5 April 2018

BMW X2 2018 Car Review

No wonder SUVs take up a third of our market, given the term ‘SUV’ now covers such a huge range of vehicles, from those with only a whisker more ride height than a sedan and very little else to mark them out, all the way to rugged rock crawlers.

BMW X2 jm 2018
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BMW X2 jm3 2018
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BMW X2 jm8 2018

BMW has now introduced yet another – the X2. Though it shares the same platform as the X1, BMW says this is no relative of the X1, 3 and 5 trio, instead it’s the opener in the line-up of their sporting step-siblings, the X4 and 6. And like the latter, it makes some minor compromises to practical packaging to achieve the trade-off, a more dynamic look and drive feel.

Those compromises include a shorter length and lower height, albeit a slightly wider footprint, and marginally more streamlined lines. Oh yes, and it’s front-drive only. Yep, not only does this SUV not sell with all-wheel drive, it’s a BMW which isn’t propelled by its rear wheels, a concept that will send aficionados of the brand’s drive appeal into a tailspin.

Our test car was powered by the 2.0-litre turbo four also shared with X1, and drinks at a theoretical 5.9l/100km. Theoretical, because if you buy this car and drive it in a manner that matches those dynamic looks, it will guzzle fuel faster than that.

Our test drive took in more twisting, bendy back roads than highway, and we found this motor punchy, yet flexible and strong almost all the way from basement revs to 600rpm. That’s because the 280Nm torque peak is on tap from 1350 to 4600rpm, with barely a breath before top power arrives at 5000rpm to 6000. That delivery is a great match to a chassis which feels more fun to drive than that X1, in part because the body is stiffer. The steering has been tuned to suit, along with the M Sport suspension, all sitting on the larger, optional 20-inch wheels in place of the standard 19-inches.

Sure, if you really want to throw the car around you’ll notice the lack of rear drive, and on gravel the X2 lacks the surety of any all-wheel-drive equivalent, but on most roads, most of the time, it’s a lot of fun, without being too hard for the everyday grind – a flexibility assisted by driver-selectable Comfort, Eco Pro or Sport modes.

If you’ve read the spec panel you’ll see that while the RRP is $70,900, our test car cost $85,740 thanks to added options, which include 20-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay, a Comfort Access system, the head-up display, Dakota leather with blue highlights (other combos are available), the luggage compartment net, the M rear spoiler and Sports steering wheel, metallic paint, Nav Plus and electric seat adjustment with memory.

If your wallet is deep enough you can swap cabin trim, heat the steering wheel, add tyre pressure monitoring and an alarm, anti-dazzle mirrors, lumbar support, headlight washers and of course stuff like cycle racks and roof rails. Or choose packages – for $3500 a panoramic glass roof, Harman Kardon sound system and ambient lighting, and there are others.

Some of this sparks our inner cynic – surely a 70K car should include lumbar support? – but it does mean you can be sure your X2 isn’t the same as your neighbour’s.

Our test example used a few touches of blue metallic inside to match the exterior, as well as blue contrast stitching to the supportive seats and the floor mats, and a fave of both short and tall folk in the office, the ability to extend the front seat base length – or not – while the shorties liked the one-touch electric close button for the tailgate that means you don’t need to dangle from the handle to get that hatch back down.

There’s a bit more back-seat legroom than expected as there’s no need for the centre tunnel which comes with rear drive, though like most hatches, the centre pew is rather narrow. The two outboard back seats get ISOFIX fittings, all three have child seat top tether point mounts, and there’s a charger back there for kids’ devices, plus two air vents.

Lift the boot floor, and there’s a usefully deep well beneath, either to increase the height of the luggage you can carry, or to keep some stuff out of sight while you’re away from the car.

There’s a lot more to list, of course – this is a BMW, after all, but we lack the space. Suffice it to say that few will miss a rear-drive vibe, while most able to afford this car will enjoy its vigorous looks and performance, coupled with everyday usability.

Like the concept of a high-riding dynamic hatch with BMW appeal, but not the cost? The sDrive 18i gets a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, a slightly shorter features list, and a $60,900 price.

At a glance


BMW X2 sDrive20i


 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo


 $70,900 ($85,740 as tested)

ANCAP safety rating


Power and Torque

 141kW at 5000-6000rpm, 280Nm at 1350-4600rpm


 7-speed double-clutch auto with paddles

Fuel economy


Towing capacity



2WD drives front wheels

Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

470 litres

Safety systems

Six airbags

Parking Assistant, park distance control front and rear, rear view camera

Rear-view camera

Lane departure warning

Active cruise control

Approach control warning with light city braking


Heaad-up display (cost option fitted to test car)

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