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- Highs Eager to perform, stylish wrapper, decently fuel-efficient.
- Lows Punishing ride quality with optional sport suspension, cabin isn't as posh as its price suggests, not as practical as the X1.
- Verdict Everything we like about the way its boxier sibling drives but without any of that pesky practicality.
Boldly styled on the outside, the 2019 BMW X2 shares its underpinnings with the already-excellent—although more practical—X1. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission with front- or all-wheel drive. Connectivity options include a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay. Standard driver-assistance tech includes lane-departure warning, automatic high-beams, forward-collision warning, and low-speed automated emergency braking.
What's New for 2019?
BMW introduced a high-performance M35i model for 2019 that comes with a 302-hp version of the X2's turbocharged four-cylinder, an M Sport suspension, sport bucket seats, Cerium Grey exterior accents, and body-colored fender flares and rocker panels.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
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If you're looking to buy an X2, you're already making a compromise by choosing a less practical, sportier, and more stylish version of the X1, so you might as well go all out and get the sportiest M35i model. If you're going to get a fun car like this, get a fun color, too—it looks boring in black.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Likes: Sweetheart base engine, M-tuned powertrain promises more performance, frisky handling.
Dislikes: Stiff ride, terrible outward visibility, doesn't quite keep up with its Mercedes-Benz analogue.
The X2 shares its standard powertrain with the boxier X1, which consists of a 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive—BMW calls this model the sDrive28i. All-wheel drive is optional and, so equipped, as was our test vehicle, the X2 wears the xDrive28i badge. The engine is a sweetheart: eager to rev, silky-smooth, and plenty gutsy. At our test track, the all-wheel-drive X2 xDrive28i snapped off a decent 6.4-second zero-to-60-mph run; that's 0.1 second behind the X1 xDrive28i and the Volvo XC40 T5. Quicker yet is the Mercedes-Benz GLA250, which managed a 5.8-second time. We haven't tested the new X2 M35i, but the engine has been retuned to pump out 302 horsepower and should shave significant time off the 228-hp X2's acceleration number.
As with the X1, the X2 is stiff-legged—especially with the sport suspension. Driving over rough stretches of road, occupants will feel most every imperfection this subcompact crossover encounters. The trade-off is a high level of agility on a twisty road. It's a joy to pitch into fast corners and rewards the driver with its predictable nature. Outward visibility is much worse than in the X1 and the XC40; the sloping roofline, tiny rear window, boxy headrests, and wide rear roof pillars provide only narrow sightlines. Given this issue, we're surprised BMW doesn't provide blind-spot monitoring as standard equipment; not only is it not standard, it's not offered, period.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The X2 doesn't boast the highest fuel-economy ratings in its segment, but it's still plenty efficient; front-drive models earn up to 32 mpg on the highway, while all-wheel-drive X2s are rated for up to 31 mpg. In our testing, though, the X2 proved to be one of the most efficient crossovers, with a 36-mpg result over our 200-mile highway fuel-economy route. We managed only 29 mpg in the all-wheel-drive X1 and the XC40 T5.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
Likes: Nice driving position, easy-to-use infotainment system, several interior color and trim choices.
Dislikes: Tight rear quarters, not as cargo-capable as some rivals, Apple CarPlay requires annual fee, and Android Auto isn't offered.
While the X2's interior design isn't as expressive as its exterior, the cabin is nicely outfitted and well-built. The driving position is great, and all the X2's controls are within easy reach for the driver. Rear-seat headroom is tight, but otherwise, passenger comfort should be acceptable for most people. BMW offers several upholstery-color options—in both faux and genuine leathers—as well as five different trims.
A rather tiny 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard and runs BMW's intuitive and attractive iDrive software interface, which can also be controlled by a center-console-mounted rotary knob. Upgrading to the Premium package adds navigation, a larger 8.8-inch screen, and a head-up display. Apple CarPlay is standard (although after a year, BMW charges an annual fee to access the feature), but Android Auto is not offered. A seven-speaker audio system will be good enough for casual listeners, but a Harman/Kardon premium sound system can be added and should appeal to audiophiles.
Because of its shapelier exterior, the X2 isn't as practical as the squared-off X1. In our testing, we fit five of our carry-on suitcases behind the rear seat and 15 in total with the rear seats folded, versus seven and 19 for the X1. The X2 is in line with its more stylishly shaped rivals, though, and nearly matched the GLA250 in this test.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't tested an X2, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has and named it a Top Safety Pick. A basic set of driver-assistance features is standard—including automated emergency braking—but more advanced features cost extra. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
When it comes to warranty coverage, the X2's policies are strictly class-average. BMW does offer three full years of complimentary scheduled maintenance—a nice perk of ownership that Mercedes doesn't offer. Drivers who will be piling on the miles may be better served by the Lexus NX, the Lincoln MKC, or the Cadillac XT4, all of which offer two extra years of powertrain protection.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles