If you’re opting for a Sports SUV with a view to lording it over fellow drivers, the X2 M35i might be something of a disappointment; you’re really not much higher off the ground than in a regular hatchback. Look past this and the driving position is actually a good one, with plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and the front seats too, especially with the optional electrically adjustable sports seats fitted. It really doesn’t matter if you’re over six foot tall or barely over five; you should be able to get comfortable. It is disappointing that lumbar support is only available as an option, though.
Even with rear parking sensors as standard, visibility isn’t great. The front pillars are thick and the large door mirrors can block your view forward. The upswept rear window line, small rear window and thick rear pillars can also be a hindrance when reversing, although a reversing camera is on the options list, as too are front parking sensors.
BMW has always had one of the best infotainment systems on the market with its iDrive system – with a rotary selector dial conveniently positioned between the front seats and a handful of shortcut buttons, it’s wonderfully intuitive. It gets sat-nav as standard plus DAB radio and Bluetooth, but the screen itself is a rather small 6.5in.
We’d seriously consider the Tech pack for its larger 8.8in display and wireless charging for compatible devices; it also adds a touch-sensitive pad on top of the rotary dial controller that allows you to input addresses using handwriting. You also get a full-colour head-up display that projects information, such as your speed and navigation directions, onto the windscreen in your line of sight, so you don’t smash through the speed limit launching away from the lights. Can we have this!? Ha. Yeah, why not! Although this system is pretty pricey, it is worth considering given the ease it brings.
As with the regular X2, interior quality impresses with plenty of soft plastics, classy trims, precise-feeling switches and leather or leather effect materials. The M35i also adds part Alcantara suede seats, M Sport stripes on the seatbelts and M35i logos on the door sill finishers and driver’s display.