Look at the cars around you when you’re next driving, and we bet that you’ll spot plenty of sheep dressed up to resemble big bad wolves. Despite the ever increasing price of fuel and hefty taxation for company cars that chuck out lots of CO2, us Brits love our big wheels, flashy bodykits and wannabe performance car badging. However, if you fancy a mild amount more subtlety with your M badge, the BMW X2 M35i might be your kind of SUV.
Although it might not look that different from a regular BMW X2 M Sport to the untrained eye, those in the know will spot the Cerium Grey surrounds for the air intake, mirror caps, exhaust pipes and badges, lower ride height and standard 20in wheels. But it’s what’s under the bonnet that counts, and the M35i certainly doesn’t disappoint on paper.
Despite its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine being related to the one found in the regular X2 20i, a bigger turbo, new pistons and a raft of other changes take the power output to a muscular 302bhp. That’s fed to a four-wheel drive system with a traction-boosting limited-slip differential up front, via an eight-speed automatic gearbox with standard paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
To help you negotiate corners as rapidly as you can munch through straights, there’s also a more powerful ‘M’ specific braking system with snazzy blue calipers along with stiffer springs and revised dampers.
All that performance garnish puts it into direct competition with the Audi SQ2, entry-level Porsche Macan and the Cupra Ateca. To see what the X2 M35i is like and how it compares to its rivals, keep reading for our typically thorough four-point review.
If you’re ready to buy this or any other new car, don’t forget to peruse our New Car Buying section for some heavyweight savings on hundreds of new motors.