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- Highs Agile chassis, cool exterior styling, sweetheart turbo four.
- Lows Choppy ride over imperfect roads, staid interior doesn't match expressive exterior styling, limited practicality.
- Verdict Flawed though it is, when an SUV is as fun-to-drive as the X2 we can't help but love it.
Although underneath it's nothing more than a previous-generation BMW X1 SUV, the 2023 X2 exudes a style all its own. The X2's interior is snug and less practical than the X1’s, and rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLB-class and the Volvo XC40 also offer more space for cargo and passengers. But the X2 is more fun loving than those SUVs. All X2 models come with a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 228 horsepower, which is enough power to push the X2 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Handling is sharp and the X2 has the kind of attitude that is tailor-made for driving enthusiasts.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
BMW has introduced the Edition Goldplay appearance package on sDrive28i and xDrive28i models of the X2 for 2023. This special-edition trim comes with the M Sport package, which includes a sport-tuned suspension with a lower ride height as well as a returned steering system, but the big difference is in the exterior styling. GoldPlay models are distinguished from other X2s with a more aggressive front end design and gold exterior trim accents. The X2 Edition GoldPlay is available with your choice of San Remo Green, Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Storm Bay, or Skyscraper Grey paint. Elsewhere in the lineup, the X2's M Sport package gets a new 19-inch wheel design and heated front seats and heated steering wheel become standalone options. The performance-oriented M35i model has been discontinued.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Most buyers will find the front-wheel drive sDrive28i model to be perfectly suitable, although we'd like to point out that the boxier X1 is more practical and received an overhaul this year that brings more modern features.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The X2 is powered by a 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and BMW calls this model the sDrive28i. If you want all-wheel drive, you'll need to shell out $2000 more for the xDrive28i, which is powered by the same turbo four. The engine is a sweetheart: eager to rev, silky smooth, and plenty gutsy. At our test track, the X2 xDrive28i snapped off a decent 6.4-second run to 60 mph—0.1 second slower than the Volvo XC40 T5. The X2 has a harsh ride, especially with the optional sport suspension. When going over rough stretches of road, occupants will feel every imperfection in their seats. The trade-off is a high level of agility. The X2 is a joy to pitch into fast corners and rewards the driver with its predictable nature.
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 should see up to 32 mpg on the highway, and all-wheel-drive X2s, up to 31 mpg. In our testing, though, the X2 outdid itself, with a 36-mpg result over our 200-mile highway fuel-economy route. For more information about the X2's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
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 reach of the driver. Rear-seat headroom is tight, but passenger space should be acceptable for most people. BMW offers both faux and genuine leather in several colors. Because of its shapelier backside, the X2 isn't as practical as the squared-off X1, but it's in line with raked-roofed rivals. We fit five carry-on suitcases behind the rear seat and 15 with the bench folded; the X1 managed seven and 19, respectively.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation is standard and runs BMW's intuitive iDrive software. BMW also provides a controller knob on the center console, if you're touchscreen averse. The Premium package adds a head-up display. Apple CarPlay capability is standard, but Android Auto is not offered. The included seven-speaker audio system will be good enough for casual listeners, but audiophiles can spec a Harman/Kardon premium sound system for more coin.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A basic set of driver-assistance features, including automated emergency braking, comes standard, and BMW offers additional tech for a price. For more information about the X2's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. 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 average. BMW provides three years of included scheduled maintenance—a nice perk that Mercedes doesn't offer. If you're planning to pile on the miles, you might be better served by the Lexus NX or the Lincoln Corsair both of which offer powertrain protection for two years longer than the X2.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles