2024 BMW X2: Bold Conqueror

Strong points
  • Sporty handling
  • Remarkable performance (M35i xDrive)
  • Comfort is vastly improved
Weak points
  • Polarizing exterior
  • Significant weight gain
  • Higher price
Full report

The coupe-like BMW X2 has never lived up to expectations in North America. Smaller yet more expensive than the X1, it’s basically a large hatchback with premium looks. Sure, the M models crank up the fun factor, but the fact is that BMW has not been able to replicate the success of the X1, which has been around since 2011.

The X2 was temporarily discontinued in late 2021, letting the second-generation X1 grab all the spotlight. The latter is more affordable and more versatile, but the folks at BMW believes the X2 deserves another shot. Completely redesigned for 2024, it’s bolder and sportier than ever. More importantly, perhaps, it looks more like an SUV this time.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

The new X2 is 5 cm longer than the X1, while the trunk boasts an additional 90 litres of cargo room. Between the two BMW small crossovers, this one definitely has sportier aspirations, but it’s now more practical—enough to be considered by families, though the company will probably never sell it as such. If you’ve shunned the X2 in the past due to its diminutive size, the redesigned model might finally meet your needs.

That is, if you’re not put off by its bold, polarizing design in the first place. Look on the bright side: aerodynamic performance is excellent. The fully electric iX2 variant achieves a drag coefficient as low as 0.25, but it won’t be sold in Canada since the automaker prefers to focus on the upcoming 2025 MINI Countryman SE. The X2 lineup offers the same trim levels as the X1, namely xDrive28i and M35i xDrive.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

We spent time behind the wheel of the sportier of the two, whose only direct rival at the moment is the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35. Maybe Audi will finally launch an RS variant of the Q3 in Canada, who knows? The BMW X2 M35i xDrive has one clear goal in mind: to get drivers excited with racy looks and sharp handling. You can tell it apart from the xDrive28i thanks to its illuminated front grille, lip spoiler, 20- or 21-inch wheels and M sport exhaust with quad tailpipes. As you can see on the pictures, our tester also came with a flashy green exterior—a $6,000 option.

M as in Mean

With 312 horsepower delivered by the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine under the hood, the X2 M35i xDrive is quite spirited. On top of that, the quick-shifting seven-speed transmission is a real treat to operate using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Don’t get us wrong, the autobox is a fine performer on its own, but we couldn’t resist shifting gears manually and letting the revs go way up. And because the X2 is fundamentally designed with sporty driving in mind, it was all too happy to oblige.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Precise steering also contributes to the exhilarating experience, even if you settle for the base X2. That’s good to know, especially with the stiffer sport suspension on the M35i xDrive taking its toll when driving on the type of roads you normally find across Canada. On that note, we strongly advise against selecting the optional 21-inch wheels. Sure, they look awfully nice, but they’re simply too massive for a vehicle of this size and actually affect the overall balance that makes the X2 one of the most fun crossovers out there.  

If there’s one thing that let us down, it’s the engine sound—clearly not worthy of the M badge, and a lot less inspiring than that of the new and similarly powered MINI Countryman JCW. This has nothing to do with performance, but let’s just say it’s a far cry from BMW’s sweet-sounding six-cylinders.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Unsurprisingly, the interior design is identical to the X1’s, with impeccable fit and finish that marks a definite improvement over the previous generation. The rich, tastefully appointed cabin is a mix of premium leather, Alcantara and aluminum, not to mention blue contrast stitching and customizable LED ambient lighting.

The elimination of many physical controls makes for a simpler and cleaner layout. The downside is that almost every vehicle function goes through the centre touchscreen, which takes some getting used to. Luckily, the display is conveniently positioned for easy access. We also like the clever arrangement for the wireless smartphone charger. Oh, and one last thing: the beautifully bolstered buckets in the M Pro Sport Package are simply wonderful.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Pricing for the 2024 BMW X2 starts at $48,800 (MSRP) in xDrive28i trim and $59,400 in M35i xDrive trim.

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