BMW has lifted the lid on the 2018 X2, the newest member of its widening SUV and crossover family. Sharing a lot with the BMW X1, the new X2 is styled and has been engineered to be the sportiest 'SAV' in the BMW line-up and it goes on sale in Ireland next month starting from €50,320.
Although the new X2 shares its wheelbase with the BMW X1, the new car is shorter and more than 70mm lower overall, giving it a unique design personality and paying more than lip service to BMW's insistence that it has 'coupe-like' proportions. Adding to that is the inclusion of the BMW badge on the C-pillars, a feature that harks back to the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL coupe. Another striking feature is the 'upside down' kidney grilles up front, giving the X2's nose added aggression. Distinctive LED daytime running lights add to that, and buyers of the Sport, M Sport and M Sport X versions get full-LED headlamps, too. The slim rear lights are LED as standard and a modest roof spoiler can be swapped for a more prominent item.
The design detailing such as the front and rear bumper styles and the side bodywork changes depending on whether the X2 is in SE, Sport, M Sport or new M Sport X guises. There are 11 alloy wheel designs in total, starting with the entry-level 17-inch rims and topped by 20-inch options. Ten paint colours are available, including the eye-catching new 'Galvanic Gold' finish pictured here. That car is in M Sport X guise, and if you browse through the image gallery you'll find photographs of a blue model too, which is finished in the M Sport specification.
Inside, on the standard X2, the upholstery ranges from Grid cloth Anthracite to Race cloth Anthracite with contrast stitching and then four Dakota leather colours (including Magma Red) with contrast stitching and part-perforation. The entry-level trim finisher is Oxide Silver Dark with a High-gloss Black accent strip, though there are four others to choose from with accent strips in Pearl-effect Chrome and ambient lighting in the door cards. M Sport versions gain Micro Hexagon fabric Anthracite/Alcantara combination with M piping and contrast stitching, while leather upholstery is standard on the M Sport X model.
All versions of the BMW X2 feature contrast and decorative stitching on the dashboard and more on the centre console. Black panel technology is used as standard for the main instruments and infotainment, too. Boot space is quoted as 470 litres and we can see from the pictures that the rear seat back splits 40:20:40 and folds completely flat.
To begin with, only the X2 xDrive20d will be offered, powered by BMW’s venerable 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which produces 190hp and 400Nm of torque. Emissions are as low as 121g/km, fuel economy is as high as 61.4mpg and 0-100km/h takes a claimed 7.7 seconds. Soon after the X2's introduction, further models will come on stream, including the X2 sDrive20i (turbocharged four-cylinder petrol), sDrive18d and xDrive18d. In case you're not up on BMW nomenclature, 'sDrive' means two-wheel drive. The most efficient of all of those is the X2 sDrive18d, which manages as low as 119g/km emissions when ordered in conjunction with a manual gearbox, or 118g/km with the optional automatic.
Both M Sport variants come as standard with firmer springs and dampers and a lower ride height as part of the M Sport suspension package, which is optional on the standard X2. Dynamic Damper Control brings a 10mm reduction in height and is optional across the line-up, giving drivers two damping settings to choose between via the usual Driving Experience Control switch. On all X2s, that offers Comfort, Eco Pro and Sport modes, altering the power steering and throttle response.
BMW will allow buyers of the X2 full access to its latest suite of connected technology, including an impressive colour head-up display, touchscreen satnav and BMW Connected+, a new 'digital bridge' between the car and smartphones. Drivers can use the Share Live Trip Status function and Apple CarPlay, plus on-board wifi. In terms of driving assistance, there are two levels offered. First up is Driving Assistant, which includes Lane Departure Warning, Speed Limit Info with No Passing Info display, the BMW Selective Beam anti-dazzle High Beam Assistant, as well as Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function. Driving Assistant Plus adds Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go function and Traffic Jam Assistant. For the latter, at speeds up to 60km/h, the car takes over both distance control and lane-keeping tasks from the driver. The Traffic Jam Assistant keeps the car in the middle of its lane, but the driver needs to have at least one hand on the steering wheel for the system to work.