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BMW X2 SUV review

2018 - 2023 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 53.0
” Stylish family car is good to drive, but expensive “

At a glance

Price new £30,200 - £49,880
Used prices £10,607 - £33,834
Road tax cost £180 - £600
Insurance group 22 - 40
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Fuel economy 35.3 - 57.6 mpg
Range 510 - 696 miles
Miles per pound 5.2 - 7.4
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types



Alternative fuel

Pros & cons

  • Distinctive looks
  • Fun to drive
  • Easy to personalise
  • Firm ride borders on uncomfortable
  • Pricey even before options
  • Practicality not a strong point

Written by Keith Adams Published: 27 February 2024 Updated: 27 February 2024


The onward march of family SUVs shows no sign of slowing down, with the BMW X2 being typical of the latest generation of smaller offerings that buyers are plumping for over more traditional hatchbacks. It’s been designed to appeal to those looking for a stylish, less-obviously SUV-shaped car that’s good to drive and places looks over ultimate practicality.

BMW refers to the X2 as a Sports Activity Coupe, essentially a more rakish version of the popular X1 SUV aimed at those who are less likely to prioritise outright practicality, although it does have five doors. It’s aimed straight at the likes of the Audi Q2, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Jaguar E-Pace and Range Rover Evoque. It’s a competitive market, but with lots of buyers out there looking to buy a car like this, it’s understandable.

BMW X2 review (2022)
BMW X2 review (2022)

What’s it like inside?

The interior of the BMW X2 is a real strong point – the seats are big and supportive, and the dashboard is trimmed in a variety of soft-feel, patterned plastics with brightly coloured accents. It sits somewhere between the restraint of an Audi cockpit and a brash-looking Mercedes-Benz cabin, with ergonomics taking a priority over sheer style.

You can position the driver’s seat nice and low down for a near-hatchback feel, or boost it up to off-roader altitude, and still feel cocooned by the insulating interior. You don’t get the commanding view an Evoque or Q3 driver enjoys, but it’ll feel ‘SUV’ enough for most buyers.

The wheel and seat have plenty of adjustment, including a movable thigh-support cushion for the latter. A low-set display gives you a good view forward through the windscreen, and is easy to read thanks to a bold, clear font. Rear visibility is not good at all – so if you’re optioning your X2, it makes sense to tick the box marked ‘reversing camera’ on the configurator.

The X2’s infotainment system is excellent. Supplementing the built-in DAB radio and media player, the sat-nav with traffic information is user-friendly and very effective. Unlike newer BMWs, there’s no touchscreen, thankfully – all functions are handled by shortcut buttons located near the gearstick. If the optional colour head-up display is fitted, important information is projected on the windscreen ahead of you – but it’s an expensive extra.


The BMW X2 is lower and shorter than the X1 upon which it is based, despite sharing the same wheelbase and track. While that means it’s a bit more agile, this is still quite a large car, and makes its size known on narrow roads and winding city streets. In terms of its rivals the X2 fares reasonably, although the Jaguar E-Pace features a larger luggage compartment.

Rear passenger space is hampered by the sloping roof with the high floor and low ceiling making getting in and out a bit tricky if you’re tall. Rear leg and headroom especially aren’t great, either. Space in the middle pew is also restricted despite a relatively low transmission tunnel, so you’ll want to avoid forcing anyone of lofty proportions into that position.

As you’d expect from the narrow windows, visibility out and back isn’t great, with chunky B-pillars hampering the over the shoulder view and an obscured rear three quarters that necessitates the addition of a reversing camera, or at least use of the standard rear parking sensors.

Inheriting some of the features of the X1 SUV, the X2 features three 12-volt power sockets plus USBs, as well as two cupholders in the front and rear. The driver gets a folding storage compartment, plus large door bins in the front and back. A set of passenger backrest nets offers a convenient place for flat items too.

BMW X2 review (2022)
BMW X2 review (2022)


The seats in the BMW X2 are supportive and comfortable, which have a wide range of adjustment – and they should suit a wide range of drivers. The sporting driving position suits taller drivers best of all.

Upgrade to the M35i performance model and you can specify some seriously supportive bucket seats with grippy bolsters and an integrated headrest. These are actually very comfortable as well as effective at pinning you in place when you want to push on.


The BMW X1 and X2 were tested by Euro NCAP and received a coveted five-star rating, so you should be in safe hands with this latest SUV.

That’s bolstered by a range of standard safety kit, including:

  • Forward vehicle collision warning
  • Autonomous city brake up to 30mph
  • BMW Emergency Call
  • Attentiveness assistant
  • Misfuelling system

Spec the optional Driver Pack and you get the following additions:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Park assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • High-beam assist
  • City collision mitigation
  • Preventive pedestrian protection

What’s it like to drive?

The X2 offers a choice of six engines, which covers most eventualities. You get a couple of sensible petrols and diesels, a plug-in hybrid and the hot M35i. The entry-level sDrive18i and 18d come with two-wheel drive only, and are the slowest versions of the X2. If you want an all-wheel drive and more interesting performance, you’re going to have to plump for either the 20i or 20d models, which offer up hot hatch levels of acceleration. The petrol is revvier than the diesel, which most drivers will find more rewarding.

Then there’s the sporty M35i, featuring a 306hp, 450Nm version of the motor above. This gets you from 0-62mph in just five seconds and onto a limited 155mph. Standard fit xDrive all-wheel drive means you get a clean launch off the line, and the eight-speed auto (your only option) shifts quickly through its gears. It sounds good too – with a surprising amount of noise coming from the engine bay rather than the exhaust, which will pop and bang in response to a lift of the throttle.

The 25e plug-in has a combined 220hp to give brisk acceleration; 0-62mph takes less than seven seconds, and it always feels alert and good fun, especially when the battery is charged up. However, it feels a lot slower running on electricity alone although there’s enough poke for rush hour traffic.

BMW X2 review (2022)
BMW X2 review (2022)

The X2 remains (relatively) flat while cornering, no surprise given the firm ride. All models feel very sure-footed and confident, but not all that exciting. Even so, the X2 corners accurately and the steering has a nice weight to it, plus it’s really accurate and inspires confidence on a fast road – as you’d expect from a carmaker that prides itself from delivering driver-focused family cars.

The range-topping M Performance model benefits from lower springs and stiffer dampers. While it’s not the most involving of cars to drive the X2 can cover ground quickly. Larger 18-inch front brakes give good bite and resist fading well, but the steering feels much like the standard car’s – most full of feel in its lightest comfort mode, with the sportier setting adding weight but not much else. If you spend lots of time on the motorway, the M Sport is very well suited to high-speed running.

The BMW X2 has a firm ride whether fitted with standard or adaptive suspension. It’s bordering on the uncomfortable on the M Sport-spec cars with their 10mm lowered, stiffened suspension. The most sporting M35i is even firmer, but that is to be expected in a car with its performance potential. We’d always recommend cars with standard-sized wheels and suspension set-up to maximise the X2’s comfort.

Ownership costs and maintenance

In terms of claimed fuel economy the BMW X2’s running costs are much of a muchness – the sDrive18d is the most efficient regular engine with claimed economy in the 50s, while the M35i is the worst managing low 30s. Pitched right down the middle is the bestselling xDrive20d which gets into the late-40s, although the less powerful all-wheel drive xDrive18d is still cheaper to run.

The BMW X2 is based on tried-and-tested mechanicals from a renowned manufacturer. But, according to Parkers Owner Reviews, the X2 is only manages a middling score in its Parkers owner review – with drivers being most disappointed by the PHEV’s unimpressive fuel consumption.

What models and trims are available? 

You can choose between two equipment levels: Sport and M Sport, plus the standalone M35i version. As well as offering different amounts of kit, each spec looks different from the outside too. Base-spec cars feature black external cladding, M Sport body coloured and M35i gets its own distinct and sportier styling.

The top two trims also get a 10mm lower ride height, while the most expensive cars benefit from contrasting interior stitching, LED headlights, 19-inch wheels and two zone climate control. Utilitarian is something you’d never accuse the X2 of being.

BMW X2 review (2022)
BMW X2 review (2022)

Verdict: Should you buy one?

It’s a seriously polished product, but you certainly pay a premium for those of-the-moment SUV looks. Desirable versions cost as much as a Volkswagen Golf R, which also comes with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, plus a bigger boot. The M35i model, while offering the same performance as the Golf, is substantially more expensive.

Those on a budget will appreciate the low running costs of the sDrive18d – its two-wheel drive and manual-gearbox availability means you can spend more of your cash on a decent trim level with a bit more equipment – at the very least Sport or M Sport if the budget allows. This diesel version is also a good choice for company car drivers thanks to low CO2, but considering the extra weight and power the xDrive20d is only marginally more polluting, and therefore worth a look.

And while this X2 is good to drive for an SUV, it’s more of an ever-so-slightly lifted-up hatchback, and any implied off-road ability is sacrificed for on-road enjoyment that a BMW 1 Series could, rationally, do better. Indeed, there are more versatile, more comfortable and more spacious options available to you. Not least BMW’s own X1 – the more rational choice with greater rear space and a bigger boot.

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