Buyers in the market for a subcompact crossover now have two choices from BMW. The current X1 serves as the basis for the all-new 2018 BMW X2, which emphasizes performance and style over outright utility. It covers all the bases a small crossover should and throws some excitement into the mix to boot.

Best Value

The X2 starts out with front-wheel drive, but most buyers expect all-wheel drive in this type of vehicle. Since the theme of the X2 is sportiness, we recommend the M Sport X Design model, which gets a firmer suspension, a sport-tuned transmission, 19-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, and extra convenience features. The Dynamic Handling Package increases stability in corners while enhancing ride comfort, and we consider the Driving Assistance Package almost mandatory in a BMW.

  • Model: 2018 BMW X2 xDrive 28i M Sport X Design
  • Engine: 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 228 hp/258 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 21 city/31 highway
  • Options: M Sport X Design ($4,650), Dynamic Handling Package ($600, M sports steering, dynamic damper control), Driving Assistance Package ($700, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, speed limit info display), Navigation ($950, required with Driving Assistance Package), Dakota leather upholstery ($1,450)
  • Base Price: $39,395 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $47,745

Performance

BMW X2

The BMW X2 carries the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and eight-speed automatic as the X1. While 228 horsepower doesn't seem like a lot, the X2 certainly makes the most of it. Zero to 60 mph takes 6.3 seconds, a fine showing for small crossover with all-wheel drive. The standard Driving Dynamic Control system offers a choice of driving modes: Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport. Comfort is the sweet spot for everyday driving.

All models offer quick steering and plenty of power for accelerating out of corners. With the M Sport treatment, the X2 exhibits taut reflexes on par with many sport coupes. The upgraded suspension lowers ride height by 0.4 inch, and the transmission provides firm and satisfying downshifts. The X2 behaves like a rear-wheel-drive vehicle in aggressive cornering. The all-wheel-drive system transfers power to the back when it senses the driver wants to have fun.

Given the X2's 7.2-inch ground clearance, drivers should expect some body lean. However, the active dampers found in the Dynamic Handling Package absorb most of the unwanted motion.

Style

The X2 eschews the buttoned-down look of the X1 in favor of sculpted sides and an aggressive nose with oversized air intakes. The X2 is 3.2 inches shorter and 2.8 inches lower than the X1, resulting in a coupe-like profile. Even so, the X2 maintains very good interior dimensions for this class, and the rear doors open wide for passengers. A rear spoiler comes standard.

The X2 is all business on the inside, high on function if not luxury. Displays are uncluttered and easy to absorb at a glance. There's nothing dazzling to see, but comfort is assured by the supportive front sport seats.

The Best and Worst Things

With its sleek design, the X2 could easily be forgiven for middling cargo space or rear seat room. But no apologies are needed here. The X2 is just as spacious as some upright rivals and can even carry more stuff.

Buyers who expect a certain level of interior luxury from BMW might be disappointed with the X2. The mood inside is subdued and sober. Some folks will find the arrangement too plain for their taste.

Right For? Wrong For?

BMW X2

Buyers who can't decide between a sport coupe and small crossover can get the best of both in the X2. Even drivers whose top priority is handling should check it out – and consider the cargo space a bonus.

There's no shortage of plush and inviting crossovers of similar size. Buyers who crave luxury can easily find more of it elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 BMW X2 should please driving enthusiasts who didn't have a reason to buy a small crossover until now.