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In-depth reviews

BMW X2 review – smart inside but without the polished BMW drive

The BMW X2 is stylish and fairly practical, but misses the mark for driving feel – an area where a BMW should excel

Carbuyer Rating

3.9 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Pros

  • Practical for a mid-size coupe-SUV
  • High-quality interior
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Disappointing to drive
  • Ride quality could be better
  • Dull engine sound

Verdict – is the BMW X2 a good car?

The BMW X2 is a difficult car to recommend, especially in high-performance M35i guise, because it lacks in the driving department – an area that’s usually a BMW speciality. That said, it’s fairly well equipped with a fittingly premium interior and is more practical than you might expect of a coupe SUV.

BMW X2 models, specs and alternatives

While the previous BMW X2 was more of a high-riding hatchback with some SUV styling, the German manufacturer has revamped the model in this latest iteration, giving it more of a coupe-SUV shape than before. 

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The BMW X2 becoming a coupe-SUV based on the X1 makes sense when you look at the rest of the brand’s SUV lineup – the X4 and X6 are essentially coupe versions of the X3, and the X5, respectively. Coupe SUVs are a popular choice for those after the raised ride height and commanding view of the road offered by SUVs, but who also want an added dose of style courtesy of a curving coupe-like roofline, though practicality can often take a hit.

The BMW X2 itself is offered with a simple range of engines, while a standalone electric version badged the BMW iX2 is also available, which we’ve reviewed separately. The entry-level X2 sDrive20i starts from just over £40,000 and comes with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine developing a respectable 168bhp. If you’re after a little more grunt, there’s the sportier X2 M35i xDrive model fitted with a 2.0-litre engine producing a hefty 296bhp. This version is, predictably, much more expensive at just under £50,000.

Trim levels

Power options

  • M Sport
  • M
  • sDrive20i 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol (168bhp)
  • M35i xDrive 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol (296bhp)

BMW X2 alternatives

Coupe SUVs have become fairly popular in recent years, and more direct rivals to the BMW X2 include the Audi Q3 Sportback and Cupra Formentor. While not strictly a coupe SUV, the Range Rover Evoque is a premium SUV that prioritises style over out-and-out practicality and can be considered an indirect rival to the X2. Mainstream manufacturers such as Renault and Peugeot have also released their own coupe SUV models, offering a similar look for a fraction of the price. Electric rivals that compete with the BMW iX2 include cars like the Skoda Enyaq Coupe, which – while quite a bit larger than the iX2 – can be had for a similar price with even better practicality, and the undeniably-compelling Tesla Model Y.

Premium coupe SUVs

Once considered niche, the coupe SUV bodystyle is now more popular than ever, with buyers willing to trade a little of the conventional SUV’s practicality for some added design flair. 

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More reviews

Mid-size premium SUVs

Though some premium brands don’t offer coupe SUVs around this size or price point, there are some that are similarly style-led.

Mid-size coupe SUVs

The BMW X2 is on the more premium end of the spectrum, but if it’s just the coupe-SUV look you’re after, some mainstream manufacturers are now producing their own. While the Renault Arkana is similar in size to the X2, the Peugeot 408 is quite a bit larger, though prices start from around £10,000 less.

Electric SUVs

While it’s quite a bit larger than the BMW iX2, the Skoda Enyaq Coupe is an indirect rival to it, offering heaps more practicality and that coveted coupe-SUV styling for a similar price. The Tesla Model Y’s curvaceous styling means it looks less upright than other electric SUVs, and boasts impressively punchy performance, so it can’t be ignored up against the BMW iX2.

Should you buy a BMW X2?

Unfortunately, the BMW X2 is hard to recommend, because while BMW tends to position itself as the keen driver’s choice, we found the X2 M35i disappointing to drive, especially on twisty B roads where a car’s handling arguably matters the most. The ride quality is mostly ok, but is far from the most comfortable car of its type. There’s a stiffness to the suspension that fails to make the X2 feel sporty yet compromises its ability to smooth out imperfections in the road. We found the X2 best suited to motorway cruising on smoother roads.

An area where the BMW X2 does well is on the inside. We’ve been impressed by the brand’s interiors in recent times, and the X2 doesn’t deviate from that. There’s an interesting mix of materials, including metal, soft padded plastics, Alcantara and double stitching all helping the X2 feel high quality for the price.

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This time around the BMW X2 gets more boot space, so there’s less of a compromise than you might expect. At 560 litres, the X2’s boot is larger than that of its rivals the Audi Q3 Sportback and Cupra Formentor, making the car more practical than it looks at first glance. Rear passenger space is reasonable, though headroom is affected by the roofline that drops quickly to create that coupe look on the outside.

What is the best BMW X2 for low running costs?

Of the petrol range, the entry-level BMW X2 sDrive20i is your best bet for lower running costs, and it will suit you if you’re interested in the BMW X2 because of its looks but less concerned with out-and-out performance. BMW says this version will do up to 48.7mpg, which is over 10mpg more than the most powerful M35i model, and it’s cheaper to buy. If you’re prepared to spend more on the initial outlay, then the BMW iX2 eDrive20 will cost less to top up with electricity, but costs just over £50,000 at the time of writing.

What is the Carbuyer pick of the BMW X2 range?

We were disappointed with the BMW X2’s handling in performance-focused M35i guise, and although we’ve yet to drive it, we’d imagine the sDrive20i model in M Sport trim would be the best bet for most buyers. It’s much cheaper than the M version and still boasts a great interior, will be well equipped and offers good practicality for a coupe SUV.

How we tested the BMW X2

We tested the petrol range-topping BMW X2 M35i and the top-spec electric BMW iX2 xDrive30 at the international launch on European roads.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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