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BMW has filled another SUV niche with the arrival of its ‘sports activity coupe’ X2, slotting in above the regular X1 small SUV

The Big Test - BMW X2 - 2019 - Image 22

On the road

On the road

A Sports Activity Coupe. That’s how BMW describes the new X2, the sixth car to enter its family of X models, and one that sits as a sportier and more aggressively styled sibling to the X1 baby SUV that it broadly shares dimensions with.

Compared with the X1, the X2 is 21mm longer, 38mm wider but 86mm lower. Those figure translate into the X2 being a much more squat and sporty looking SUV. In fact, it almost finds another niche between regular hatchbacks and actual SUVs with their higher driving position and more imposing tall look. It’s most noticeable at the rear, where the car is visually very different from the X1; more angled and butch.


1. A minor point, but unlike most other BMWs, the audio shuts off when you open the door, not when you are out and have locked the car. Better, but stopping what you’re listening to when you switch off the engine would still be preferable.

2. The 19-inch alloys that come as standard on M Sport trim are lovely, but look about as kerbable as alloys come.

3. There’s a suspicion that the X2 looks better in the metal than in the pictures.

The X2 has a pretty simple line-up from launch. There’s one petrol engine – a 192hp 20i that comes only in front-wheel drive, seven-speed automatic form. The 150hp 18d engine comes in manual or automatic as a front-drive model, or with four-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. The top-spec diesel driven here is the 190hp 20d, which comes solely as an all-wheel drive eight-speed automatic.

All the engines are available with all four of the trim levels, which run from SE to Sport, M Sport and M Sport X. As with every BMW, satnav is standard, and the SE also enjoys dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, a powered tailgate and BMW’s remote connected services. The £1550 step to Sport increases the alloy size, and adds sport front seats, LED headlamps, the rather pleasing ambient LED interior lighting and other enhancements. Another £2000 gets to the popular M Sport trim of our test vehicle, including larger alloys, the aero styling, rear spoiler and other M Sport visual adornments and heated front seats. From there, it’s a very achievable and tempting £800 step to the M Sport X top level, which includes leather interior that on its own is £800, as well as aluminium roof rails and exterior styling and interior trim upgrades.

It is easy to add some pretty significant sums in option pricing on to what is already not a cheap car, and safety kit in particular is lacking. For example, a Volvo XC40 has autonomous emergency braking, run-off road mitigation and protection, lane keeping aid and other safety systems. None of these is present on the BMW without speccing the £790 Driver Assistant pack that adds city-collision mitigation, forward-collision warning, high-beam assistant, lane-departure warning and speed-limit indication. It’s a good-value pack, because it also adds park assist and front parking sensors – the latter being something that Jaguar and Audi gives as standard. Nevertheless, it’s a shame drivers or companies have to make the decision to pay extra for safety kit, because not many will. It also harms the insurance group to not be fitted as standard – the X2’s group is two higher than those of its Jag and Volvo rivals, and three above the Audi Q3.

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The X2 is BMW’s sixth ‘X’ branded model line in a heritage that dates back to 1999 when the first X5 was launched – a car heading for its fourth generation of model late this year.

Next came the X3 in 2004, then a five-year gap to the X6, a coupe-crossover. The X1 was launched in 2010, and the second-generation of that car appeared in 2016.

In 2015, the X4 arrived, again combining the X3’s size with the Sports Activity Coupe styling to produce a more sporty mainstream SUV, and the second-iteration of X4 follows a few weeks behind this new X2.

The X2 takes the so-called Sports Activity Coupe styling of the large X4 and X6 and applies it to the smallest car in the X line-up, the X1. 

In its first full year, BMW is expecting to sell around 6000 X2s, which compares with well over 14,000 X1s in 2017, and more than 8500 of the larger X3 model.

BMW is also planning a new range-topper for its SUV line-up, a car that been previewed in concept form. The production version of the new X7 (pictured in pre-production testing) is scheduled to be launched in the UK later this year.

The Big Test - Citroen C5 Aircross - Three Things We Like - The Flair trim’s standard colour pack adds nice detailing touches

What they said

What They Said

BMW were unable to provide comment due to the departure of their General Manager, Corporate Sales.


BMW X2 - Image 7

Comparatively speaking

The Big Test - BMW X2 - Comparatively Speaking Chart

Need to know

The Big Test - BMW X2 - Need To Know Chart


Three things we like...

The Big Test - BMW X2 - Three things we like - The low rear end gives the X2 a squat and aggressive stance

The low rear end gives the X2 a squat and aggressive stance

The Big Test - BMW X2 - Three things we like - The interior lighting adds a classy after-dark touch

The interior lighting adds a classy after-dark touch

The Big Test - BMW X2 - The nav screen is clear and the system is simple to use

The nav screen is clear and the system is simple to use

...And one we don't

The Big Test - BMW X2 - And one thing we don't - The eye-watering Magma Red (very orange!) leather isn’t a great way to spend £800

The eye-watering Magma Red (very orange!) leather isn’t a great way to spend £800



Drive  9/10

The X2 is a well-sorted SUV that doesn’t handle like a higher-riding car, and has an excellent 2.0-litre diesel engine.

Efficiency  9/10

BMW’s little SUV-coupe is well ahead of rivals for emissions, which helps to make for an attractive BIK figure.

Practicality  8/10

Decent boot space (ignoring the Jag’s artificially high figure), and there’s plenty of space to carry four adults. Stowage is good, too.

Equipment  7/10

Most of what you’d expect is present, although it has nowhere near the safety kit you’ll find on the Volvo for instance, and some equipment drivers may want is bundled into four-figure packs. 

Looks  8/10

Squat and aggressive, the X2 has its own style, while still clearly being part of BMW’s SUV family.

Comfort and refinement 8/10

Decent refinement from the excellent 2.0-litre diesel, and ride quality is good enough for a sporty SUV.

Cabin  8/10

Everything is nicely done in a very familiar BMW way, but there’s maybe not the individuality the X2 exhibits on the outside. 

Infotainment  8/10

It’s a shame there’s no Apple CarPlay as standard on such a pricey small SUV, but otherwise the system is logical and easy.

Whole life costs  7/10

High service, maintenance and repair and insurance costs eat into the X2’s efficiency advantage, not helped by a fairly high P11D price.

CCT opinion  8/10

More characterful that maybe was expected, the X2 is a good addition for BMW.


Another niche successfully filled by BMW. The X2 brings practicality and sporty SUV styling, along with BMW’s regular handling prowess and fun driving experience.