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Bold new BMW 'coupe SUV' has that X factor 2!

Coupe-like BMW X2 offers a more dynamic alternative to the X1 SUV without sacrificing space and practicality. Picture: Andy Russell

Coupe-like BMW X2 offers a more dynamic alternative to the X1 SUV without sacrificing space and practicality. Picture: Andy Russell

Andy Russell

BMW’s new X2 heralds a new chapter in its SUV success story, combining a bold new design direction and dynamic driving appeal, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

X2 has its own character and is not just a scaled-down X4 or X6. Picture: Andy RussellX2 has its own character and is not just a scaled-down X4 or X6. Picture: Andy Russell

BMW has found its niche when it comes to maintaining that important X factor.

Two distinct line-ups make up the hugely-popular BMW X family – practical, sporty X1, X3 and X5 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and more dynamic X6, X4 and now X2 with the low-slung styling of a coupe. The even more distinctive X2 is aimed at a younger and young-at-heart market.

How it drives

Tried-and-tested fascia is logical and easy to navigate. Picture: Andy RussellTried-and-tested fascia is logical and easy to navigate. Picture: Andy Russell

Sharing the X1 platform, the chassis has been tweaked to make it sharper to drive but not at the expense of comfort.

With good steering feel and feedback and body roll kept in check, you can exploit that fine chassis and extra traction of the all-wheel xDrive.

With the M Sport X’s bigger 20in wheels, the low-speed ride is more sensitive around town, not uncomfortably so, but smoothes out once cruising.

Useful 470-litre boot and 40/20/40 split rear seat backs. Picture: Andy RussellUseful 470-litre boot and 40/20/40 split rear seat backs. Picture: Andy Russell

Under the bonnet

The launch engine is the 190hp 2.0-litre turbo diesel with automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. An auto-only 192hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol drives the front wheels while a 150hp diesel is manual or automatic front-wheel sDrive and manual all-wheel xDrive.

The more powerful diesel, with its eight-speed automatic transmission, offers brisk performance, with responsive slick gear changes, and relaxing mile-munching.

X2 has BMW badges on the C-pillars. Picture: Andy RussellX2 has BMW badges on the C-pillars. Picture: Andy Russell

Space and comfort

Shorter and lower than the X1, the X2 shares the same wheelbase so hasn’t sacrificed space for more style.

There’s plenty of room up front for large adults, still leaving decent rear legroom for a couple more and three could manage short trips in the back. The sloping, coupe-like roofline slightly compromises rear headroom for tall people.

A shorter rear overhang means a slightly smaller boot but it’s well shaped with a useful 470 litres of space, although the lower floor creates a small load lip. Practical 40/20/40 split rear seat back fold flat to create a 1,355-litre cargo bay.

At the wheel

BMW has stuck with its tried-and-tested fascia design with no-nonsense buttons and simple white-on-black instruments.

The layout is logical and user-friendly and the iDrive infotainment system still one of the most intuitive with the large dashboard-mounted display reacting responsively to the controller and shortcut buttons between the front seats for key functions.

Final say

The X models have been hugely successful for BMW, heralded by the X5 nearly 20 years ago but the X2 is more than just a downsized newcomer.

With a steady stream of new crossovers and compact SUVs coming to market, the X2 fills a genuine gap with standout styling and that desirable badge, front and back… and now the C-pillars too.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: BMW X2 xDrive20d M Sport X £38,380 (range from £30,040)

Engine: 190hp, four-cylinder turbo diesel with eight-speed automatic transmission

Performance: 0-62mph 7.7 seconds; top speed 137mph

MPG: 58.9 combined

CO2 emissions: 126g/km

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,360mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,098mm; H 1,526mm

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