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