Part dry road, part slush, part fresh snow: after driving the new 2018 BMW X2 around in a variety of conditions over the course of a week, you could say that I fell pretty solidly under the charms of the German automaker’s latest sport activity vehicle!
While it shares the same platform as the X1, as well as some elements like the dashboard, commands, door handles and side-view mirrors, pretty much everything else is different. The X2 features a low-slung, sloped roof, and a small, distinct logo that evokes those on BMW’s old 3.0L CSL coupes. It also inaugurates a new, larger front grille with enlarged openings at the bottom, another nod to the brand’s 60s-70s eras models.
With its M Sport package, complete with a very aggressive front bumper and a lowered suspension, the X2 behaves very dynamically yet reassuringly on the road. The feeling is most akin to driving a small sport sedan, beefed up!
On the road, the BMW X2 performs like a finely tuned athlete, powered as it is by a 2.0L turbo engine with direct injection; it generates 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and can take the car from a standing stop to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. I did note, however, a slight delay on accelerations in the model I drove.
I tried but could not find much fault with the 2018 X2’s xDrive all-wheel drive system and stability control system. During the early-March week I tested it, I had dry roads followed by 15 cm of snow; the car didn’t miss a beat. When braking or accelerating suddenly, I never once saw the anti-skid light go on. It probably helped that my tester was fitted with excellent Pirelli SottoZero tires, which offer fantastic grip on snow and ice!
No surprise, the car also features all the expected drive assist systems that are a must in new models, particularly premium ones: lane departure, speed and forward collision warning systems and pedestrian detection, as well as daytime running lights and automatic wipers. I also immediately appreciated the head-up display, a highly useful feature if you ask me.
Inside, while you do get a lot of the same elements as found in the less-sporty X1, the upholstery is unique and the seating is slightly lower down in the chassis. Another nice touch is the needle-centered instrumentation, which also conjures up warm and fuzzy memories of BMWS of old. Those dials help give the cabin a streamlined, elegant allure! The soft-touch dashboard of the X2 is very pleasant as well. What’s more, BMW smartly enhanced the feeling of comfort and luxury by adding the black headliner and large power panoramic roof. Also worth noting is the multi-colour LED ambient lighting for both the front and rear rows of seats, which very effectively creates a cozy, elegant environment once the sun goes down.
In terms of fuel consumption, BMW has not actually released official figures yet, but we have an idea of what to expect given that the engine used is an known entity; that 28i is used in the X1, among others. That model’s numbers are 10. 5L/100 km city and 7.4L/100 km highway, for 9.1L/100 km combined. During my week of driving it, which included that snow storm and udring which the temperature swung between -7 and +3 degrees Celsius, I managed 14.1L/100 km, admittedly while doing hardly any highway driving and also admittedly with a bit of a lead foot on the accelerator.
Now for what ailed me regarding the new X2: the pricing! My tester started at $47,995 in its bare bones state. If I add the sport gearbox with steering-wheel paddle shifters, the M Sport package, the advanced luxury package and a few other trinkets like the premium sound system at $1,000 extra, the $900 perforated leather seats, the Gold colour for $895 and a few others, we arrive at $54,845. This pill is a big one to swallow! I mean, it’s worth every dollar and I could honestly see myself driving this 2018 X2 every day. Except that in truth, for that price point, quite a few other very impressive high-end compact SUVs can come in to the conversation.
Visit your BMW dealer for a test drive of the 2018 X2, and decide for yourself if the price tag is digestible given the undeniable qualities of this premium compact SUV!