2018 BMW X2 first drive review: At least it’s a BMW Page 2

More than an X1

The most obvious differences between the X1 and X2 are on the outside, where the X2 is decidedly more stylish. None of the body panels are shared between the two. By the numbers, the X2 is 3.2 inches shorter and its roof sits 2.8 inches lower. That roofline is so low, in fact, that BMW considers the X2 a sport activity coupe along the lines of the X4 and X6 crossovers. The roof also creates a chopped look with slimmer windows, and the window line ends in the signature BMW Hofmeister kink accented by the BMW roundel in the rear roof pillar, a first for a BMW crossover.

Up front, the twin kidneys of the grille widen at the bottom, and the headlights are full LEDs, a feature that isn’t standard on the X1. Side skirts are found along the sides, as are dark fender flares and rocker panel trim. At the rear, the X2 gets a standard spoiler, with a more aggressive spoiler on the M Sport X.

Inside, the X2 comes standard with sport seats. They have 10 power adjustments, including adjustable bolsters to fit just about any body type. These seats are a damn side more comfortable and supportive than the flat park benches that come standard in the X1.

All told, a BMW spokesman said the X2 has $1,800 worth of extra standard equipment compared to the X1, and it costs $2,500 more.

2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2

Compromised practicality

The changes BMW made to build the X2 didn’t affect its passenger space…much. Occupants have the same leg room and hip room, but the lower roof line means there is a bit less head room. BMW lowers the seats to mitigate this issue, and it will only be a problem for very tall occupants.

The real issue is in cargo space. Again, the lower roof line comes into play, and so does the shorter length. Luggage capacity is down about 15 percent at 21.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 50.1 cubes with the rear seats folded down. While those numbers are down from 27.1 and 58.7 in the X1, maximum space still beats the Mercedes-Benz GLA’s 41.8 cubic feet and the Audi Q3’s 48.2 cubic feet.

2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2

A value?

I’m not impressed with the X1. The handling is numb, the styling dull, the seats flat and shapeless, and the front-drive platform seems anathema for the brand of the ultimate driving machine. Worse yet, the $43,620 sticker price of the test car I drove two years ago felt about $10,000 too high. In short, the X1 would be fine if it were a Hyundai or a Ford, but it doesn’t feel like a BMW.

The X2 feels like a BMW, at least as much as it can with a front-wheel-drive architecture. The design makes it interesting to look at, and the suspension changes make it entertaining to drive. It can even handle some track duty, though it feels out of place testing the limits of grip.

The 2018 BMW X2 is priced at $39,395 to start, and the models I drove came in at $50,920 thanks mostly to the $4,650 M Sport X package (sport transmission, panoramic sunroof, M Sport suspension, 19-inch wheels, M steering wheel, special interior and exterior trim) and a $2,600 Premium package (heated front seats, head-up display, remote services, navigation).

At that price, the X2 still seems about $10,000 overpriced to me, both the base price and the final price, especially when you consider that you can get the more fun, more substantial X3 for that money.

BMW provided Internet Brands Automotive travel and lodging to bring you this firsthand report.

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