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BMW X2 review

2023 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 53.0
” Second-generation of BMW's small SUV coupe driven “

At a glance

Price new £41,690 - £54,225
Used prices £30,860 - £45,540
Road tax cost £600
Insurance group 25 - 34
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Fuel economy 34.9 - 48.7 mpg
Miles per pound 5.1 - 7.1
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Pros & cons

  • Range-topping M35i has plenty of power
  • Sportier looks than before
  • Sophisticated infotainment
  • M35i has a very firm ride
  • Too many touchscreen controls
  • No choice of trim level

Written by CJ Hubbard Published: 27 February 2024 Updated: 27 February 2024


Meet the second-generation BMW X2. As per BMW convention, an X followed by an even number means a coupe-styled variant of a more conventional SUV – in this case the BMW X1. The German brand refers to these things as Sports Activity Coupes (SACs) and this new one places a much more obvious emphasis on the Sport than its predecessor.

This is a far slinkier X2 than the original, with a much more pronounced swooping roofline – it’s still not exactly a universally attractive looker, but the visuals more clearly define its position as an SUV Coupe. A premium SUV Coupe, for sure, given pricing which starts at £40,515.

BMW X2 review, M35i, green, rear
Second-gen X2 is much sportier to look at.

The only petrol version available to drive at the launch in Portugal was the range-topping M35i – an M Performance model that aims to match an extra-aggressive appearance to enhanced driving appeal. We have also driven the top-spec electric version, but we’ve covered that in our separate BMW iX2 review.

Rivals for the conventional version tested here include the Audi Q3 Sportback, Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Range Rover Evoque. If it’s performance you’ve after you might also look to the Cupra Formentor, while those seeking a something more practical but still with a distinctive appearance could consider the latest MINI Countryman (which is based on the same underlying platform as this BMW – and was in fact launched at the same event).

What’s it like inside?

Predictably modern BMW. Which is to say very well built and rather minimalist. There are fewer buttons than ever, with most interior functions taken care of via the large, freestanding curved display that runs from in front of the driver across to the centre of the dashboard.

This is actually two screens – a digital instrument display and a central infotainment touchscreen, both housed under a single piece of glass. There’s no rotary iDrive controller any more, and no physical controls for the climate control.

BMW X2 review, M35i, interior, dashboard, steering wheel
Sleek-looking interior has far fewer buttons than before.

We’re not overly keen on this development, especially as BMW’s voice control is yet to catch up with Mercedes, but the latest BMW Operating System 9 infotainment software is at least relatively intuitive. Aiming to be more and more like a smartphone this is simple at the top level and increasingly complex as you dive into the menus. You can even add apps for video streaming and gaming now.

Space for four adults is fine, even with the sloping roofline; BMW claims there are ‘five full-size seats’ but five adults will be a squeeze and the shape of the rear doors will make getting large child seats in a little awkward. The floor of petrol models such as this M35i is lower than in the electric versions, so there’s more space for your feet and knees in the back.

Boot space is 560 litres with the rear seats up, 1,470 litres with them folded (an increase of 90 litres and 115 litre compared with the previous version).

BMW X2 engines

There are just two petrol engines available to UK buyers at launch, the M35i tested here and the entry-level sDrive20i. Let’s just clarify what that means.

The sDrive20i is a front-wheel drive 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo with 48v mild hybrid technology to make it more efficient. We can’t judge this yet, as we haven’t driven it, but it has 170hp, 280Nm of torque (pulling power) thanks to some assistance from an electric motor, and claims up to 48.7mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 131g/km. It sprints 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds.

BMW X2 review, M35i, green, side, driving
X2 M35i is fast.

The M35i features BMW xDrive all-wheel drive as standard and a much more powerful four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo that produces 300hp and 400Nm – enough for 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds. Using the more efficient Miller cycle for its combustion process but not featuring mild hybrid technology, official fuel consumption is 36.7mpg at best with upwards of 174g/km CO2 emissions.

Both models feature an automatic transmission as standard.

What’s it like to drive?

As we’ve only driven the X2 M35i so far, these impressions are coloured a little. But the sDrive20i only comes in M Sport specification – including fundamentally the same ‘M Adaptive’ suspension –  so you can expect tidy handling from that model as well, if nothing quite like the same outright turn of speed.

Let’s start with the good stuff. Unsurprisingly, 300hp makes this X2 excitingly fast, and as an M Performance model – one step down from a fully-fledge BMW M car such as the M3 – plenty of effort has been made to ensure it goes round corners with all the alacrity that engine can support. The steering is sharp and accurate, and even on a switchback mountain road you rarely need to move your hands from the wheel.

BMW X2 review, M35i, cj hubbard driving
X2’s steering is sharp.

The engine is a little coarse, and the gearbox can be a little lazy, but you can certainly make swift progress, helped by the all-wheel drive traction. For a relatively tall car it controls itself well – but this does come at a cost.

And that cost is rock-hard suspension. This thing thumps and bumps over bad surfaces in a manner that will soon have you wincing at the mere sight of a pothole. The M Adaptive Suspension is not user adjustable, relying on supposedly clever valving to modify its reactions, but in practice you won’t feel it get any softer.

BMW X2 review, M35i, green, rear, driving
Ride is very firm.

If this is intended as a family car the development team can’t possibly have any children or elderly relatives – perhaps not even partners they live – as the firmness is even worse as a passenger. Lord knows what it’ll be like on the UK’s broken road network, but frankly we’re in no hurry to find out.

What models and trims are available?

The X2 sDrive20i comes only in M Sport specification in the UK. This means a chunky price but plenty of standard equipment. For instance, 19-inch alloy wheels are standard (not helpful for the ride comfort, but they look good), as is a sporty appearance package that includes more aggressive bodywork and blacked-out ‘shadowline’ trimmings in place of any shiny chrome.

Interior kit includes the two screens, built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G connectivity, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, automatic air-conditioning, sporty M upholstery and trimmings, and stacks of active driver assistance.

The X2 M35i comes in a bespoke M Performance specification, with even more aggressive appearance and 20-inch alloys standard. Helping it to stand out even in the dark is has an illuminated grille (the ‘Iconic Glow Kidney Grille’), however the interior fit and finish is largely similar. You do get a more powerful Harman Kardon hi-fi system, though.

Anything else I should know?

Instead of conventional driving modes, the X2 now features a system called ‘My Modes’. As standard you get a fairly conventional sounding choice of Personal, Sport and Efficient settings, which do pretty much what you’d expect, but these can be extended through the BMW Digital Premium package to add Expressive, Relax and Digital Art Mode.

All of them do more than alter driving settings; rather they change the interior feel of the car by altering the ambient lighting, the digital displays and even the way the car sounds. In some instances they even automatically activate massaging seats. It’s a bit of a weird thing at first, but one of the few remaining physical buttons is dedicated to the system, so you might as well get some use out of it.

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