BMW X2 Review

The BMW X2 is a crossover with cheap running costs, enough space for a family and more cornering grip than some sporty hot hatches, but it feels too low slung to be a proper SUV

6/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Sporty styling
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Bigger boot than most alternatives

What's not so good

  • Quite expensive for a small SUV
  • Entry-level cars miss out on key tech
  • Only a few engines to choose from

What do you want to read about BMW X2?

Overall verdict

The BMW X2 is a crossover with cheap running costs, enough space for a family and more cornering grip than some sporty hot hatches, but it feels too low slung to be a proper SUV

The BMW X2 isn’t an SUV that has been built for taking off-road, but it does drive surprisingly well on it. It’s also practical with room for a young family, a big boot and powerful engines that don’t cost the earth to run.

Above all else though, it’s a classy piece of kit and that’s obvious the minute you get in the driver’s seat and clap eyes on the BMW X2’s high-quality plastics and cool looking trims.

The other thing you notice is just how easy everything is to use. The dials in the instrument binnacle are clear and you get big knobs to adjust the stereo and the ventilation system.

Even the infotainment is easy to operate on the move because the BMW X2 has a fixed knob between the two front seats that makes it a breeze to navigate through menus and enter postcodes as you drive down the road.

The BMW X2 was born as a practical SUV but dreams of one day becoming a hot hatch

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Unfortunately, the BMW doesn’t offer the raised driving position of the Jaguar E-Pace, but it is easy to get comfortable behind the wheel, and all models have front seats that adjust for height. The back seat is also big enough for two tall adults, although three will be more crushed for elbow room than they are in the Jaguar.

Then again, the BMW X2 has a slightly bigger boot than the Jaguar and its wide boot opening and lack of a load lip makes it easy to slide your luggage into place.

The BMW X2’s practicality isn’t surprising, but the way it drives certainly is, because the baby BMW turns out to be extremely adept in corners. M Sport models have firm suspension that stops almost all body roll and the accurate steering make it extremely easy to place the car on the road.

The bumpy suspension isn’t quite so enjoyable, but you can cure that problem by choosing the optional adaptive dampers.

There’s no solution to the BMW X2’s low ride height though, and in town you can’t see over other traffic like you can in a Jaguar E-Pace. That said, all models come with an automatic gearbox that gives your left foot a rest on busy streets and a reversing camera that makes the BMW easy to park.

Thick rear pillars mean visibility is also a bit of an issue on the motorway, but the BMW X2 is very safe and available with autonomous driving technology that’s capable of driving the car in busy traffic.

If you’ll be doing long drives then the best engine to choose is the 190hp 20d diesel which is powerful and cheap to run. The 192hp 20i petrol is cheaper to buy and makes sense if you mostly do short journeys in town.

Whichever model you choose you’ll be impressed by the way the BMW X2 goes, and that’s its USP – it’s a practical SUV that’s loads of fun to drive. If you like the sound of that then you really should go right ahead and buy one.

What's it like inside?

The BMW X2’s interior has a stylish design and smart looking trims that brim with youthful appeal. The basic infotainment is easy to use, but if you want a big screen and sharp graphics you’ll have to pay extra for the upgraded system

The M Sport X model’s machined metals and yellow stitching look like they have been inspired by a German warehouse party

Mat Watson
carwow expert

How practical is it?

The BMW X2 may be more like a conventional car than a proper SUV but it still has the latter’s practicality – thanks to its spacious back seat and boot. That said, the small rear windows will make back-seat passengers feel a touch claustrophobic

The boot in the BMW X2 is plenty big for its size, but a BMW X1 can pack a bit more still

Mat Watson
carwow expert
Boot (seats up)
470 litres
Boot (seats down)
1,355 litres

The BMW X2 doesn’t have the lofty driving position of other small SUVs – the Jaguar E-Pace, for example – but you should have no problem getting a comfortable driving position.

Both front seats have height adjustment and the car’s tall roofline means even six-footers can crank the seat up a few inches from its lowest setting and you can get the steering wheel exactly where you want it because it adjusts up and down and in and out. Lumbar support is optional though, which is hard to swallow if you’re a backache sufferer who’s already digging deep in their pocket for a posh SUV.

While we’re on the subject of price, it’s worth bearing in mind that the BMW X2 can’t compete with the rear passenger space that you’ll get in a cheaper family SUV such as the Skoda Kodiaq.

Nevertheless, tall adults will fit behind someone of a similar height without too many complaints and they can recline their seat for a little extra comfort on a long journey. As a result, there’s loads of room for kids, even if the X2’s small rear windows make it feel a touch claustrophobic in the back.

That hemmed-in feeling certainly isn’t helped with three in the back. The X2’s narrow cabin puts elbow room at a premium if you try to squeeze in three burly adults. On the other hand, the BMW’s middle seat doesn’t feel like you’re sitting on a ridge like you do in the Jaguar E-Pace and there’s space for three peoples’ feet despite there being a hump in the middle of the floor.

The news is also positive if you need to fit a baby seat. The BMW’s rear doors open wide enough to give decent access and the Isofix points are easy to find hidden behind hinged covers on the bottoms of the backrests. The BMW X2’s tall body means you can lean in without having to bend your back, although you’ll have to lean over a little more than you do in the taller Jaguar E-Pace.

There’s enough storage hidden around the BMW X2’s interior to give you a sporting chance of keeping it tidy even with a small army of children aboard. The glovebox and four door pockets can carry enough water to fill a bath (although we suggest using the tap) and there’s a deep pocket between the two front seats that’s a handy place to store wet wipes and such like.

There are also four cupholders – two under a sliding lid in front of the gearstick, and two that pop out from the rear centre armrest – and a shallow compartment in the front armrest that’s perfect for your phone and (if you’re willing to pay for it) has wireless charging. The only slight disappointment is the shortage of charging points – you get one USB plug and a couple of 12V sockets, some way off the four 12V sockets and five USB plugs fitted to the national-grid straining E-Pace.

The BMW X2 has a decent sized boot, although the sporty low roofline means its 475-litre capacity is 30 litres short of what you get in the more sensible X1, but still more than you get in direct rivals such as the Jaguar E-Pace and the Audi Q2.

The boot opening is large – if not quite as big as the one you get in the squarer Jaguar E-Pace – and the small load lip means it is possible to slide luggage into place and the boot is easily big enough for a family’s luggage for a week away.

The BMW X2’s boot also has plenty of useful features, such as a 12V socket so you can charge a portable vacuum, hooks for your shopping bags, tethers so you can strap luggage in place and there’s also a netted cubby on the side of the boot to stuff such as bottles of screen wash.

Read full interior review

What's it like to drive?

The X2's ride is quite firm on bumpy roads

An SUV you can genuinely enjoy driving

The BMW X2 shoots around corners with grip that would that would scare some hot hatches, and all its engines offer an excellent blend of performance and economy

The BMW X2’s tyres grip the road so hard they stick to the road like bubble gum

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The BMW X2 will be available with a choice of two diesel and one petrol engine. Choose the petrol model and your X2 is front-wheel drive, with a seven-speed, quick-shifting, dual-clutch gearbox. Both diesel engines come with four-wheel drive and a smooth-shifting, conventional eight-speed gearbox.

If your BMW X2 will spend most of its time in town then the petrol model is the one to have. It has 192hp which is more than enough pace for city and motorway driving – getting the X2 from 0-62mph in a spritely 7.7 seconds and returning claimed fuel economy of around 50mpg. It’s smoother, quieter and cleaner than the diesel cars and also feels sportier – delivering its power higher in the rev range.

That said, you’ll still want one of the diesels if you’ll do lots of miles on the motorway where the 190hp 20d feels quicker to accelerate than the comparable petrol model. It suffers from a little clatter on start up, but it’s pretty smooth once the engine has warmed up and should be cheaper to run thanks to official fuel economy of up to 61.4mpg. Standard four-wheel drive means it’ll also have more grip than the petrol model in slippery conditions and will be a better tow car.

The entry-level 20d is so good there isn’t really any need for the 25d – the fastest model in the range. Still, its 231hp will make it the pick of the bunch if you want effortless performance even when the car is loaded with five people and their luggage.

The BMW X2 doesn’t feel like a traditional SUV from behind the steering wheel, the driver’s seat is relatively low and you won’t be peering over lines of cars like you can in a Jaguar E-Pace.

On the upside, the Jaguar wouldn’t see which way an X2 went in corners. The BMW has body control that the E-Pace can only dream of, it barely rolls in bends and its direct steering begs you to go ever quicker knowing there’s no shortage of grip from the BMW X2’s chunky tyres.

And you can do it with confidence because the powerful brakes and the BMW’s weight (it’s 300kgs lighter than the E-Pace) means you can pile up to corners confident that you can scrub off excess speed easily. It’s all extremely impressive for a (not so) lumbering SUV.

What you might not like so much is the bumpy suspension on M Sport and M Sport X models, which are 10mm lower than entry-level cars and also have stiffer springs. A solution is to pay for the optional adjustable dampers that let you soften the suspension on bumpy roads.

With them fitted the BMW X2 is as comfortable on the motorway as it is in town and it’s an easy car to park thanks to all models coming with all-round parking sensors and a rear-view camera.

Low-speed manoeuvring is easier in the diesel models that have a conventional eight-speed automatic gearbox that creeps along at low speeds and also changes gear very smoothly, but the petrol model (with its seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox) is hardly a brute to drive through built-up areas.

Visibility is more of a problem as you drive along because the pillars around the rear windscreen are quite large and the rear window itself is small. It’s something you’ll notice when you’re trying to keep an eye on rogue cyclists in the city but not really an issue on the motorway.

At cruising speeds, the BMW X2’s large tyres mean it suffers from more road noise than an Audi Q2, but there’s none of the engine roar Jaguar E-Pace drivers have to tolerate. Long journeys are made more relaxing by optional autonomous tech that includes active cruise control that matches the speed of the car in front before returning to a preset cruising speed, and traffic jam assists that drives the car for you at speeds of up to 37mph in
nose-to-tail-traffic on motorways.

Even if you don’t go for the clever tech, the BMW’s five-star Euro NCAP safety rating means it should stand up well in a collision.

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