There’s another new crossover/small SUV available in Australia with BMW welcoming the new BMW X2.
Officially labeled a ‘Sports Activity Coupe’ by BMW, the German car brand is hoping to see the X2 attract new customers to the brand, perhaps young couples and those downsizing out of larger SUVs (empty-nesters perhaps?).
Built on the same platform as the BMW X1, the X2 has an entirely different body to the X1 with only the ‘sharks fin’ antenna and the door handles carrying over.
The new offering has a roofline that sits nearly 70mm lower than the X1 and you sit about 20mm lower to the ground in the X2.
Do I like the looks? Yes, generally speaking. I like the front and the rear, while the side profile is acceptably sleek and stylish.
I have to say though that I’m not crazy about the twin BMW badges that sit prominently on the C pillars (BMW telling us this pays tribute to the legendary M1).
Also, if you look closely you will notice there are two different variants - there’s the standard M Sport car, and as a no cost option you can have an M Sport X.
The differences between the two include grey exterior styling touches (M Sport X) rather than the body-coloured sections.
The idea being that the M Sport is more streamlined, and the M Sport X being the more rugged of the two.
There is decent legroom up front, good shoulder room too and the headroom front and rear is impressive.
The rear seat legroom, especially when taller people are seated up front, is fairly minimal, while the rear seat would be a squeeze with three adults aboard.
The dashboard is typical BMW with the familiar buttons and switches found across almost the entire range (and that is no bad thing).
There isn’t a traditional centre console bin, instead there is a fold-down arm rest which opens up to a small storage area (where the optional inductive charging cradle is located), and underneath is a large open bin with USB ports etc.
BMW has given the X2 a good-sized glove box, better than reasonably sized door pockets and a handy little storage nook to the right of the steering wheel.
At this stage the BMW X2 is available in just the one variant - sDrive20i and with that comes standard features including:
- 19″ alloy wheels
- M Sport suspension
- LED Headlights
- Powered tailgate
- Sports seats
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
- Digital Radio
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Reverse camera
Like any good BMW there are options packs that you can add to the X2, these bring features such as Head-Up Display, Electric/Heated front seats, sunroof, and larger 20″ alloy wheels.
As mentioned, at this stage the BMW X2 launches into Australia with just the one engine option - a 2.0 litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder producing 141kW/280Nm.
The engine drives the front wheels via a seven-speed auto transmission.
Coming around mid-year will be a 103kW/220Nm three-cylinder turbo-petrol variant (front-wheel drive) and a 140kW/400Nm turbo-diesel/all-wheel drive model.
On the launch I got to drive the new BMW offering in built-up areas, on the freeway and on country roads and generally speaking the car gets a tick of approval from me.
The ride is comfortable with good initial shock absorption, however the run-flat tyres and slightly sporty suspension tune give a rather firm feel.
The steering is VERY direct, perhaps even just a bit too sensitive for my taste.
While the engine gives adequate performance from both a standing stop and at speed.
The big news though is the tyres - they are very noisy on course chip roads (of which Australia has a lot of) and there was some wind noise evident about the vehicles A pillars.
This served to bring down the overall feel of what is an otherwise generally well-sorted vehicle.
The 2018 BMW X2 launches into Australia with a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The vehicle comes standard with dual front, side (chest) and side (head) curtain airbags, AEB and a lane departure warning (LDW) system standard.
- Standard features
- Boot space
Not So Good Bits
- Tyre noise
- Rear and rear 3/4 visibility (as seen above)
- Rear seat legroom
This is the right car at the right time for BMW with Australians falling over themselves to get into small SUVs/crossovers (or SACs) at present.
A good first up effort should see the X2 become a commercial success in our market and I look forward to testing out the all-wheel drive diesel version (a very impressive offering in MINI Countryman form).
The tyre noise, rear seat space and rear visibility though work to take some shine off the new addition to the BMW range.
Facts and Figures: 2018 BMW X2 sDrive20i
- Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 141kW/280Nm
- Transmission: Seven-speed auto
- Safety: Five stars
- Warranty: Three years
- Origin: Germany
- Price: from $55,900