BMW X2 long-term test review
The new X2 aims to transpose the stylish formula of the larger BMW X4 and X6 into a smaller yet equally practical package – and we're running one for four months to see if it's a success...
- The car BMW X2 xDrive20d M Sport
- Run by Darren Moss, deputy editor
- Why it’s here To see if BMW can successfully transpose its coupé-SUV formula from the X4 and X6 onto a smaller car
- Needs to Be comfortable and economical for my daily commute, spacious for family and friends and able to function as a mobile office on longer trips
Price £37,940 Price as tested £43,585 Miles covered 2700 Official fuel economy 58.9mpg Test economy 43.5mpg Options Tech Pack (£1260), Vision Pack (£710), Touring fuel tank (£40), 19in alloy wheels with performance tyres (£550), Electronic Damper Control (£150), M Sports steering (£220), Comfort Access (£350), Bike Rack Preparation (£180), Luggage compartment separating net (£105), Sun protection glass (£270), Electric front seats (£650), Park distance control front and rear (£340), Extended interior lighting (£220), Harman Kardon stereo (£600)
2 May 2018 – the BMW X2 joins our fleet
Imagine a showroom in which all of BMW’s SUVs are on display. At one end there’s the X1: small but practical. And at the other there’s the upcoming X7, which is aimed at those who value luxury as well as space. And in between is everything else, bar one. You see, there’s a space between the X1 and the X3. A space for something small, but sporty; something that takes the coupé styling of the X4 and X6 and makes it smaller. A big round of applause, then, for the BMW X2.
This is a car designed for the slowly increasing number of young buyers with money to spare. But it’s also for those who, say BMW, want something that’s visually different to the SUV norm. “Why is it we spend so much time fitting in,” the car’s advertising campaign states, “when there’s so much joy in standing out?”.
Well, standing out is something I won’t have to worry about for the next few months, because my car’s Misano Blue metallic paintwork is hardly inconspicuous. Not a journey goes by without looks from other drivers. Some see the X2, with its large front air intakes and extra BMW badge on the C pillar and nod in approval, but others are, erm, less than polite about both its colour and the life choices of the chap driving it.
Our car is what BMW believes will be the best-selling version of the X2 in the UK, which means that under the bonnet is the 2.0-litre diesel 20d engine we recommend in the larger X3. Here, it produces 187bhp and sends that to all four wheels through BMW’s xDrive system. It’s relatively fast, too, being able to cover the 0-62mph sprint in 7.7sec.
Official fuel economy looks just as impressive, with a claimed 58.9mpg possible alongside 126g/km of CO2 emissions. Although I’m nowhere close to that economy figure, I am impressed that the X2 is so far managing 43.5mpg – especially since with just 2700 miles on the clock, its diesel engine might not yet be at its most efficient.
The M Sport trim of our car is also a big seller in this country, although it’s the lesser SE spec that we recommend. Still, I’ve no complaints, seeing as I have 19in alloy wheels, extra sports frivolities inside and out and multi-coloured ambient interior lighting to play with.
Despite an already extensive list of standard kit, I’ve also picked a fair few extras from the options list. First up is the Tech Pack, which brings a head-up display, wireless charging for my mobile phone and a larger 8.8in infotainment screen – perfect for making the most of BMW’s intuitive iDrive infotainment set-up.
I’ve also opted for a reversing camera and parking sensors, keyless entry, folding door mirrors, a more powerful Harman Kardon stereo and electric front seats. Plus – and this is the important one – electronic damper control.
You see, when we first drove the X2 abroad, our road testers returned with worrying observations about the firmness of its ride on standard suspension, and assurances that I should find a chiropractor as soon as possible.
In practice, it’s not that bad, although the car is more upset by lumps and bumps in the road than, say, the Volvo XC40, which is also on our fleet. Even in its comfort setting, the X2 jostles you around, especially at low speeds, and the large 19in alloys of our car don’t help matters. There’s also a lot of road noise, no matter your speed, which combined with the diesel engine’s constant hum means that things in the X2 are rarely quiet.
In making the X2 as ‘sporty’ as possible, BMW sits you low down inside the car, in a stance that’s more akin to a family hatchback than an SUV, and that means you miss out on the commanding view that most SUV buyers are after. And here’s a tip: if you’re speccing an X2 and wondering whether spending £740 on the Comfort Pack is worth it, it really will be – mostly because as well as a heated steering wheel and electric seat adjustment is also brings adjustable lumbar support, which I am sorely missing at the moment.
So, what is the X2 in for over the next few months? Mainly it will be my commuting car, on a route that’s usually covered in stop-start traffic. I’ll also be covering regular jaunts into central London and long motorway trips to visit friends and family in Northamptonshire. Will the X2 turn out to be every bit as practical and attractive as the X1 upon which it’s based, then, or is it a damp squib amid BMW’s larger SUV line-up? For the answer, stay tuned.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here