By on October 26, 2017

BMW X2, Image: BMW Group

Having just five utility vehicles in a brand’s model lineup just doesn’t cut it anymore. This isn’t 2015. If recent sales sheets have shown us anything, it’s that buyers the world over would take up arms and fight a war just for a little more choice at the crossover buffet.

Well, BMW is heeding that call. The Bavarian automaker unveiled a long-missing model this week that plugs a glaring gap at the bottom of its utility lineup — the X2.

Sharing a platform with the X1, the slightly shorter (by 3.2 inches) and lower (by 2.8 inches) 2018 X2 adds the visual brawn its sensible sibling lacks while not going too crazy with its shape. Featuring a relatively upright hatch for useable (50.1 cubic feet) cargo volume, the X2 dials up the visual aggression with lower body and wheel arch cladding, much more sculpted kidney grille openings, and a lower front fascia with gaping side vents. Lighting is LEDs all around.

BMW X2, Image: BMW Group

As the greenhouse ends at the C-Pillar, BMW has taken the annoying route of calling the X2 a “Sports Activity Coupe,” much like its far more rakish X4 and X6 models. Anything but a crossover (which is what this is).

Many of the styling cues seen on last year’s Concept X2 carry over here, albeit in a more subdued manner. BMW makes it clear that the new model’s purpose is to add some excitement to a well-established and often boring X family, offering an M Sport X package on the X2 for those looking to increase their heart rate and the MSRP. Yes, there’ll be a BMW X2 M Sport X for you letter lovers.

Like most crossovers Sports Activity Coupes, the X2’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system channels motive power to the rear wheels when commanded, constantly monitoring the power split between front and rear. Hill Descent Control mitigates steel descents over rough terrain for those mornings when you need to slip into the work parking lot the back way.

To offset the X2’s ground clearance and utilitarian nature, buyers can option the vehicle with Dynamic Damper Control, which allows for a 0.4-inch reduction in ride height. This comes standard on stiffer M Sport variants, along with upgraded anti-roll bar bearings.

2018 BMW X2, Image: BMW Group

At launch, the first X2s to arrive in America next spring will carry an xDrive28i badge. You’ll find a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood, making 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic serving as the only available transmission. If there’s an M badge present, the X2 gains a quicker-shifting eight-speed variant with sport paddles. Stock variant should be capable of scooting to 60 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds.

Cocooning the X2 in safety requires checking the box for BMW’s available Driving Assistance Package, which brings all the usual aids into the fold; among them, city braking with pedestrian detection and smart cruise control. If you’re really into playing second fiddle to your car, the optional Parking Assistant will finesse that X2 into a parallel parking spot for you.

2018 BMW X2, Image: BMW Group

While there’s no price list for the X2 just yet, base models will make do with 18-inch wheels and non-metallic paint options for buyers willing to live with a color that isn’t Galvanic Gold.

Is the X2 simply too much X? Can customers be too spoiled for choice? What’s the saturation point for crossovers? We’ll have to wait to answer to those questions. Meanwhile, the X2 isn’t the only new crossover bound for BMW’s lineup. A larger, range-topping (and potentially terrifying) X7 looms.

[Images: BMW Group]

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43 Comments on “BMW’s X2 Is Ready to Plumb the Bottomless Crossover Market...”

  • avatar

    It has sail panel badges like it’s a 1970s Monte Carlo.

  • avatar

    That silver paint around the grille…all I can think of is Mad Max or Dave Chappelle’s character Tyrone Biggums.

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    It seems that the standard thought process is that a CUV has better visibility and driving position as it’s higher up (this is often echoed among female friends and buddies wives who love CUV’s).

    And then they offer a option to “upgrade” with lower suspension to reduce ride height for better handling.

    While avoiding the obvious irony here, what purpose does a CUV actually fill if it’s simply a hatchback with 20″ rims? Is the real problem that people just wanted hatchbacks with 20″ wheels and typical hatchbacks can’t support 20″ wheels up front?

    • 0 avatar

      I love to hear the answer to this, because as stated it makes NO sense to buy a CUV then lower it. My guess is due to the long running stereotype that hatchbacks are cheap little FWD cars while CUVs (being cousins to SUVs) are seen as tough 4WD vehicles that can overcome difficult terrain. Of course we all know that 99% of them will find the most challenging incline is the multi-level parking garage at the mall.

      My only data point is my parents got a CUV for ease of entry. Mom’s hip isn’t that good anymore and my father’s height (6’4″) means normal cars have always been pain-in-the-back to get into. Thus they would want nothing to do with bigger rims, heavier sway bars or lowered suspension. My mother does admit that her brother’s BMW convertible is a “fun” car to toss down some twisty roads she has no desire to have such a stiff riding, small vehicle as a daily driver.

  • avatar

    CUVs for all!

    (Whether you want them or not…)

  • avatar

    Didn’t we used to make fun of Pontiac for fielding a lineup of vehicles with gray dashes cluttered with confusing buttons externally differentiated primarily by the amount or shape of ridiculous cladding, odd grille openings, and misplaced foglamps?

  • avatar

    Also, what’s with the, “Jesus Christ, this has been on my floorplan for HOW many days…???” yellow?

  • avatar

    Didnt the Ford Escape briefly have a chrome lower grille thing?

    The rest of the cars just very “me too”, only the badging and BMWs out of place corporate grille make it actually look like a Bimmer.

  • avatar

    Not quite the right size for me – I’ll have to wait for the x2.5 or perhaps the 1.5 series active tourer.

    Seriously, I’m probably one of 6 people who would like a front wheel drive BMW hatchback, but it would have to have a manual.

    More power to BMW if they can charge a premium for a smaller vehicle than the X1.

    • 0 avatar

      We have a FWD BMW hatchback with a manual – it’s called a Mini.

    • 0 avatar

      Then you should buy the F60 MINI Countryman, like I did. It’s basically the X2, in MINI clothes. They’re virually identical in size, but crucially: The Countryman can be bought with a manual transmission — which mine has!

      Your path is clear!

      The X1 was converted to a slightly shorter MINI, which has been converted back into this X2. Funny.

      • 0 avatar

        I would buy a mini but I knew 2 people who had terrible experiences with its reliability. (And yes, I know the 2 anecdotes do not equal data.)

      • 0 avatar

        The trouble is it also comes with the awful too cute Mini interior (and I don’t love the exterior either). I wouldn’t mind a “Mini” with a grownup interior and exterior. It would basically be a Saab.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My best friend and I have a long-running bet that BMW will eventually release a 0.5 Series. It will essentially be a reincarnated Isetta, yet will cost as much as a vastly-more-useful Honda FIt.

  • avatar

    Like the GLA and QX30, this really is just an expensive hatchback.

    Note to VW: Supersize your Golf and give it plastic cladding.

  • avatar

    If the interior dimensions are the same as an X1, then it’s just a bit more legroom than a WRX sedan. Someone else has already said – this is the WRX hatch that Subaru isn’t making anymore, albeit at a higher price.

    If they offered this in X-drive with the 3.0 turbo, it would be an STI killer (tuned properly). Probably for $50-60k, though..

  • avatar

    I like it already

  • avatar

    Steph, English is such a rich language. May I respectfully suggest using more of it? That would help avoid repeating “just” three times in the opening paragraph.

    Changing the first sentence from “Having just five utility vehicles in a brand’s model lineup just doesn’t cut it anymore.” to “Having only five utility vehicles in a brand’s model lineup simply doesn’t cut it anymore.” would avoid the repetition.

    Please accept this in the spirit it is intended.

  • avatar

    How many incrementally different variants of the same vehicle can a manufacturer offer? Sheesh…and there was a time when BMW was rather understated and *even* elegant. This ain’t that. It’s a SAC of something alright. My heart bleeds for what was once my go-to marque. So much history and emotion tied up with BMW and my upbringing, but I just can’t get around most of what they produce now. That said, they’ll continue to sell, er, lease, a crap ton of these things.

    • 0 avatar

      i think that C pillar badge tells you everything you need to know – its about a vulgar statement how people can afford an expensive subcompact CUV

      that carry over interior says it all – they didnt bother to spend money where it counts

      these things are a forgone conclusion, they are filling holes everywhere with CUVs becuase thats the ‘hotness’ and since Audi and Mercedes has them, then why not BMW

      the old X1 had a reason of sorts (its RWD based) but this?

      i’d just buy an upspec Asian CUV or an Equinox and call it a day

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Look at cars right up until the 1950s. Everybody hates CUVs but I think it is just the car returning to it’s earlier form.

    Back then you had more ground clearance because roads were terrible. Nowadays, roads are terrible. Yes if you opt for the 50 series tires this is negated but I was surprised to see my wife’s Santa Fe come with a 65 series tire that is very close to tires on my F150.

    There isn’t some grand conspiracy. People like these vehicles so they buy them. They don’t (in the US anyway) like hatchbacks. Especially modern hatches with such sloped rears that negate most of the advantages of a hatch in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      I’m with you on most of the explanation. If you get a chance to sit in a car from the 1950s or 1940s (or are old enough — as I am — to remember what they were like), you’ll notice that they have a more chair-like seating position (which requires a higher roof). While only pickup trucks have that degree of “chair like” seating today, SUVs and CUVs, to varying degrees approach that model. While it is possible to have a very comfortable “reclining” seating position, with a properly designed seat that does not concentrate all of the weight on the butt, even so, ingress and egress from these vehicles is more difficult.

      The sloped rear liftgate that you complain about is not limited to hatches; most SUV/CUVs surrender some cargo capacity to fashion and/or aerodynamics by trying to disguise the box on wheels with a sloping rear end.

      I’m wondering what would happen if Chrysler raised the chopped top of the 300 sedan to normal proportions and put in more chair-like seating, making use of the additional headroom. I, for one, would look at it, being 6’4″ of “a certain age” and finding that all SUV/CUVs are more or less indistinguishable rolling blobs.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I don’t mind it. I just wouldn’t actually buy it.

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