We were skeptical when we heard that BMW’s smallest utility yet, the x1, would be based on mini’s front-wheel-drive chassis. But, not only were we pleasantly surprised by the results, it quickly become one of our favorite small utilities. Well, as you might expect, BMW couldn’t stop there, and has now added a more stylish alternative, the x2.
BMW has an established pattern of introducing coupe-like variants to many of their popular sedans and utilities. So, this 2018 BMW X2, a more dynamic-looking version of the X1, was not really a surprise to anyone.
And, it’s actually a welcomed addition, as we’re not breaking any news by saying the X1 is not exactly a stellar styling effort.
X2 wheelbase is unchanged, yet overall it is more than 3-inches shorter than the X1, and also sits 2.8-inches lower; giving it a much brawnier, yet sportier look.
BMW has also played with tradition a bit, by squashing the twin kidney grille, and adding a roundel to the C-pillar.
No changes under the hood though, as power is the same 2.0-liter I4 turbo, rating 228-horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque, with an 8-speed automatic sending it to the front wheels, or to all four with available xDrive.
With xDrive, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 21-City, 31-Highway, and 25- Combined; and our average was a good one at 26.9 miles-per-gallon of Premium.
Well, despite the slightly smaller size, weight remains about the same as the X1. So as expected our 0-60 time was identical, at a quite respectable 6.3-seconds.
Despite spinning up a good amount of torque at launch, any thrill factor is muted by the smoothness of the power delivery, that is well above average for its class. Shifts are fairly aggressive, as the X2 lurches forward with each snappy shift. And there’s a good sense of power throughout the 14.8 seconds that it takes to complete the ¼-mile at 94 miles-per-hour.
We had high expectations before tackling our cone course, and were not disappointed. The X2 feels light on its 19-inch feet; and well-composed, with just a hint of understeer.
No major changes to the hardware that underpins the X2, but there is unique tuning of course; and if you opt for the M Sport suspension, you’ll get a ½-inch lower ride height, stiffer anti-roll bar bearings, and Dynamic Damper Control.
So, ride quality certainly falls on the sportier side of the luxury-ute spectrum, even when rolling in Comfort mode.
Practicality does take a hit, but not nearly as bad as you’d think; there’s still 21.6 cubic-ft. of cargo space in the back. Max capacity, with the 40/20/40 split seatbacks folded is a bit less however, at 50.1 cubic-ft.
As for the passenger space, well up front there’s the typical sporty BMW feel; as well as firm yet comfortable seats, with good bolstering and seat-bottom extensions.
Rear seat passengers don’t fare quite as well; as the X2 comes up short, with not quite adequate enough for adult space, both up top and for the legs.
Also present, are the predictable iDrive controller, clear and precise Black Panel virtual gauges, and paddle shifters.
Available niceties include a panoramic roof, wireless phone charging, Head-up Display, Harmon Kardon premium audio, and an M SportX package that includes aluminum trim and an M-branded steering wheel among other things.
M SportX also adds black trim, M-light alloy wheels, and a larger rear spoiler.
A reasonably-priced Driving Assistance Package includes Frontal Collision Warning with automatic braking, which worked quite well in our barrier test. Bringing us to gentle and gradual complete stops from speeds up to 20 miles-per-hour.
xDrive28i pricing starts at $39,395. If you don’t need all-wheel-drive, you can get away 2-grand cheaper at $37,395 for the sDrive28i.
Nobody gets more use out of their chassis designs than BMW. And while the current X1, BMW’s first front-wheel-drive based Sports Activity Vehicle, was a daring leap for the brand; it’s also one they seem to have landed just right. Just consider this 2018 X2, a much more stylish and entertaining alternative, that will more than likely bring a few new converts into the BMW family.
Engine: 2.0 liter
Torque: 258 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.3 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.8 seconds @ 94 mph
EPA: 21 mpg city / 31 mpg highway