The apple doesn't fall far. With the BMW X6, the automaker proved that consumers would by an SUV with part of the trunk shaved off. With the 2020 BMW X2, they must have thought: why not do it again?

The X2 carries on the tradition of taking a BMW crossover (in this case the X1) and giving it some curves. The X2 is just as wide as the X1, but 4 inches shorter in length and 3 in height.

The dimensions don’t hurt the cabin quite as much as you’d expect. For a compact crossover, the X2 still manages decent space for riders, preserving 36.7 inches of legroom in the rear. The headroom suffers more, with the second row losing more than 2 inches against the X1.

But the worst casualty is the trunk. Cutting the X2’s corners means reducing cargo capacity to 21.6 cubic feet behind the seats, much of which is above the window line. That’s more than 5 cubic feet shy of the X1 and less than some hatchbacks.

Stylish … ish. For the loss of utility and headroom, BMW promises a more stylish vehicle. The coupe-like roof joins chunky proportions and wide haunches in an effort to look sleek and muscular all at once. It works … mostly. The lowered roof is alluring, but the design is busier and less cohesive than rivals like the Jaguar E-Pace.

The X2 looks best with larger 19- or 20-inch wheels, but beware – selecting them stiffens the ride. The best part of the styling may be the color palette, which includes some lovely metallic shades.

On the inside, the X2 looks much the same as its sibling. Hard plastics betray the X2’s position on the lower rung’s of BMW’s range, but everything is put together well. One annoyance is the base infotainment system, which uses a relatively small 6.5-inch touchscreen and doesn’t come compatible with Android Auto.


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Real muscle. A stylish car deserves equally captivating powertrains, and here the X2 follows through. In base form, the turbocharged engine sends 228 horsepower to two or four wheels. It’s just enough to enjoy the X2, and the all-wheel-drive system is competent and pleasant.

The upgraded engine in the M35i is the same one that appears in the M235i, one of the standard-bearers for modern sport compacts. If you want to chase some of the same thrills, BMW offers stiffer suspensions in the Dynamic Handling Package.

Even in base form, though, the X2 is agile and responsive. It shares some structure with the Mini Countryman, displaying some of the same verve with nicely weighted steering.

Considering the performance, the X2 isn’t a gas guzzler. However, it takes premium fuel, and its EPA-estimated 27 miles per gallon combined (with the base engine) won’t win any awards. At least opting for all-wheel drive doesn’t incur much of a penalty.

Less For More. With some space and utility removed, it would be intuitive for the X2 to be a cheaper vehicle. Not so – BMW insists on a premium of at least $1,200 over the X1.

Base equipment is decent, but expenses climb quickly. AWD is a quick $2,000, followed by $2,350 for the Convenience Package that will likely come on most X2s. If you want advanced features like adaptive cruise control (which is standard on some rivals), you’ll first need a Premium Package to unlock the safety options. Plus, there’s that metallic paint.

When all is said and done, the X2 is likely to push well past $40,000. For that money, you could have any number of more spacious crossovers, starting with the brand's own BMW X3. Is the style worth paying for? Time will tell whether buyers think so.

Final thoughts. The 2020 BMW X2 takes the formula of the X1 and adds some élan. In many places, it’s welcome – the powertrains are excellent, the exterior is mostly handsome, and we love a crossover that can storm a canyon road.

But that styling comes with significant compromises. The low roof cuts into the headroom and especially cargo space. The X2 retains the X1’s interior but demands the same price. The cost shoots up in a hurry with options, making the square shapes of conventional crossovers more forgivable.

But if the X6 proved anything, it’s that buyers are willing to pay for a car that looks exciting. If history repeats itself, the X2 will be around for a while.

Check prices for the 2020 BMW X2 »