BMW X2 hatchback performance
Under the bonnet is a range of engines that will be familiar to anyone who has picked up an X1 brochure. Initially, we’ll get the 2.0-litre petrol sDrive20i and the 2.0-litre diesel xDrive20d. The former is bolted to a seven-speed automatic gearbox with front-wheel drive, while the latter is fitted to an eight-speed auto with four-wheel drive. Less powerful petrol and diesel units will follow in the next couple of months, along with a four-wheel drive petrol.
So far, the only engine we’ve sampled is the xDrive20d – no bad thing because BMW predicts it’ll be the top seller in the UK. Like other 20-badged BMW models, the diesel unit produces a hefty 187bhp – enough for a 0-62mph time that would embarrass more than a few junior hot hatches.
That power is available from low engine revs, making it easy to whizz up to motorway speeds without having to thrash the engine to within an inch of its life. Helping matters is the eight-speed automatic gearbox that can slur smoothly between ratios when you’re being sensible yet shift swiftly when you take control using the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
BMW X2 hatchback ride
The X1 has never been the most supple of cars, yet BMW has still ramped up the firmness for the X2. Three suspension set-ups are available: normal on SE models, lower and stiffer on M Sport and a switchable version of the M Sport set-up on the options list.
On the 19in wheels, low-profile tyres and M Sport suspension of our test car, rough road surfaces and sharp-edged bumps caused you to be jostled around in your seat uncomfortably, especially at low speeds. If you’re planning on having an X2 as an urban runaround, you’ll need to avoid potholes and the crumbliest of surfaces or be prepared to be jostled around.
At speed, the X2’s ride improves. You still get a noticeable amount of vertical movement, but it feels well controlled and sporty rather than uncomfortable. Adaptive suspension is optional, but even Comfort mode is firm. We’d definitely recommend sticking to the smaller wheels available.
BMW X2 hatchback handling
So far, we can only comment on the four-wheel-drive xDrive20d in M Sport and M Sport X guises, since they’re the only variants we’ve tried. We found them to have well-weighted steering that allows you to accurately place the nose of the X2 on the road. There’s no great sense of connection to the front wheels, but the system is confidence-inspiring enough to allow you to attack a B-road with gusto.
When you do corner enthusiastically, you’ll notice there’s a bit of initial body lean before the X2 wrestles back control and grips tenaciously. Traction out of corners is excellent, thanks to the four-wheel drive system, but this doesn’t mean it’s no fun.
The X2 certainly feels more agile than the Volvo XC40 and feels much less heavy than the Jaguar E-Pace. In fact, the X2’s low height and relatively low weight make it feel more like a junior hot hatchback than a chunky SUV.
BMW X2 hatchback refinement
While the diesel engine has plenty to like, it’s also rather vocal. Not only do you hear the clatter of the unit at idle and when accelerating, you feel it through the steering wheel and pedals, too. The engine does settle down at a cruise, though, smoothing out and fading into the background, unlike the E-Pace’s motor.
But it isn’t just the engine you’ll notice when you’re driving along. Like the X1, the X2 suffers from an awful lot of tyre roar, especially at speed. If you spend a fair bit of time on the motorway, expect to be cranking up the stereo regularly. Indeed, we found it to be one of the nosiest premium SUVs in its class.
We’ve only tried the eight-speed automatic gearbox so far and it’s a corker. There’s very little hesitation from a standstill and it changes gear cleanly. Should you want to take control manually, it’s snappy and obedient.