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £3,675
Target Price from £39,857
Save up to £3,675
or from £449pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £29,810
RRP price range £41,680 - £54,175
Number of trims (see all)2
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 36.7 - 48.7
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £2,482 / £3,924
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £4,964 / £7,848
Available colours