2021 BMW X2

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The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
December 6, 2020

Buying tip

It’s tempting to put bigger wheels on the X2, but try taking one for a spin to see if you can put up with the harsher ride.

features & specs

M35i Sports Activity Vehicle
sDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle
xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle
23 city / 30 hwy
24 city / 32 hwy
24 city / 31 hwy

The 2021 BMW X2 swaps style for utility while retaining many of the virtues that make the related X1 appealing.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 BMW X2? What does it compare to?

Based on the comparatively workaday BMW X1, the X2 is a stylish crossover SUV available for under $40,000—if you’re careful with options.

It compares to the Jaguar E-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, and Volvo XC40, among others. 

Review continues below

Is the 2021 BMW X2 a good car/SUV?

Accounting for the compromises forced by its stylish roofline, the 2021 X2 is a good choice for image-conscious SUV shoppers on a (relative) budget. We rate it at 6.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 BMW X2?

This X2 is largely carried over from last year, though adaptive dampers have been deleted from the options list.

The X2 is a close relative to the more popular X1, though its styling is markedly different at the rear thanks to a roofline that slopes slightly and a more bulbous tailgate. Inside, the two are the same, which is to say that they prioritize organized controls over evocative design flair.

Two engine choices are on offer, a base 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 228 horsepower that motivates every BMW from the X1 up to the 5-Series sedan and a 301-hp version that gives the M35i blistering acceleration and a hefty price tag. 

Fuel economy is good all around given the power underhood; expect mid-20 mpg in mixed driving and above 30 mpg on the highway.

The X2 has decent interior space up front and better rear-seat room than you might expect given the stylish bod, but trim is nothing special. Standard synthetic leather and so-so appointments don’t impress at over $40,000 with a few options.

Among those options are active safety tech like adaptive cruise control that really ought to be standard by now, not $1,000 after a handful of additional packages. At least the X2 has done well in independent crash testing. 

How much does the 2021 BMW X2 cost?

A base X2 sDrive28i runs just shy of $38,000. Add $2,000 for all-wheel drive. The M35i comes with more power, sportier chassis tuning, and all-wheel drive for around $47,500, and it’s a questionable value.

We say save your money and grab a base X2 with a fun exterior color, like Sunset Orange, and bright leather, like Magma Red. Might as well have some fun. 

Where is the 2021 BMW X2 made?

In Germany.


2021 BMW X2


The 2021 BMW X2 is more interesting than most small crossovers, though it’s unimaginative inside.

Is the 2021 BMW X2 a good-looking car?

The 2021 X2 is boldly styled compared to its X1 sibling. Its roofline sits about 3 inches lower than an X1, giving it comparatively squat proportions that help elevate it to a 6 out of 10 on our scale.

One reason to pick the X2 over the X1 is its broader range of color options. While the X1 is mostly likely to be found in various shades of gray, the X2 can be had in sharp orange and chartreuse hues that accent its lines. 

Inside, the X2 shares nearly everything with the X1—aside from some head room. Controls are arranged in a manner that prioritizes accessibility over style, but we won’t complain. BMW offers a number of trim finishes that dress things up beyond the basic black and tan synthetic leather choices—but you’ll pay for the privilege. 

Review continues below

2021 BMW X2


The 2021 BMW X2 is a buttoned-down compact crossover with good turbo-4 power.

Is the BMW X2 4WD?

The base X2 sDrive28i sends power to the front wheels, while other versions are all-wheel drive.

How fast is the BMW X2?

BMW puts two versions of its 2.0-liter turbo-4 under the hood of the X2. Base versions far more common on dealer lots use a 228-hp, 258 pound-feet of torque version, while the M35i ups the ante to 302 hp. An 8-speed automatic is standard fare. 

We’ve only driven the base X2 so far, and it makes good use of the turbo-4. We rate the 2020 X2 at 7 out of 10, with points awarded for power and handling.

The X2 now comes in just two suspension tunes: compliant base and slightly lower, stiffer M Sport. The base setup is soft enough to absorb big bumps, but still entertaining in town. M Sport is a costly option on the base car—if you’re thinking about it, the M35i won’t be much of a budget stretch. The formerly available adaptive dampers have been deleted from the options list. 

Even on the base setup, the X2 has flat, balanced handling with pleasant heft to the electric power steering system. Various drive modes tweak throttle response, behavior of the transmission and steering, and even how power is apportioned to the wheels. It’s entertaining to drive, and we expect the uprated model to live up to the intention of the more adventurous body.

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2021 BMW X2

Comfort & Quality

The X2 belies its squat looks with decent space inside, though it’s not luxurious.

For what’s really a tall hatchback, the 2021 BMW X2 is reasonably spacious inside for its small footprint that allows it to easily park in town or in a small garage. We score it at 6 for its reasonable cargo space.

The front seats offer a wide range of power adjustment and are nicer when draped in optional leather, but they’re thin on support. Rear-seat riders have 37 inches of leg room, but head room can be tight for taller passengers. There is not room for three adults to sit abreast for anything more than a run through a drive-thru.

Cargo space is just OK at 22 cubic feet with the rear seats upright given a good deal of that space is above the window line. 

The X2’s not fancy inside, though workmanship on text examples has been good and the optional fake wood accents dress things up a little.

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2021 BMW X2


The BMW X2 hasn’t been fully crash tested, but it has done well so far.

How safe is the BMW X2?

The 2021 BMW X2 earned top marks from the IIHS, but it hasn’t been tested by the NHTSA yet. Until the feds have a look, we can’t rate it here.

The IIHS only dinged the X2 for its so-so headlights. Standard automatic emergency braking can be augmented by adaptive cruise control, but BMW forces buyers into adding the costly Premium Package.

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2021 BMW X2


BMW’s tradition of heaping expensive option packages can make the X2 a costly crossover if you’re not careful.

Which BMW X2 should I buy?

The base 2021 X2 runs about $37,500, while all-wheel drive costs $2,000 more. By the time you’ve paid extra for metallic paint and heated seats, the pricetag is well into the $40,000s.

For that money, the X2 comes reasonably well-equipped with an 8.8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, and even a decent base stereo. We rate it at 8 out of 10, with points for standard fare, good touchscreen tech, and a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty that includes some free maintenance. 

Sadly, BMW forces buyers to add $3,500 in packages to select adaptive cruise control, an oversight given how popular such tech is now. 

One tip: The M Sport Package costs $4,400, at which point we’d probably just buy the M35i. 

Our X2 would be far more frugal: we’ll pay extra for bright paint, leather seats, and a few other niceties, while deleting the head room-robbing sunroof. Around $40,500 with front-wheel drive or $42,500 with all-wheel drive isn’t cheap, but it’s not terrible either. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 BMW X2?

Tick all the options and you’ll be looking at a $55,000 bill for a loaded X2.

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2021 BMW X2

Fuel Economy

The 2021 BMW X2 is somewhat frugal given the amount of power underhood.

Is the 2021 BMW X2 good on gas?

The 2021 BMW X2 is fairly fuel-efficient for what it is. We rate it at 5 out of 10. 

The greenest choice is the front-drive sDrive28i, which rates 24 mpg city, 32 highway, 27 combined according to the EPA. All-wheel drive dents only the highway figure to 31 mpg. 

The M35i sips more: 23/30/26 mpg.

Premium fuel is required. 

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 5
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