by Adam Lynton
The BMW X2 is the latest addition to BMW’s X range, based on the successful X1 compact crossover, the X2 is a sportier interpretation of that design without quite resorting to the hatchback styling of its larger X4 and X6 stablemates.
While the running gear is straight out of the X1 the X2 rides lower and features a shorter and sleeker exterior design, it should appeal to fashion-conscious shoppers who prefer the crossover styling to a conventional sedan but don’t want to compromise on the driving experience.
The interior shares much with the X1 too, the driver is greeted with a logically laid out dashboard and front occupants should not have any trouble getting comfortable with the multi-adjustable standard seats. Larger adults may find the seat base a trifle narrow though and the rear is not quite as commodious as in the more conventionally styled and (3.4-inches longer) X1.
The build quality is excellent although a few hard plastics, which may be tolerable on the cheaper X1, do detract from the premium feel. The cargo space is generous although the angled tailgate can restrict the ability to load bulky items and overall luggage capacity trails the class leaders.
While it is based on the X1 which is itself derived from the front-wheel-drive Mini platform, the X2 comes standard with all-wheel-drive and feels every bit as planted and balanced as you would expect from BMW.
The X1 has proven itself to be very capable both on the road and in light off-road situations so the X2 should offer a similarly rounded level of performance with a slightly sportier touch.
The X2 sits lower to the ground too and the all-season tires can be replaced with more performance oriented rubber. The available Dynamic Handling package adds dynamic damper control to sharpen up the overall feel, clearly BMW does not expect owners to be venturing too far off the beaten path.
US specification X2s are available solely with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It produces 228 horsepower 258 lb-ft of torque, power is sent to all four wheels and the now ubiquitous 8-speed automatic transmission is standard fitment.
Claimed acceleration figures mirror those of the X1 and the 0-60 mph sprint takes a competitive 6.3-seconds. Highway overtaking performance should be equally strong and while fuel economy figures have not yet been published but they should closely mirror the X1s class-competitive numbers.
In base form the X2 is not quite the blank canvas like BMWs of old but you still need to tick quite a few boxes before the ‘luxury’ part of luxury crossover is justified.
Standard features include 18-inch alloys with all-season tires, leatherette covered seats, 6.5-inch infotainment display and LED headlights. All-wheel-drive is standard too and there is no manual transmission, all X2s will feature the 8-speed automatic as standard.
The list of available options is extensive, notable features include comfort access keyless entry, head-up display, heated steering wheel and front seats, panoramic sunroof, Harman Kardon audio system, upgraded touchscreen infotainment system with integrated navigation, smartphone connectivity and active cruise control.
The Driving Assistance package adds lane departure and forward collision warning as well as auto high beams and city collision mitigation.
The Dynamic Handling package adds M sports steering and dynamic damper control and visually the M Sport X design option adds some more aggressive exterior design cues.
The 2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i promises to be a competent subcompact crossover but it may struggle to make a rational case for itself compared to the slightly cheaper and more spacious X1 equivalent.
That said, those looking for a sportier looking and fractionally sharper driving crossover may find the latest BMW X variant the perfect fit. A range of the latest safety and convenience items further raise its game although they do come at a price.