Seven, six, five, four, three… one. You don’t have to be a genius to see what’s been missing in BMW’s X-car countdown, but that’s put right today with the unveiling of this new all-wheel-drive crossover. Come in number two, your time is up.
Who would have thought just a few years ago that a company like BMW would feature seven different SUVs in its range? With the first X5 in 1999, BMW might to a large degree have invented the modern SUV (or SAV, sports activity vehicle, as BMW prefers it), but few companies have pursued the SUV boom with so much vigour.
The new X2 is the sixth high-riding all-wheel-drive machine from BMW; for the seventh, the mammoth and distinctive X7, we will have to wait until next year.
So where does the X2 fit into such a crowded line-up? Alongside the X1, which shares underpinnings, but with a lower (by 70mm, almost three inches) and more coupe-like body for less practicality but more style at around £3,000 more than an equivalent X1.
The X2 concept from the Paris show last year looked fab and, pleased to report, the production version is just as pleasing on the eye.
Concept car and production version are virtually dead ringers, with the distinctive new face – notable for its triangular section intakes either side of a short central bumper section – tapering window line, muscular shoulders and off-roady wheelarch inserts and rear skid plate all making the transition.
But the best bit? That has to be the BMW roundels on the C-pillars, just like the BMW M1!
The X2 is no supercar like the M1 but the lowest and sleekest of all BMW SUVs promises an agile and rewarding drive, based as it is on the new platform under the latest, and now dynamically adept, X1.
Despite being a lot lower, as well as an inch shorter, than the X1, the X2 appears to lose hardly anything in practicality: the boot offers 470 litres of space with the seats up, against 505 for the X1, and the seats fold down in the same way when a longer load space is needed. The X2’s hatchback opening does appear rather narrower, however.
Standard specification includes a 6.5-inch Touch Control Display with navigation system while interesting options are a new opening panoramic glass roof, and full-colour BMW Head-Up Display.
The X2 is available to order now but you will have to wait until next year if you want something other than the car in 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel X-drive form, the sole variant so far.
In base SE trim with manual gears this car starts at £33,980, against £30,800 for an equivalent and identically-engined X1. More money buys you an M Sport X trim level with leather interior and lowered sports suspension, among other goodies, while in 2018 extra engines will include a 190bhp 2.0-litre petrol as well as cheaper 1.8 engines and front-wheel drive versions.
And an X2 M version with twice that power to take on Merc’s GLA AMG? Got to be, hasn’t there?