BMW X2 Review logo

BMW X2 Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2018
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Fashionable yet impractical crossover SUV”

Best bits

  • Stylish looks
  • Premium interior that’ll wear well
  • Great to drive with strong engine line-up

Not so great

  • Pricier than the BMW X1
  • Less spacious than the BMW X1
  • You should probably buy a BMW X1

Read by

BMW X2 Exterior

Overall verdict

BMW X2 Interior

On the inside

BMW X2 Driving Back

Driving

BMW X2 Media Screen

How much does it cost to run

BMW X2 Boot

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The BMW X2 is, objectively speaking, quite a flawed car. It’s uncomfortably firm, not as practical as the cheaper X1 and doesn’t really offer much over the 1 Series hatchback. But it does offer stylish looks, a superb interior (if you don’t need to carry rear-seat passengers) and it’s fun to drive. It’s a niche model that’ll appeal to a limited audience, but for a narrow band of people it’s really rather appealing."

BMW X2 Exterior

Practicality isn’t cool. That’s why BMW offers less versatile yet more stylish versions of many of its most popular SUVs - and charges a premium for them. Arguably, the X2 serves no purpose apart from filling the gap between the BMW X1 and BMW X3 in its naming strategy.


It shares mechanicals with the X1 (and the MINI Countryman, in fact). That means a range of petrol and diesel engines - ranging from 1.5- to 2.0-litres in capacity with power from 140 to 190PS. Two- and four-wheel-drive models are offered, as well as a choice of automatic and manual gearboxes.


It’s an even more focussed car than the X1, meaning it’s borderline uncomfortable - especially with the M Sport suspension and big alloy wheels. On the plus side, it almost feels like a small hot hatch to drive quickly - with precise steering and little in the way of body lean.


That’s helped by the car-like seating position, which won’t appeal to SUV buyers looking for a commanding view of the road ahead. You barely sit any higher than in a 1 Series.


It’s comfortable, though, and the interior is up there with the best in its class - certainly leagues ahead of the Jaguar E-Pace and possibly even beating the Audi Q3 Sportback. There are soft-touch materials aplenty and it ticks the ‘makes you feel good’ box very well indeed.


That’s unless you’re sitting in the back. The X2’s lower roofline compared to the X1 means it’s a little cramped for rear-seat passengers. Combine that with a bone-jiggling ride and sitting in the rear of an X2 isn’t particularly pleasant at all.


The boot’s only marginally smaller than the X1, though, and a usefully square shape which makes it surprisingly versatile. It’s bigger than conventional family hatchbacks like the 1 Series, and an electric tailgate is standard across the range.


The range starts with SE and Sport models, which are comprehensively kitted out with an 8.8-inch media system with Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto, though), LED headlights and rear parking sensors.


M Sport and M Sport X trim levels are the most popular, with various cosmetic upgrades like 19-inch alloy wheels, bespoke M Sport bodystyling and Dakota leather upholstery. Careful, though, as these come with lowered sports suspension which makes the X2 even firmer to drive.


For those clinging onto their youth, there’s a hot X35i model which packs 306PS from its twin-turbo 2.0-litre petrol engine. This is a bit silly, frankly - and, if you must do the ‘hot SUV’ thing, we reckon the Cupra Ateca is a much better buy.


Is the BMW X2 right for you?

The BMW X2 won’t meet the needs of a lot of crossover SUV buyers but that’s kind of its appeal. It’s a niche model compared to the X1 and X3, selling in much smaller numbers than both of them when new. While it’s compromised in terms of practicality thanks to its low roofline and cramped rear seats, it’s got a superb cabin with high-quality materials and plenty of feel-good factor - even pipping the Audi Q3 Sportback and Volvo XC40 inside.


It handles like a hot hatch and, if you find one with one of the more powerful engines, is quick enough to amuse most enthusiastic drivers, too. It’s flawed but, if you rarely carry passengers, want a premium cabin and appreciate a car that’s fun to drive (and don’t mind the compromise of a firm ride), the X2 is actually a very desirable choice.


What’s the best BMW X2 model/engine to choose?

There’s a pretty even split between petrol and diesel X2s on the used market so you’ll have to decide which will meet your needs better. Diesels are better suited to motorway driving, providing more power from low down in the rev range - meaning you won’t have to thrash the car down a slip road or shift gears when changing lanes.


If you spend more of your time driving in town or cover low annual miles, we’d recommend one of the petrols. With 140PS, the entry-level 18i is fine if you’re not fussed about outright performance, although you’ll find a wider choice of 20i models. With 190PS, this is more fun to drive and makes overtaking on open roads easier. 


Entry-level SE and Sport models are actually the most comfortable thanks to their standard suspension. Most buyers will be tempted by the flashy looks of the M Sport or M Sport X models, but you’ll have to be prepared for a firmer ride provided by the lowered suspension.


If you want a hot-hatch-like crossover, consider the M35i. Or do it properly and just buy a hot hatch like the M135i...


What other cars are similar to the BMW X2?

The Audi Q3 Sportback takes the same approach as the X2 - combining a drop in practicality with stylish looks and a stronger price tag. The Jaguar E-Pace is another crossover that’s good to drive, although it’s flawed in other areas. There’s also the latest Range Rover Evoque which is a fashionable yet pricey choice, with an impressive tech-packed interior.


If it was our money, we’d look for a Volvo XC40. It’s not as sporty as the BMW X2 but it’s much more comfortable and we love its quirky looks.


Learn more

BMW X2 Interior

On the inside

BMW X2 Driving Back

Driving

BMW X2 Media Screen

How much does it cost to run

BMW X2 Boot

Prices, versions and specification