The popularity of the SUV has seen all manufacturers expand their line ups to cater to the growing demand of buyers and BMW is aiming to grab the attention of those after a smaller sized premium SUV with the X2. Following BMW’s SUV nomenclature, the X2 is the sportier, coupe-like derivative of the X1, just like what the X4 is to the X3 and similarly, the X6 to the X5. The X2 is the tiniest crossover in BMW’s ever expanding SUV line up.
At first glance the BMW X2 range can be confusing with 8 differing iterations and badging that needs to be deciphered to know what’s inside. The one we’re testing is the sDrive20i M Sport, quite a mouthful but let’s break it down. The sDrive moniker dictates that it’s the sportier road focused version with the digits signifying the performance level and finally M Sport refers to the M Sport package which comes as a standard option. There’s also the xDrive versions that are more ruggedly styled and both versions have access to diesel power or a smaller petrol powerplant.
Where most SUV’s look to be cut from the same cloth, the BMW X2 stands apart with its lower overall stance, from bonnet to back it comes across more as a beefed up hatchback than a shrunken down SUV.
As is the case with most BMWs the twin kidney grill dominates the front end flanked by the hexagonal driving light imbued LED headlights. Filling the guards falls to the 19-inch M light alloy wheels wrapped in 225/45 Continentals. Towards the rear there’s an extra set of BMW badges attached to the C pillar taking the logo count up to an over the top 6.
There’s no fake exhaust nonsense going on here either, BMW delivers the real deal with twin polished exhaust tips.
For the interior I was expecting an entire herds worth of leather, instead there’s the highly detailed and stylish Alcantara cloth combination of lining that gives off a real active lifestyle vibe thanks to the intricate patterns and yellow double stitching that contrasts well against the dark tones.
Adding further character is the interior ambient lighting system that features various colours to be emitted from all around the cabin. Leather is still used for the armrests and steering wheel which I noticed is extra plush. Overall the interior makes you feel special and more importantly, comfortable.
While the seats are manually adjusted, they do offer excellent support and come with electronic bolster support for those winding roads, you’ll have no trouble dialling in your perfect driving position.
In the middle row things are spacious with leg room never an issue and headroom is okay but the giraffes among you will want to stick to the front seats. For multiple passengers it’s the same story as most other small SUVs, two is fine with three a squeeze.
Cargo netting lines the back of the front seats and the door pockets will swallow bulky bottles all day long. Down on the rear of the centre console passengers will be pleased to find twin vents and USB charging ports.
Boot space sits at a substantial 470 litres which opens up to 1,355 once you drop the 40/20/40 split folding rear seats. There’s no method of lowering the seats from the rear so it can be tedious having to dart around to drop them.
Once the rear seats are tumbled you’ve got a mostly flat floor space for all your larger items. The boot floor can be hinged up to reveal a secondary storage area which looks like it would house the rear parcel shelf but no deal, this one has to stay in the garage when not in use. Metal scuff plating is sure to help when loading and unloading larger items, just make sure you watch out for the drop.
You’d expect with the smaller nature of the X2 that it’d have similar visibility to a large hatch back, except that’s not the case at all. Thick chunky A pillars obscure up front while the B and C pillars continue to deny your eyes access out the rear all topped off by the rather small and oval shaped rear window. Blind spot monitoring is only available as an option, which if added would bring some much needed confidence when dipping in and out of lanes.
20 years ago a BMW M badge would have other drivers cowering in fear at the performance potential of what lurks beneath but the game has changed a lot over that time. In the case of the BMW X2 the badges lean more towards style over substance with only the full fledged M spec cars packing potent performance.
That said there’s still a solid chunk of performance to be had from the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to the tune of 141kW @ 6,000rpm and 280Nm between 1,350rpm and 4,600rpm. Combined with the 1,429kg tare mass weight and you’ve got an SUV that gets up and sprints more rapidly than expected. It’s an excellent engine in all situations and the 7-speed dual clutch gearbox performs brilliantly with seamless shifts.
Fuel economy after our test came to an easily manageable 7.7L/100km against the official 6.0L/100km figure. The aforementioned engine no doubt plays a large role in achieving this but the X2 has another trick up its sleeve in the form of a well programmed start/stop feature that pre-emptively shuts off just before you stop. Keeping the creature comforts running falls to the built in battery pack which is charged regeneratively through braking. Compared to rival systems the start/stop feature isn’t as smooth as others on the restart but overall it performs well.
Down by the gear shifter sits the all important driving mode button to switch between Eco Pro, Comfort or Sport and it’s the last one that matters through good roads.
Our test car came fitted with the $520 Adaptive Suspension option which works with sport mode to firm up the shocks. Sport mode also tightens up the throttle so all you have to do is set side bolsters to bear hug mode and you’re ready to ramp up the heart rate through the bends.
In M Sport trim, the BMW X2 comes with a more focused sports suspension setup that sits 10mm lower. The turn in feels sharp with good feedback through the wheel and seat, and the whole setup works together to show off the neutral handling balance. Push it to the tyres’ grip limits and it’s the fronts that predictably break away leaving you with easily manageable understeer.
For day to day driving you’re best off sticking to comfort or eco pro as the stiffer suspension can be too firm on poor roads.
Audio is courtesy of a 6-speaker system that can deliver DAB+ tunes to a decent standard, above average for sure but not by a significant margin. Android users miss out with the unit only supporting Apple CarPlay as part of BMW ConnectedDrive.
The iDrive system is the best way of interacting with the 8.8″ infotainment display and it works a treat. For the left handed among us, you’ll be able to take advantage of the touchpad to type in the address letter by letter, the rest of us are best left relying on the voice commands or manual input through the iDrive touch controller.
Hidden away inside the centre console lid lies the wireless phone charging dock that holds your phone securely in place using the sliding grip. This is part of the optional Enhance Package that runs to the tune of $2,900 and also includes the panoramic glass sunroof and metallic paintwork.
Without the options packages the BMW X2 still comes very well equipped giving plenty of toys to drivers to enjoy. Convenience is provided with:
- Dual zone climate control
- Convenience telephoney with extended smartphone connectivity including voice control
- Head up display
- LED headlights
- High beam assist
- Ambient lighting
- Speed limited cruise control with braking function
- Rear view camera
- Park distance front and rear
- GPS satellite navigation with real time traffic information
- Parking assistance with automated steering
- Power boot
- DAB+ digital radio
- Rain sensing wipers
- Speed limit information (SLI)
- Road sign recognition
- Tyre pressure sensor
Standard safety features up and above the usual assortment include:
- Pedestrian warning
- City brake activation
- Forward collision warning
- Lane departure warning
The head up display showcases all your key information right where you need it. Information about your speed, navigation instructions, current audio details and even tailgate warnings are clearly displayed and easily read. Not included as standard is the optionally fitted Driving Assistant Plus for $910 which includes active cruise control with stop and go functionality and traffic jam assistance.
Unfortunately keyless entry is hidden away in the $2,700 Comfort Package that also includes front electrically adjustable seats with memory settings and heating as well as anti-glare, auto dipping and folding door mirrors. Normally European manufacturers use the options list as a chance to clean out your wallet and it’s nice to see BMW breaking that trend by offering their extras at reasonable prices.
Nothing is without its flaws and the X2 is no exception. Minor as they may be they still warrant mentioning.
For such a well designed interior it boggles my mind that the starter button is made of a coarse and cheap feeling plastic, for something that drivers touch every time they drive why not opt for brushed metal or something similarly high quality?
For the week that I had it, I couldn’t figure out how the automatic electronic parking brake behaves. It would come on automatically when shifting into park occasionally, others times it’d just remain off until manually engaged and I couldn’t for the life of me find out what made the difference.
And finally there’s a few buttons just in front of the iDrive control wheel that are a real struggle to click due to their positioning, those with long nails will struggle. As you can see, if these minor gripes are the biggest concerns I was able to unearth with BMW’s baby SUV, then it’s done very well for itself.
Design & Comfort
Performance & Handling
Equipment & Features
- Sporty looks
- Excellent interior design
- Brilliant engine and gearbox combo
- Large practical boot for its size
- Limited visibility
- Inconsistent auto parking brake
- Can’t drop rear seats from boot
Expected to be the volume seller of the range, the mid-spec BMW X2 sDrive20i M Sport has made its first impression a strong one. Active lifestyle design elements combine with BMW’s premium quality and features to create a SUV that has stylish flair and solid performance.
2019 BMW X20 sDrive20i M Sport Pricing and Specification
|Price (Excl. on-road costs)||From: $55,900
Adaptive Suspension: $520
Driving Assistant Plus: $910
Enhance Package: $2,900
As tested: $59,960
|Warranty||3 Years/Unlimited Kilometres|
|Warranty Customer Assistance||3 Year Roadside|
|Country of Origin||Germany|
|Service Intervals||12 months/25,000km|
|Engine||2.0-litre turbo intercooled four cylinder petrol
141kW @ 6,000rpm, 280Nm @ 1350-4600rpm
|Transmission||7 Speed Dual Clutch Sports Automatic|
|Power to Weight Ratio (W/kg)||98.7|
|Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km)||Claimed: 6.0 / Tested: 7.7|
|Fuel Capacity (L)||51|
|Body||5-door SUV, 5 seats|
|Safety||5-star ANCAP, 6 Airbags, Seatbelt Load Limiters & Pre-Tensioners (front), Reverse Camera, Hill Holder, Forward Collision Mitigation (low speed), Forward Collision Warning, Park Distance Control (front/rear), Lane Departure Warning, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Brake Emergency Display, Corner Braking Control, Pedestrian Avoidance Control, Trailer Sway Control, Anti-Lock Braking System, Brake Emergency Display, Brake Assist, Traction Control, Stability Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution.|
|Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm||4360/1824/1526/2670|
|Tare Weight (kg)||1,429|
|Boot Space (Expanded) (L)||470 (1,355)|
|Towing Capacity (kg)||Braked: 1800 / Unbraked: 750|
|Entertainment||8.8-inch colour touchscreen with satellite navigation, 6 speakers, Bluetooth, USB/AUX, Apple CarPlay|