Make / Model Search

Car reviews - BMW - X2 - sDrive20i

Our Opinion

We like
Design, packaging, sharper dynamics, ride on $400-optional adaptive dampers, seat comfort, dash ergonomics
Room for improvement
No manual, limited range of engines for now, high opening price


Click to see larger images

1 Mar 2018


SLEEKER and more dynamic looking than the X1 it is spun from, the all-new X2 also offers a palpably sportier driving experience to match the styling, which is good news for BMW fans who thought that the company had begun to abandon its old ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ ethos.

We’re not saying that people should abandon their coupes, but there is a bit more interaction and response here in the sDrive20i than we expected.

Drive impressions

Luxury compact SUVS. Overpriced and underperforming show ponies or worthwhile alternatives to regular sedans, wagons and hatches with posh badges?After extensive exposure with the successful but patchy BMW X1, we leaned towards the latter before being let loose in its lower, swoopier and sportier X2 offshoot.

On paper, the reduced practicality and inflated $2300 premium looked at only worsening and not bettering the experience.

However, an open mind is a handy thing to remember, because the front-wheel sDrive20i that BMW is bringing in as the sole representative of the F39 (until a cheaper petrol and all-wheel drive turbo-diesel is arrives mid-year) certainly did exceed expectations. And not just because the bar was set fairly low in the first place.

For starters, kudos to the Bavarian brand’s designers who’ve styled what is the best-looking even-numbered X-badged BMW in history.

Proportion meets restraint here, so your eyes are drawn rather than repelled by this compact SUV’s form. Nice proportions dominate.

We’re particularly impressed by the old-school C-pillar roundel placement, slanted wheel aches and animated front and rear light graphics.

Similarly, leveraging the X1’s neat and functional (if now totally anonymous within the BMW range) dashboard is no hardship for users, as the admittedly up-spec $4000 Launch Edition we drove (with its bigger central touchscreen, head-up display and sunroof as well as $1190-extra Harmon Kardon audio set-up) did lift the ambience up a notch above an sDrive18i.

Furthermore, even though there is less overall space inside compared to the donor SUV, you’d never call it cramped or claustrophobic, with even a six-foot adult clearing his head in the back seat despite the panoramic roof, while a 20mm-lower driving position and superb sports seats do help make the operator feel more like part of the car. Some impressive packaging smarts going on in there.

Surprise number four is how lively the 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre four-pot turbo petrol’s performance feels, providing eager off-the-line acceleration and sufficient overtaking power.

We never really had a chance to see how jerky or laggy the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is/isn’t, but on the wide-open roads around the ACT where the launch was held, smoothness was the word. And refinement too.

Best of all, though, is how more reactive and measured the electric power steering felt, resulting in the sort of agile and communicative handling you often wish for but don’t always enjoy in modern BMWs.

Again, the roads were pretty complementary, but driven with some enthusiasm, it is clear that the quicker-ratio helm – free of the variable-ratio nonsense that blights so many other models – works with, rather than against, fast and effortless roadholding.

We have high hopes for the incoming xDrive25i AWD range-topper.

Additionally, the $400 optional, but absolutely essential, Adaptive Suspension option really helped take the edge off a ride that BMW assures us is better than the X1’s due to the new-to-brand ‘pre-loaded stabiliser bushings’ – a plastic ring that results in faster reaction times when cornering, thus enabling the fitment of softer shockers.

We’re still not convinced that our $63,180 as-tested sDrive20i actually represents good value (how can BMW think it is OK to charge at least $429 for Apple CarPlay – even if it does have a cordless interface) and the (standard on our variant) M Sport package’s 19-inch wheel and tyre package were drone-prone over coarser surfaces.

We shudder to think how the poverty-spec sDrive18i’s cabin will look and feel.

However, none appear to be deal breakers if you have your heart set on a premium compact SUV because the X2 looks, feels and drives better than many we’ve tested – and certainly eclipses its X1 sibling.

We’ll reserve final judgement when we drive more from the range, but as it stands, the X2 is a big step in the right direction as far as both the even-numbered X-badged BMWs and upmarket small crossovers are concerned.

Now that’s a surprise!

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new X2

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

X2 pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here