While it shares its underpinnings with the more sedately styled X1 SUV, the 2020 BMW X2 distinguishes itself with a fastback roofline and a hot-rod variant that really hustles. With spry handling, the X2 is easy to drive quickly on twisty roads—in fact some may argue it’s more of a hot hatch than an SUV. Base models come with the same 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder that sits under the X1’s hood, but we favor the M35i’s more powerful 302-hp engine. That sloping roofline cuts into passenger and cargo space, but we’re not bothered. Because of its driving attitude, the X2 still ranks among our favorite small SUVs on sale today.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The X2 shares its standard powertrain with the X1. It consists of a 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. BMW calls this model the sDrive28i. If you want all-wheel drive, you’ll need to shell out $2000 more for the xDrive28i. The base engine is a sweetheart: eager to rev, silky smooth, and plenty gutsy. At our test track, the X2 xDrive28i snapped off a decent 6.4-second run to 60 mph—0.1 second slower than the X1 xDrive28i and Volvo XC40 T5. Quicker still is the Mercedes-Benz GLA250, which managed to hit the mark in 5.8 seconds. If that’s still too slow for you, the M35i may be the ticket. BMW tuned this high-performance X2’s engine to pump out 302 horsepower. That’s good for a 4.6-second dash to 60. The X2 has a harsh ride, especially with the sport suspension. When going over rough stretches of road, occupants will feel every imperfection in their seats. The trade-off is a high level of agility. The X2 is a joy to pitch into fast corners and rewards the driver with its predictable nature.