TWO'S A CROWD? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Does BMW really need yet another X-series model in its SUV line-up? Jonathan Crouch looks at the sporty little X2 and decides....
Ten Second Reviewword count: 67
Following a programme already established with its larger SUVs, BMW has produced a sporty version of its X1 model, christened the X2. Like the X4 (a coupe version of the X3) and the X6 (a coupe version of the X5), this crossover brings a more dynamic look to the Munich maker's offering in its chosen segment. Like its rivals, its dynamically targeted almost exclusively towards on-road use.
Backgroundword count: 129
We're now pretty used to the idea of 'coupe'-style versions of mid-sized and large-segment SUVs. Witness the success of models like the BMW X6 and the Mercedes GLE Coupe in the large segment. And the BMW X4 and the Mercedes GLC Coupe in the mid-sized category. BMW's X2 is the first model though, that could really be called a 'coupe' in the smaller SUV 'C'-segment popularised in the volume end by crossovers like Nissan's Qashqai and at the premium end by models like BMW's own X1. Predictably, it's the X1 that provides almost everything for the X2 under the skin. But this sleeker design packages those mechanicals up more dynamically in a way that's sure to appeal to folk attracted to slinkier models like Jaguar's E-PACE in this segment.
Driving Experienceword count: 272
Being based on the X1's MINI-derived 'UKL2' platform, the X2 primarily uses BMW's efficient generation of four-cylinder engines. The most affordable sDrive variant is front driven, while the other xDrive derivatives use the brand's intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which distributes the engine's power between the front and rear axles as the situation requires. There's also a wide track, short overhangs and the usual 50:50 weight distribution. Obviously, the X2 is not inended for off road use, but it does have an integral Hill Descent Control feature that enables you to automatically maintain a desired speed on steep descents by taking care of brake control. Engine-wise, the range offers four petrol options and two diesel units, all of which are 2.0-litres in size. In the petrol line-up, the base sDrive 2WD derivative offers 140hp, while the 4WD xDrive20i gives you 192hp. The top M35i has xDrive 4WD and puts out a prodigious 306hp. BMW also offers a plug-in hybrid xDrive25e version with 220hp which uses a 1.5-litre 3 cylinder petrol engine mated to an electric drive motor. Many X2 sales though, will be made with the diesel variants. There's a base 150hp 18d diesel option with sDrive or xDrive alternatives. Or, if you can afford more, a 190hp 4WD 20d diesel model only offered in xDrive form. Whatever X2 variant you choose, the car's driving responses can be adapted by using the Driving Experience Control switch, allowing the driver to choose between default COMFORT mode, efficiency-enhancing ECO PRO mode and a SPORT mode which gives the car even dynamic steering and powertrain responses. The optional Dynamic Damper Control system works via these same settings.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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