2019 BMW X2 Review

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2019
The Car Connection
2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor
February 28, 2019

Buying tip

The 2019 BMW X2 can have a stiff ride in many configurations. Try the bigger 19- or 20-inch wheels before you buy—they can be unforgiving.

The 2019 BMW X2 is the stylish and sporty sibling to the X1. It sacrifices some utility for its looks and drivability.

The 2019 BMW X2 crossover aims higher this year with a performance version that fulfills its original promise. The X2 always has been a sportier version of the X1, this year’s X2 M35i variant makes it official.

We’ll report back once we’ve driven that, but for now, the 2019 BMW X2 xDrive28i—the more common version—rates 6.2 on our overall scale. We expect that score to rise once official safety data is made available. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X2 is available with front-wheel drive (sDrive28i), all-wheel drive (xDrive28i), or for this year as a performance-oriented X2 M35i, which is equipped with all-wheel drive.

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All three versions use a 2.0-liter turbo-4 and 8-speed automatic for propulsion. The base engine makes 228 horsepower, which is good enough for a 6.3-second sprint up to 60 mph. The higher-output X2 M35i uses a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 302 hp and shaves more than one second from the 0-60-mph dash.

Regardless of trim level, the X2 is a sportier version of the X1—in design and execution. The X2’s roof is shapelier and lower by 2.8 inches, but the X2 doesn’t share many design similarities with the bigger X4 and X6. Compared to those “coupe” crossovers, the X2 is more rounded and its details aren’t as lucious, but admittedly the X2 is less expensive at roughly $37,000 to start.

The X2 is stiffer than the X1 and equipped with one of three suspension setups that range from base to M Sport, the latter of which is lower and stiffer, to fully adaptive dampers that are even lower but offer a range of options to dial in firmer settings.

Lane-departure warnings became standard equipment in 2018; in 2019, BMW's added standard automatic emergency braking.

Not much else is thrown in for free: any colors other than black or white cost extra, and the X2’s options list is a tangled web of options that frustratingly can hide some worthwhile features that we’d spend money on.

Base cars are equipped with 18-inch wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, a 6.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment, synthetic leather upholstery, and sport front seats. Apple CarPlay compatibility is free for the first year, $80 for each year following the first year.

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2019 BMW X2

Styling

The 2019 BMW X2 has elan compared to the X1, but it’s a little muddled among other crossovers in its class.

The 2019 BMW X2’s looks are part of its appeal.

Compared to the X1, the X2 is swoopier and more daring, a crossover that stretches the definition of “coupe”—perhaps too far.

Compared to other stylish crossovers, the X2 looks a little confused. The Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar E-Pace perhaps wear their curves a little more gracefully.

We give the X2 a point on the outside for trying. Compared to the X1, the X2 rates higher but not by much. It gets a 6. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The roof of the X2 is 2.8 inches lower than the X1’s, which gives it a lower, slinkier feel. The formula BMW has used in the past with “coupe” variants of regular crossovers—think X4 to X3, X6 to X5—didn’t apply with the X2. The smallest crossover doesn’t cut its roof all the way back to the decklid and its nose is more upright. That pays off for interior space in the X2, it’s not as compromised as the X4 and X6, but the X2 lacks similar curb appeal.

The twin kidney grille up front and roundel placed high on the roof pillar protest a little much that the X2 is a bona fide BMW, its shape is hardly traditional.

Cladding toward the bottom of the X2 speaks to the crossover’s relatively low price among BMW’s lineup. Spend more for the M Sport version or M35i and some of that black cladding is replaced with body-colored panels, which smartens up the sides.

Inside, the X2 doesn’t have room—or budget—for flash. Its layout is straightforward with a 6.5- or 8.8-inch touchscreen dominating the dash. Redundant controls for climate and infotainment underneath are welcome, but aren’t made from the same high-buck materials found in other BMW cars and crossovers

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2019 BMW X2

Performance

A higher-performance X2 is new for 2019, but each version feels brisk behind the wheel.

The news this year for the 2019 BMW X2 is a higher-performance variant that boosts output from its turbo-4 beyond 300 horsepower.

We haven’t yet driven that model, but will report back once we do.

Our score of 7 is based on the more popular X2 xDrive28i. Starting from an average score, we give it points for is base engine and handling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The base engine is a superb 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 228 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. It’s the same engine found in several other BMW cars and crossovers, including the X1, X3, X4, 2-Series, 3-Series...you get the idea. In each application, the power is impressive and immediate, and it’s superbly complemented by a slick-shifting 8-speed automatic that’s responsive and bright.

The X2 is available in front-wheel drive (sDrive28i) or all-wheel drive (xDrive28i), the latter adds $2,000 to the final price.

BMW offers three suspension setups for the X2: base, M Sport that lowers the ride height by a fraction of an inch, and a Dynamic Handling package that includes adaptive dampers and a further lowered ride height.

Each suspension is stiffer than what’s available in the X1, which is stiffer than many other competitors itself. The X2’s sportier tack speaks to its larger mission: it’s really the sport version of the X1 in execution.

The X2’s flat attitude and sharp steering make it a little more fun to toss around. The standard drive mode selector toggles between Eco, Comfort, and Dynamic settings to control steering heft, throttle response, shift behavior, and when optionally equipped, damper settings.

When fitted with all-wheel drive, BMW splits torque among the wheels for efficiency first, but fun is a close second. In Sport mode, the X2 can send most of its available power to the rear wheels for a more traditional sports-car feel.

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2019 BMW X2

Comfort & Quality

The 2019 X2 doesn’t ask passengers to compromise much for its trendy looks.

The 2019 X2 has compact dimensions that make it one of the smallest crossovers available from BMW, with a similarly small price tag—relatively speaking.

The X2’s standard sport front seats cure one of our gripes about the X1—the X2 and X1 are mechanically related—but the back seat is still cramped in both.

Starting from an average score, we give the X2 a point above average for its base sport seats that are power adjustable and comfortable. It  gets a 6 for comfort. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X2’s stylish roofline shaves more than two inches compared to the X1 but we haven’t had issues with either crossover’s head room, even with editors taller than 6-foot-3.

Up front, the power-adjustable front seats move in eight directions and can accommodate most body types. The X2 is shod in synthetic leather upholstery as standard, more comfortable real hides cost more.

In back, the X2 offers 36.7 inches of rear seat leg room that feels more cramped than the tale of the tape suggests. The sloped roofline doesn’t cut too far into head room, but we’ve had issues with folding long legs into the rear. Two adults won’t rub shoulders in the second row, but we’d stop short of plugging three people in the back—at least three people we like, anyhow.

Although the X1 and X2 are mechanically related, the X2 is 3.2 inches shorter from bumper to bumper. That cuts into available cargo room and winnows the X2’s wayback down to 21.6 cubic feet, down from 27 cubes in the X1.

Like the X1, the X2’s relatively low entry price means that base models skip some luxury fittings found on other, costlier BMWs. A smattering of low-cost surfaces are fitted to the dash and doors in the X2, throwing more money at BMW remedies some of those with reasonable wood-like accents instead of black plastic.

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2019 BMW X2

Safety

Crash-test data isn’t yet complete on the 2019 X2, but what’s in so far is good.

Crash-test data on the X2 is incomplete, but what’s in so far is good. Federal testers haven’t yet completed their tests on the X2, once those are complete we’ll update this space. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The insurance industry-funded IIHS gave the X2 top marks last year and called the BMW crossover a Top Safety Pick. We expect those scores to carry over to 2019, this year’s car is the same.

This year, every X2 comes equipped with forward-collision warnings with low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and automatic high beams. Those features were optional extras last year.

The IIHS rated BMW’s crash-prevention system as “Advanced” but noted that the systems didn’t prevent collisions at 12- or 25-mph, they only slowed the car before impact.

Beyond active safety features, the X2 is equipped with standard belts and ‘bags, traction control systems, rearview camera, and first-responder notification if the car is in a serious crash.

A spend-up driver assistance package adds adaptive cruise control and active lane control but adds more than $3,000 to the bottom line in prerequisite features.

Unlike the X1 that it’s based on, the X2’s outward vision is very poor. The sloping roofline, chunky rear roof pillars, and rising window line make seeing out the sides and rear a challenge.

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2019 BMW X2

Features

The 2019 BMW starts around $38,000 but doesn’t stay there for long. Looking good is seldom cheap.

The 2019 BMW X2 costs $37,395 to start, which is $1,450 more than a comparably equipped X1. For the additional cost over the X1, the X2 features a sportier roofline and more comfortable front seats.

All-wheel drive adds $2,000 to the overall cost, and the new X2 M35i costs $47,445 to start and is only available with all-wheel drive.

Base versions are equipped with 18-inch wheels, parking sensors, a suite of active safety features that we cover above, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth connectivity, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, USB charge port, power-adjustable front seats, and one year of Apple CarPlay compatibility. BMW's standard warranty covers three years of maintenance, and includes a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that's better than most of its rivals.

That’s good base equipment, a better warranty, and we give another point for its optional features, but take one back for an Apple CarPlay subscription that costs owners more each year. The X2 gets a 7 for features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

We wouldn’t stray far from the base versions of the X2, BMW can ring up a tab quicker than the Four Seasons. BMW even charges more for paint that’s not called “black” or “white” on the X2.

We’d tread lightly with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel for $550 more or a convenience package that adds keyless ignition, lumbar support, satellite radio, and a panoramic moonroof for $2,350.

From there, the X2’s ordering guide descends into advanced-level game theory. Adaptive dampers cost $600 more, but require an M Sport package or convenience package ahead of it. Bigger wheels are available with some options, but not all. A bigger, 8.8-inch touchscreen for infotainment with navigation is bundled into a separate package with more entanglements than the United Nations.

In short, we’d keep the X2 simple and hold our breath.

Our bigger gripe is with BMW’s subscription-based Apple CarPlay service that asks for $80 each year after the first year to keep it going. The pricing program is used across all BMW models, not just the X2, and it’s beyond frustrating: why ask for more each year to use software that other automakers bundle in for free?

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2019 BMW X2

Fuel Economy

The 2019 BMW X2 is just average for fuel economy among new cars.

Despite its small size the 2019 BMW X2 crossover is only average for fuel economy.

The EPA rates the most popular version, the X2 xDrive28i, at 21 mpg city, 31 highway, 25 combined. That earns a 5 on our fuel-efficiency scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Opting for front-wheel drive improves fuel economy slightly. The EPA rates the 2019 BMW X2 sdrive28i at 23/32/26 mpg. Those numbers are identical to the BMW X1, which is mechanically related to the X2.

The new, higher-powered 2019 X2 M35i rates 23/29/25 mpg.

Among small crossovers, the X2 keeps pace but doesn’t lead the pack. The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Volvo XC40 rate up to 27 mpg combined. The Jaguar E-Pace rates up to 24 mpg combined.

The X2 requires premium fuel.

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$36,400
MSRP based on sDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle
 
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6.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
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