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Driven: BMW X2. Image by BMW.

Driven: BMW X2
New crossover slots between X1 and X3 in BMW's X range.

 



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BMW X2

4 4 4 4 4

Starting a new chapter in design, the BMW X2 oozes style and isn't short on being a decent steer at the same time

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: BMW X2 xDrive20d
Price: 38,330 (as tested)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Body style: five-door compact SUV
Combined economy: 58.8mpg
Top speed: 131mph
0-62mph: 7.7 seconds
Power: 190hp at 4,000rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750- to 2,500rpm

What's this?

The BMW X2 is the company's third 'Sports Activity Coupe' to join the range, slotting neatly in between the X1 and X3. With the ever-increasing popularity of crossovers and smaller SUVs, the X2 is the perfect addition to BMW's range. Unlike the larger X4 and X6 models that BMW classes under the same SAC acronym, the X2 foregoes a sloping, coupe-like roofline in favour of some-thing more practical.

It's a bold design, especially when seen in the range-topping M Sport X specification that we're driving here. Specifying X trim adds distinctive contrasting grey accents on the front bumper, rear diffuser and wheelarches, plus chunkier side skirts. You also can't miss the additional BMW roun-dels on the C-pillars, just in case anyone needed reminding what you're driving.

Get into the cabin, and things are more familiar to BMW drivers. New sports seats do provide plenty of comfort with just enough side bolstering to keep you in place through the bends. One other feature of M Sport X trim is the contrast yellow stitching on the seats and some trim panels. Whichever X2 you choose, there are a few useful storage areas between the front seats and in the doors, too.

Moving rearwards, headroom isn't much of an issue for those of average height in the back, but if three adults were sitting abreast, they might find it more than cosy. You get 470 litres of boot space, which is good for the class, and you can increase cargo capacity to a total of 1,355 litres by folding forward the 60/40 split rear seats.

How does it drive?

As you might expect from a relatively low-slung all-wheel drive car, the X2 grips the road quite well. The 4WD transmission can distribute power according to grip levels, and the firmer suspen-sion on M Sport models add to the car's impressive handling. Sticking to towns and other urban environs, the X2 feels agile, if a little stiffly sprung. Our test car did come on the M Sport suspen-sion, which lowers ride height by 10mm and firms things up even further.

The steering is quick, making it easy to zip in and out of traffic. In heavier congestion, there is the option of BMW's Traffic Jam Assistant. This system can take over the mundane stop-start nature of driving in heavy traffic at speeds of up to 37mph, taking over control of lane keeping as well as the distance to the vehicle in front. Around town, the diesel's 400Nm of torque comes in use. That low-down shove is helped by the quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission that always seems to have the correct gear chosen at any time.

Away from traffic, the X2 is capable of providing quite an entertaining driving experience. Thanks to some clever engineering that uses a new suspension set-up, body control is improved without reducing the car's ability to soak up larger bumps. Adding this to the X2's quick steering and all-wheel drive, and you can enjoy throwing it into bends. You do feel a slight rearward bias to the power delivery, too, adding to the sportier feel when driving it with greater enthusiasm. While it is far from giving you the kind of sharp handling found in an M240i, for instance, it does mean the X2 delivers more engaging handling than many potential buyers might expect.

Another area where BMW has stepped up its game is the cabin's sound insulation. Previously, we have criticised some of the company's smaller diesel engines for sounding somewhat coarse, es-pecially when being driven hard. This time around there is a significant reduction in engine and road noise at various speeds. On the motorway, even on bigger 19-inch wheels, the cabin volume levels remain comfortably muted. It isn't quite as well insulated as some of Audi's newer models, but is a marked improvement for BMW.

Verdict

Our first driving experience with the BMW X2 is best summed up as being a car that is better than it needs to be. Not only does the latest compact SUV tick many of the right boxes visually, but it also doesn't shy away from its practical needs. And as a bonus it turns out to be quite good fun to drive when you find the right roads. With more engine variants to come, including a more pow-erful 231hp xDrive25d, the X2 looks set to be another hit for BMW.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Dave Humphreys - 5 Feb 2018









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2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.

2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.2018 BMW X2 first drive. Image by BMW.








 

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