BMW X2 – Hard To Pigeonhole, Easy To Like
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The rationale behind most cars is easy to see and with buyers increasingly turning to crossovers and SUVs, BMW has been in a good position to capitalise. It all began with the X5 way back in 1999, followed in 1994 by the smaller X3. X1 completed the line-up in 2009, job done!
Well maybe not as the coupe-styled X4 and X6 were also introduced, answering a question that nobody asked. I suspect sales have been modest.
On test here is yet another crossover from the German manufacturer, the X2. Where on earth does this sit in the range, I hear you cry! I’ll try to enlighten, but you will have to bear with me...
The X2 shares its wheelbase with the X1, yet is more compact and arguably much better looking, thanks to a lower roofline.
You sit low, so no lording it over the riffraff in their mundane hatchbacks. Wasn’t that one of the benefits of driving an SUV? A clearer view of the road ahead...
The coupe styling of the bigger X4 and X6 models is missing too leaving the X2 looking like a trendy five-door hatch, not dissimilar to the 1-Series bread and butter models. Is that all clear? Thought not!
Engine choices are four cylinder units, petrol and diesel, with power outputs from 150 to 192PS.
The Misano Blue test car sits at the top of the X2 tree, boasting four-wheel drive, M Sport trim and a powerful diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox (£37,580 before options).
The interior offers comfort for four adults, five at a push with head and leg room aplenty. The driving position is spot on and readily adjustable.
Material quality is suitably top notch, but if you want leather trim you will have to dive into the extensive options list.
Having so far established no good reason to choose an X2, all that remains is the driving experience to perhaps create a raison d’être.
Find a section of challenging road and suddenly the X2 starts to make some kind of sense. The engine is powerful and torquey and is well paired with the smooth automatic gearbox.
Set the car to ‘Sport’ mode, which adjusts the calibration of the engine, gearbox, power steering and if fitted, adaptive dampers and you are all set to have some fun.
Body control is excellent, the X2 cornering pleasantly flat and the steering is alive and accurate. There’s a hot-hatch feel to the set up which encourages an exuberant driving style.
M-Sport equipped cars do boast a firm ride, especially in the aforementioned ‘Sport’ setting, but if you are not in the mood, ‘Comfort’ does a decent job of ironing out all but the very worst road imperfections.
Run-flat tyres are a standard fit unless you choose a lower trim level, so those who prioritise comfort may be better lowering the spend. Try both would be my advice.
Now comes the time when I have to sum up the X2 and it is actually surprisingly easy. Leaving aside whether it is an SUV, crossover or the latest acronym, a sports activity vehicle, the X2 is a car that I very much enjoyed driving and would be happy to own.
It offers driving pleasure in abundance and if you like BMWs, you will like the X2 very much.
Furthermore, around the time the X2 came to stay, I spent a week with close rivals, the Jaguar E-PACE and Volvo XC40.
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I’ll take the oddball thanks and if you take one for a spin you may well agree.
BMW X2 xDrive20d M Sport
Price - £37,580 (£44,185 as tested)
190PS 2.0-litre diesel engine
Eight-speed automatic gearbox
0-62mph in 7.7 seconds
Top speed 137mph
Combined economy 58.9mpg
Emissions – 126g/km CO2
BMW X2 – Hard To Pigeonhole, Easy To Like, 30th October 2018, 11:10 AM