BMW has become the master of both the dark and the light side - perfecting the art of proficient and intoxicating performance and zealous design but bringing balance to the force with humble family-centric proportions and luxurious comforts. The 2021 BMW X2 is neither Jedi nor Sith, but something in-between, a vehicle not dedicated to a single cause but one that's all-embracing of its true purpose - to satisfy our desires for beauty and fun, and to adhere to our needs for comfort and convenience. At its heart is a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine offering two states of tune - 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque in 28i variants, intensifying to a mightier 301 hp and 331 lb-ft for the M35i. As a compact 4-door luxury crossover SUV, the X2 challenges the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class, Audi Q3, and Volvo XC40.
Given that the all-new variant arrived in the US in 2019, it's not surprising that the X2 hasn't changed much for 2021. While globally, a PHEV variant of the BMW X2 SUV has debuted, in the US, we retain the same configurations from previous reviews. Changes for the new model year include the addition of SiriusXM with a one-year all-access subscription and a new mesh grille on the M35i. LED fog lights have been removed and the Dynamic Handling Package is no longer available, while the Convenience, Premium, and M Sport packages have seen a price reduction of $250. Dark Olive Metallic and Mediterranean Blue Metallic paint options have been removed, replaced by Phytonic Blue and Storm Bay.
See trim levels and configurations:
The 2021 BMW X2 can be had with one of two versions of a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gas motor - one rated at 228 hp and 258 lb-ft and the other rated at 301 hp and 331 lb-ft. Both come paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission - in the base model, a front-wheel drivetrain is standard while the mid- and top-spec models come with xDrive all-wheel drive. Regardless of the setup you opt for, performance from the X2 is always sprightly and refined, and you benefit from better fuel economy figures than most rivals can provide in the premium segment.
Whether you desire exhilarating and poised drive and handling dynamics or are looking for a balanced, premium luxury SUV to comfortably commute your family about, the BMW X2 can certainly deliver. The former qualities are most discernible in the M35i while the two 28i trims are better suited as family runabouts, though they still have some fire in them. Power is ample from both engines and fuel efficiency remains thrifty, too. All models share BMW's distinct, eye-catching aesthetic and boast commodious cabins brimming with features. The first generation of the X2, which includes the 2021 BMW X2, underwent review by both the NHTSA and the IIHS and earned a consummate safety rating. That's complemented by BMW's proven penchant for reliability. Starting at $36,600, the price of the 2021 BMW X2 SUV is a bit high considering that it is lacking in some regards, particularly in the ride quality it delivers. A luxury vehicle shouldn't be quite so harsh. It's cabin is also a little garish compared to other luxury cars, and it could do with a few more driver-aids and safety systems. Otherwise, the X2 is a difficult car to not recommend.
If you're a fan of the proficiency and enjoyment BMW's cars have to offer and you want to get the most out of the X2's performance potential, then the M35i is going to be the one you want. It's the lineup's top performance trim, equipped with the more powerful turbo-four engine, tuned with M Sport steering and braking modulation, and fitted with an M Sport differential, suspension, and the performance exhaust. It also comes outfitted with just about everything the 2021 X2 line has to offer in terms of creature comforts, conveniences, and safety features. It is pricey at $46,450, more than $10k over the entry-spec trim, but still $10k cheaper than the top-tier Range Rover Evoque. Either of the 28i trims are good options as family cruisers otherwise.
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