Last week, editor Sean Nurse sampled the new Jaguar E-Pace and now there is a new contender, this time from Germany. This new model, however, carries a few BMW badges and it has taken the motoring world by storm. I headed down to the Western Cape to sample the new BMW X2.
What is it?
As its name suggests, the X2 slots in between the X1 and X3 in BMW’s so-called Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) line-up, but with a distinct coupe-like shape in the same mould as the X4 and X6. Think of it then as BMW’s way of putting a coupe spin on the X1 like the X4 did with the X3 and the X6 to the X5.
Unlike the current X range, the X2, upon first glance, strikes a more youthful appearance that will certainly garner a second glance. Up front, the brand’s trademark kidney grille has been turned on its head, literally.
The trapezoidal shape now widens from top to bottom meaning it is now wider at the bottom than at the top, while the headlights and their integrated daytime running LEDs are sleeker.
Another interesting design detail is the inclusion of BMW badges on the C-pillar, which takes inspiration from the iconic CS and CSL. The X2’s radical design continues at the rear with LED taillights derived from the recently unveiled new X4.
Building on the X2’s sporty persona is the fact that BMW will be offering the car with the M Sport bodykit as standard, with the M Sport X treatment, which combines elements of both M and X models, being optional.
On the inside
In typical BMW fashion, the X2’s interior is both neat and uncluttered. Atop the dashboard is a large infotainment screen which features the brand’s revised iDrive software, with touchscreen functionality, despite the rotary dial being more than adequate and easy to use.
There are plenty of storage spaces throughout the cabin as well as driver and passenger space. Customers do have a choice of interior options and trim combinations, however, they can expect a long list of standard features.
What’s it like to drive?
Initially, BMW is offering two engine options; a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol and its equivalent diesel. The petrol unit in the sDrive20i develops an eager 141kW/280Nm and is mated to a sporty and indeed new seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch gearbox, which stands out with its swift gear changes and highly efficient operation.
The xDrive20d model, however, features BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive setup as standard and delivers 140kW/400Nm. All the X2 models feature the brand’s M Sport suspension as standard as well as sporty rims, which despite having the car in Comfort mode, does tend to highlight the uneven road surfaces.
Both cars offer a pleasurable driving experience but I prefer the diesel for its relentless torque. It’s not nearly as eager as the petrol but it does return a claimed consumption figure of 5.0-litres/100km.
After spending some time with the new BMW X2, I can confirm that it feels surefooted to drive, offers loads of attitude and is an all-round quality package which features the latest in terms of technology and safety.
Most of all, I like the X2 because it is different. It offers what many customers want; a slightly more adventurous hatchback-sized crossover in an attractive package.
X2 sDrive20i M Sport - R644 252
X2 sDrive 20i M Sport X - R673 952
X2 xDrive20d M Sport - R694 154
X2 xDrive 20d M Sport X - R723 854