Europe's compact crossover onslaught is intensifying, with BMW being the latest to jump into the game with its all-new X2 model.
Despite a name that implies a position above the X1, the X2 is actually smaller than that existing model, though it rides on the same wheelbase. With its introduction this year, the X2 gives BMW four compact crossover models when you add in the X3 and X4.
Like its line mates, the X2 uses a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That puts this little Bimmer at a slight disadvantage versus the Volvo XC40 and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, but expect sprightly city performance thanks to a torque peak of just 1,250 rpm.
Like the latest X1, the X2 eschews BMW's historically RWD platforms for FWD-based underpinnings shared with the Mini brand. So while AWD is standard in Canada, there are markets where the X2 is offered as a front-driver. All Canadian X2 models use an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The X2's styling takes a page, ironically enough, from the huge X7 concept BMW showed last year (to preview a future full-size model), adopting that vehicle's more angular grille openings and large lower air intakes. BMW also points out the badge on the X2's D-pillar, which it says is a callback to a couple of the sportiest car models in the brand's history, the 2000 CS and 3.0 CSL. That touch, says BMW, indicates the X2's position as one of the more performance-oriented models in the brand's small crossover range.
Driving enthusiasts (and those who have some cash to throw around) can opt for one of two M sport packages. The more significant of these is the M Sport X package, which adds a stiffer suspension and upsized wheels.
If the X2 gives up a bit of power to its competitors from Land Rover and Volvo, BMW claims better rear-seat space than in those two. There's less headroom, however, and cargo space splits the difference.
While the X2's exterior brings a new look to BMW's crossover range, the interior is more conservative, with straightforward centre stack controls and the latest version of the brand's iDrive infotainment system. In typical BMW style, modern tech features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are optional.