BMW X2: A sportier, spicier take on the X1

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(November 5, 2017) BMW’s X2 is the X6 to the X1’s X5, which is to say, this is the more extroverted and sporty version of BMW’s smallest SUV. Built on the same transverse front-drive UKL platform as the latest generation of Mini vehicles, the X2 will come standard with all-wheel drive (xDrive in BMW speak) and only one engine option. European buyers, on the other hand, will have the choice of three- and four-cylinder turbo motors and multiple gearboxes.

Under the hood sits a 2.0-liter TwinPower turbo four producing 228 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm, and 258 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,450 to 4,500 rpm.

It is mated to an Aisin F22 eight-speed automatic, with the M Sport X package adding paddle shifters and producing faster up- and downshifts due to a software change. BMW says the 3,662 lb. crossover will sprint from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds.

The xDrive all-wheel drive system uses a single-speed bevel gear combined with a rear-axle drive unit containing an electro-hydraulic pump and multi-plate clutch. The electro-hydraulic unit reacts to a difference in front and rear wheel speeds, and diverts power to the rear wheels in less than 250 milliseconds. The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system looks at vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering lock, front and rear wheel speed, throttle position, vehicle pitch, and drive mode and DSC settings to determine the correct front-to-rear torque split.

BMW’s drive mode system, a.k.a. Driving Dynamics Control, allows the driver to choose between Comfort, Eco and Sport settings. It changes the response of the steering and powertrain, and — if the optional Dynamic Damper Control is ordered — damper firmness and ride height (0.4 in. lower ride height). This is the same reduction in ride height that comes if you order the optional M Sport suspension. Both come with special anti-roll bar bearings for enhanced agility.

The requisite twin kidney grille is wider at the bottom than at the top, opposite normal practice, and the C-pillar with its characteristic Hoffmeister kink also features an indented BMW roundel.

This styling fillip has been used on BMW coupes in the past (the company labels the X2 as a Sports Activity Coupe), most notably the 2000 CS and 3.0 CSL. Smartly, especially for a vehicle that is expected to start at just under $40,000, the X2 features full LED exterior lighting.

The standard wheel for the X2 is an 18-inch Y-spoke design with a 19-in. version of the same wheel available as an option. Order the BMW X2 M Sport X, and you get 19-in. M Double Spoke wheels as standard, with 20-inch versions fitted with performance tires as an option. The smaller wheels choice lets you choose between all-season and sport tires.

A 6.5-inch display is standard, and can be upgraded to either a 6.5 or 8.8-iinch touchscreen with the addition of navigation. A full-color head-up display is another available option, as is equipment that allows the X2 to host an LTE-speed WiFi hotspot, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay compatibility, a camera-based Driver Assistance Package, Parking Assistant and more.

The Virtual Driver