In Depth

BMW X2: sporty M35i with 302bhp joins line-up

New range-topper does 0-62mph in less than five seconds

BMW’s X2 may be better suited to city streets than racing circuits but that hasn’t stopped the company’s M Performance division from injecting more power into the compact SUV.

Built to rival upcoming “hot” crossovers the Audi SQ2 and Mercedes-AMG GLA35, the M35i is expected to launch early next year and will sit at the top of the X2 range, says Evo

The SUV does away with the highly tuned straight-six engines usually associated with M Performance. Instead, the division has opted for a new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor that produces 302bhp and 332lb-ft of torque, the motoring magazine says. 

That engine is teamed with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive system, both of which come as standard, says PistonHeads

The resulting car achieves some impressive performance stats. According to the motoring blog, the the X2 M35i can achieve 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 155mph.

BMW has also tweaked the car’s exterior design to give it sportier edge. The new model gets 19in wheels - with 20in wheels as an optional extra - along with a more angular front bumper design and “redesigned air intakes”, Auto Express  notes. 

The M35i also features a small wing over the rear window and a performance exhaust system, adds the magazine. 

Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but the new SUV is expected to cost a little more than the current range-topping xDrive20d M Sport X, which comes in at £38,380.


The X2’s sporty styling will likely split opinion, says Auto Express, but there’s no doubt the crossover has “plenty of presence”. It’s slightly smaller than the boxier X1 SUV, while its lower roofline gives it a more “muscular” look. 

The car’s styling may be a departure from other models in the BMW range, but the magazine says the X2’s interior shares some of its design with the X1. The cabin is “attractive” and is also “logical” to use. 

However, adds Auto Express, getting into the back isn’t as easy as the X1 and the boot is 35-litres smaller than its sibling. Nevertheless, legroom is “comparable” and there’s plenty of headroom for passengers over six foot. 

On the road, Top Gear says the X2 can feel “a bit heavy in a succession of tight bends” and there’s not as much steering feedback as you’d get from the car’s rival - the Range Rover Evoque. 

Crossovers can suffer from body lean, as they often have more weight and a higher centre of gravity than conventional cars. But that doesn’t appear to be an issue in the X2, the website says, as the car responds “as you’d expect” around corners. 

While there are cars that offer more boot space and better engine performance, says Car magazine, the X2 is aimed at those looking for something stylish that can be easily driven on a daily basis. 

With this in mind, the magazine says it would recommend the compact SUV over its rivals, such as the Mercedes GLA and Range Rover Evoque.  


Although it may be difficult to spot the difference between the X2 and the X1 immediately, says Evo, the former sports “a taller belt line” and sloping roofline that drops 70mm at the rear. It also has shorter overhangs at the front than the X1, making the X2’s wheel arches look “more aggressive”, says the magazine. 

Buyers can choose between three trim levels, Evo reports - standard, M Sport and M Sport X. M Sport models get slightly sharper looks, while the M Sport X trim “swaps out the body-coloured wheel arch trim and sills for contrasting grey units”.

Entry-level models feature 17in alloy wheels, adds the magazine, while M Sport and M Sport X can be specced with 19in or 20in rims. 

Interior and tech

While the X2’s exterior clearly separates it from the rest of the BMW range, its cabin shares much of its design with the company’s latest crop of crossovers. 

The swooping dashboard styling and slim steering wheel appear to have been plucked from the X2’s larger sibling, the X6 SUV, while the compact gauge cluster comes from the X1. 

All models of the X2 are equipped with the company’s iDrive infotainment system and 6.2ins touchscreen display, says WhatCar?. This can be upgraded to an 8.8ins screen as an optional extra. 

The system is similar to the iDrive setup in the new 5-Series saloon, the website says. It comes with a heads-up display that projects sat nav directions and speed “directly into the driver’s field of vision.” 

Apple’s CarPlay wireless connection is also supported, says Auto Express. This allows you to sync your iPhone to the crossover’s infotainment system. It can be specced as an optional extra, as can the in-car wi-fi. Sadly, Samsung and Google users are out of luck as BMW has no plans to offer Android Auto.

Engines and performance

Kicking off the range is the petrol-powered X2 sDrive20i, reports Autocar, which delivers 187bhp and 206lb-ft of torque through the crossover’s front-wheel drive system. There’s also a diesel-engined sDrive20d that has an identical power output but “significantly” more torque at 295lb-ft. 

Above them sits the X2 xDrive25d, which boasts a slightly higher power output at 228bhp and 332lb-ft of torque, the magazine says, along with combined economy figures of 61.mpg and 121g/km of CO2 emissions.

Front-wheel drive models come with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard, adds Autocar, while the all-wheel drive xDrive25d gets an eight-speed automatic. 


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