First Impressions: 2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2

Can this all-new subcompact crossover carve out a niche in a crowded lineup?

By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | June 2018

The X2 is an all-new addition to BMW’s lineup for 2018. This subcompact crossover slots in above the established X1 and differentiates itself with coupe-like styling and a considerably higher entry price. We had the opportunity to test the new X2 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, at the annual Midwest Automotive Media Association Spring Rally. 

The X2 comes powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, rated for 228 horsepower. Though we had only a short time to play with the X2, it proved a willing partner. The X2’s acceleration is smooth and peppy, and handling is absolutely fantastic on the curvy roads around the lake. The paddle shifters are an effective way to extract a little more fun out of the driving experience, and help make passing super smooth. Sport mode makes the steering and acceleration a little sharper.

The interior is mostly a win. The front seats were extremely comfortable, as we’ve come to expect from BMW. We also really liked the interior layout; everything on the dashboard was easy to see and reach.

The X2 isn’t perfect. It seems kind of redundant alongside the existing X1, which provides the same specs and more interior space (due to the higher roof) at a lower price. Since we didn’t actually drive the X1 back-to-back with the X2, we’ll let that go for now. Other quibbles: Visibility through the rear window is not that great. It’s a small vehicle with a low roof and a small rear window, so that’s to be expected. Active safety technology more or less makes up for that, but we were still thinking about it long after the drive. Although overall build quality looked and felt good, our test vehicle had a persistent rattle or creak somewhere in the interior, and we could not pinpoint the source. Finally, the traffic sign recognition system, which is part of a $700 option package, is not that accurate. This is not a condemnation of BMW; this technology just isn’t quite ready for prime time, as we’ve experienced in many different makes and models over the past few years. Don’t use it as your only source of information (that is, actually look at the signs you pass) and you’ll be fine.

The 2018 BMW X2 starts at $36,400, and the xDrive all-wheel drive model tested for this review starts at $38,400.