The 2020 BMW X2 is a sportier derivation of the X1 premium subcompact crossover. Anyone who follows BMW’s crossover methodology will recognize the pattern set by the fastback X6 that’s based on the regular X5 and the similar BMW X3/X4 approach.
Despite giving up some rear passenger space and cargo volume compared with the sensible and delightful X1, the X2 doesn’t go quite as far as the "4-door coupe" affectation of the X4 and X6. Yet the X2 is still more of a driver’s choice, with a portion of crossover practicality as an additional appeal.
One striking aspect is that the X2 is arguably one of the first BMW crossovers for a while to bring some extra visual excitement. The company’s X lineup was getting a little by-the-numbers in the looks department. But the X2 has a pleasing amount of lines and shapes to keep the eye interested. And those BMW roundels on each rear pillar is a nice homage to some of the company’s cars from the late 1960s/early 1970s.
What’s New for 2020?
The previous 6.5-in standard infotainment touchscreen has been replaced by an 8.8-in version. See the 2020 BMW X2 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Tackles corners more like a sports car than a crossover
- Arguably attractive design
What We Don’t
- Firm suspension not so great for nonenthusiasts
- Doesn’t have the X1’s practicality
- No Android Auto integration
- BMW charges a subscription fee (after one year) for Apple CarPlay
- No blind spot monitoring option
$37,395 to $47,445
The 28i versions of the X2 have a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission directs this energy to the rear wheels in the sDrive model, or all four in the xDrive variant.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 24 miles per gallon in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in combined driving (sDrive28i) or 23 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined (xDrive28i).
The 2020 X2 M35i takes that same engine (while strengthening some internal components) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) transmission, then boosts output to 302 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, BMW’s most potent iteration of this unit. Yet fuel consumption figures are entirely reasonable at 23 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined.
Both engines use premium gasoline and both have a fuel-saving stop/start feature.
Standard Features and Options
The 2020 BMW X2 5-seater subcompact crossover comes in rear-drive sDrive28i, AWD xDrive28i and AWD M35i forms.
The 2020 X2 sDrive28i ($37,395) has 18-in alloy wheels, LED exterior lighting with automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, a tilt-and-telescopic/leather-wrapped steering wheel, front/rear parking sensors, a powered lift gate, push-button start, key memory (stores most recently used driver’s seat position, climate settings, etc.), 8-way power-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, selectable driving modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient cabin lighting, 40/20/40 split/fold rear seats, forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, 8.8-in infotainment touchscreen, navigation with real-time traffic information, a USB port, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, remote lock/unlock, stolen vehicle recovery, AM/FM/HD radio and a 7-speaker/205-watt audio system.
The xDrive28i ($39,395) adds AWD.
These models are eligible for a Convenience package that includes a panoramic moonroof, keyless entry, satellite radio, self-dimming mirrors, 4-way lumbar support for the front seat and a universal garage door opener. A Premium package augments those features with a heated steering wheel, heated front seats and a head-up display.
A Dynamic Handing package with adaptive dampers and a sportier steering system is also available.
The X2 M35i ($47,445) has the more powerful engine, gearshift paddles mounted on the steering column, launch control transmission mode, M Sport differential/exhaust/suspension/steering/brakes, 19-in alloy wheels, power-folding side mirrors, rear spoiler, 12-way power-adjustable front sport seats with driver’s-side memory and a universal garage door opener.
Other options for all versions of the X2 include adaptive cruise control with stop/go, a self-parking function, roof rails, wireless charging, Wi-Fi and a 12-speaker/360-watt Harman Kardon audio upgrade.
Cargo space behind the rear seats is 21.6 cu ft., expanding to 50.1 when those seats are folded. For comparison, the X1 (on which the X2 is based) has 27.1/58.7 cu ft. That’s part of the sacrifice made for the X2’s sleeker style.
While BMW should be applauded for including several driver aids as standard, the company doesn’t offer blind spot monitoring, which is especially disappointing given how the cabin’s wide rear pillars restrict outward vision.
However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has made the X2 a Top Safety Pick, so its crashworthiness is not disputed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to put the X2 through its safety challenges.
Behind the Wheel
Even without the optional sport suspension, the X2 rides tautly to the point of questioning whether this is a luxury vehicle. BMW invariably has an enthusiast quality to its creations, but potential buyers seeking something more forgiving might want to look at the X1.
A more pleasant aspect is the smooth-yet-lively engine in the 28i versions. Taking 6.4 seconds to sprint from standstill to 60 mph sounds more leisurely than the sensations this X2 provides. Naturally, the M35i is even more thrilling, zipping up to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. It’s not a full-on M car, but close enough for most people’s tastes.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Audi Q3 — Not really aimed at driving enthusiasts, but handsome and useful.
2020 BMW X1 — Like the X2, but with more practicality and a more bearable ride quality.
2020 Jaguar E-Pace — Beautifully styled, comes with Jaguar’s hallmark suppleness and offers either 246 or 296 hp.
2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque — This model year marks the beginning of the second generation, which is bigger and more practical than before.
2020 Lexus UX — Exemplary build quality and plentiful standard equipment.
2020 Volvo XC40 — Yet another newcomer for 2019. Not so driver-focused, but attractive in its own right.
Used Porsche Macan — Anyone seeking a smallish (the Macan is more compact than subcompact) crossover with massive driver appeal should check out the Macan. Porsche’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program would be a good place to start.
Naturally, each buyer will know whether the budget and desire is there for the 302 hp X2. But going for the added reassurance of AWD is an easier decision to make. Find a BMW X2 for sale