BMW’s X family of SUVs welcomes its newest and smallest member. like it or not, it’s a force to be reckoned with
The BMW X2 is, in a nutshell, fraternal twin of the X1, albeit one who’s received all the edgy genes. The BMW X2, no matter your stance on coupe-SUVs chimaeras, like its bigger siblings, the X4 and X6, is here to stay. A tiny glasshouse, rising shoulder line, cab-rearward profile and metallic yellow paint (Galvanic Gold, to be precise) make this look every inch the sporty SUV.
The entire cabin is slathered in Alcantara and fabric with a textured hexagonal motif with contrasting yellow stitching throughout. You sit low in M-branded bucket seats, gripping a thick-rimmed steering wheel (M-branded too, naturally). Paired with the narrow windows, the BMW X2 conspires to give the impression you’re in a low-slung coupe, not a high-riding (ish) SUV.
And it’s not as if the BMW X2 doesn’t have the swagger to back it up, too. The only variant on sale here is equipped with a 2-litre turbocharged engine that produces 192bhp hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
It’s not exactly quick, though. Well, not in a straight line, at any rate. The benchmark zero to 100km/hr dash is completed in 7.7 seconds, which is middling at best. But it’s in the corners where the BMW X2 really shines. Unlike the BMW X1, which feels top-heavy, the BMW X2, thanks to its lower roofline negotiates corners with far more confidence.
Paired with the wide, sticky rubber wrapped around its two-tone 19-inch alloys (standard on all Singaporean cars), it feels positively stapled to the road. Some will no doubt point out the BMW X2 in sDrive20i trim doesn’t have enough power to trouble the chassis/tyres. And they’d be right. Nailing the throttle mid-corner reveals a surprising neutrality to its cornering attitude.
Unfortunately, its handling prowess comes at a price. The narrow windows mean all-round visibility isn’t the best, especially out the mail slot that passes for a rear window in the BMW X2.
Then there’s the ride quality. In its quest to imbue the BMW X2 with hot hatchback levels of handling, BMW gave the X2 uprated M Sport suspension. But, they forgot to give it damping, a fact made worse by its low-profile tyres. It crashes into dips in the road and its ride never quite seems to settle, feeling permanently jittery.
What should be a surefire crowd pleaser, however, is the way the BMW X2 is priced – S$193,888. It’s a touch pricier than the also recently launched Jaguar E-Pace, but you also have to remember that to get all the bells and whistles there, Wearnes Automotive will want 229,999 of your hard earned dollars.
The Audi Q2 is the cheapest of the premium compact SUV lot, with prices starting at S$147,471, but that’s a smaller car. Then there’s of course the Mercedes-Benz GLA, priced from S$163,888 and is marginally larger than the BMW X2, but despite its recent facelift, is the oldest of its segment competitors.
Is the BMW X2 the strongest competitor in its segment right now? Perhaps, but that’s if you’re willing to overlook its caveats.
Update: A lower-priced sDrive18i variant, with 140bhp from a 1.5-litre three-cylinder motor will be arriving in the third quarter of 2018.