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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Dave Humphreys
# Review
Review: The BMW X2 SUV puts the ‘sport’ back into Sport Utility Vehicle
And mostly succeeds.

THIS IS THE all-new BMW X2 ‘coupe SUV’. It aims to put the ‘sport’ back in SUV. It is billed as the cooler sibling to the X1 – but is it all style over substance?

We put it to the test on Irish roads to find out.

The BMW X2 is based on the BMW X1 and slots into the range between the X1 and the larger X3.

It looks good from the outside and has fresher styling compared to the X1.

The interior is very well laid out and the fit and finish are wonderful. There are plenty of soft touch materials and a decent amount of storage to help keep the cabin neat and tidy.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

I particularly like the crisp, clean and clear instrument dials and the high-res infotainment system. The voice control works well and most importantly, it seems to understand my Dublin accent and carries out commands first time round. A novelty, I must say.

Space inside is good, although head room in the rear will affect those six-foot-and-over passengers. You’ll fit two adults and a child in the back, but it will be a squeeze to fit three adults.

The boot is a useful size (470 litres) and there is a false floor to keep valuables out of sight. The tailgate on my test car was electronic, which is always handy, especially if you have children. However, there is a high lip and you’ll have to lift bulky items in and out as opposed to sliding them.

Another gripe about the boot is the fact that to you have to tumble the rear seats from inside the cabin, it can’t be done from the boot. But the seats do split in a handy 40/20/40 fashion and lie almost flat when down.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

If you have young children, there are ISOFIX fittings on the two outer rear seats and the front seat. However, the doors don’t open very wide, so fitting the car seats might be a tad bit awkward.

Another thing that may be a concern if you have young children are the small side windows and high door lines making it hard for little ones to see out. Not being able to see out like this is known to cause bouts of car sickness.

The rear window is also pretty small which limits visibility. And whilst we are on the subject, the front side windows are also small with high door lines. The door sill was past my shoulder. This, coupled with the low driving position, made me feel very boxed in – I couldn’t see any of the car’s exterior. It was a little disconcerting, especially when trying to manoeuvre the car in tight spaces and narrow roads.

Granted there is plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, you can jack the seat up, but doing this made the driving position a little awkward. Although, some people may like this cocoon feeling and liken it to that of a sports car.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

Overall, I really like the fit and finish of the cabin, the comfortable seats, the tech and the amount of space onboard. However, if you have small children and you are thinking of buying an X2, you should bring the car seats and the kids along for the test drive.

My test car was the BMW X2 sDrive18d M Sport (pictured is the BMW X2 xDrive20d M Sport). Out on the road, I really liked how the car handled. This is where the X2 stands out from its segment rivals (mainly the Audi Q2 and Volvo XC40). It’s clear that BMW has spent time tuning the chassis and suspension to deliver a ride that is sportier compared to that of the BMW X1. The X2 feels very much like an on-road vehicle and none more so than in the sDrive model.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

The front-wheel drive setup of the sDrive versions, in combination with the reasonably frugal 2.0-litre diesel engine, still provides an engaging drive but not at the cost of fuel efficiency. Over long motorway journeys, it is capable of returning decent levels of fuel economy, especially if you toggle the drive mode to the Eco Pro setting. Then, when you lift off the throttle, it will slip into a coasting mode thus prolonging the driving range. Its automatic gearbox makes light work of shifting up and down through the different ratios and never seems to be caught out or hesitant.

I also liked how it behaved in the bends. That combination of firmer suspension and nicely weighted steering made it feel more fun to drive than most other cars in this part of the market.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

Overall, the BMW X2 looks good and has plenty of kerbside appeal, both of which should score well with buyers of this type of car. But its main selling point for me is that is surprisingly fun and involving to drive, too.

The BMW X2 is priced from €44,334.

READ: Pros and cons of hybrid vehicles >

READ: Review: The Ford Mondeo hybrid drives smoothly – but does it lack power? >

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