What is it?
If you’re after evidence of real change at BMW as it works to regain sales momentum having lost the global premium-brand crown to Mercedes-Benz, look no further than the BMW X2.
The new compact crossover ditches convention and receives bold new styling treatment unlike any other model in the BMW range, as well as a distinctly youth-orientated marketing campaign to support it in a move that, the German car maker hopes, will win potential new customers – and that all-important crown once again.
Not that BMW thinks its grab for sales with the more sporting sibling to the BMW BMW X1 in one of Europe’s fastest-growing market segments will be easy, mind you. The X2 enters a premium crossover class brimming with impressive contenders, including the Audi Q3, Jaguar E-Pace and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Success is far from assured, although our first drive of the new model suggests it should find favour with buyers seeking an alternative to your typical hot hatchback.
The new X2 has defining styling elements that include a fresh interpretation of BMW’s signature kidney grille. It also receives a short bonnet that allows the base of the windscreen to sit well forward for added interior space, familiar taut surfacing along the flanks and squared-off wheel arches front and rear. Other features include a glasshouse that is shallow by the standards of other SUVs, a BMW roundel embedded within the C-pillar (recalling a detail from earlier BMW coupés) and a heavily angled tailgate.
At launch, BMW will offer the X2 with just two conventional combustion engines: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with 189bhp in the front-wheel-drive sDrive20i and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel that delivers 187bhp in the xDrive20d and 228bhp in the xDrive25d. Other powerplants, including smaller three-cylinder petrol and diesel units, will be offered later this year, largely aligning the engine line-up with that of the X1.