2024 BMW iX2 and X2 Review

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OVERVIEW

The second-generation BMW X2 includes EV models badged as iX2 for the first time, bringing some all-electric sass to the compact SUV that provides a sharper-looking alternative to the iX1 with which it shares fundamentals.

 

Entry to the range kicks off with the petrol-powered X2 xDrive20i, which is priced from $75,900 plus on-road costs and is powered by a 150kW/300Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine driving through a seven-speed twin-clutch auto.

 

It’s a sizeable price premium over the X1 with which it shares underpinnings and many major components.

 

The X1 starts at $60,400 plus on-road costs, which is at a similar level to key competitors, including the Audi Q3 Sportback, Lexus UX and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

 

But a big part of the sales pitch with the X2 and iX2 is the looks which stand out from mere SUVs with a coupe-inspired roofline that does away with roof rails to ram home its sportiness, plus there’s an illuminated grille surround that looks cool in low light.

 

Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels and the M Sport styling kit. There’s also Veganza fake leather trim, head-up display, heated front seats, power adjustable front seats, adaptive dampers, smart key entry, powered tailgate, 360-degree camera, dual-zone ventilation and a head-up display.

 

A 10.3-inch curved instrument cluster is fitted and a 10.7-inch central infotainment screen incorporating the latest OS9 software which is now run by Android Automotive. Smartphone connectivity continues as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and there’s an app that allows remote connectivity to the car.

 

At the other end of the scale is the flagship X2 M35i ($92,900 plus on-roads) that gets a more powerful 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine (233kW/400Nm) and 20-inch alloy wheels while also picking up addition gear including 21-inch wheels, real leather trim, lumbar support, massaging driver’s seat, bigger brakes, panoramic sunroof and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

 

Between those two petrol models is a pair of iX2 EVs.

 

The single motor eDrive20 arrives mid-year priced from $82,900 plus on-roads with drive to the front wheels. It makes 150kW and 250Nm giving the iX2 about 445km of WLTP range (the figure is yet to be finalised).

 

Its specification broadly mimics the xDrive20, missing out on powered and heated front seats, blind spot warning and lane keep assistance.

 

The dual motor xDrive30 ($85,700 plus on-roads) picks up a second electric motor to create all-wheel drive and pushes outputs to 230kW and 494Nm combined while utilising the same 64.8kWh battery that sees the WLTP range drop to 395km.

 

However, the xDrive30 picks up additional equipment its single motor sibling misses out on.

Both iX2 variants get tyre pressure sensors, two charging cables (one to plug into a regular powerpoint, the other a type 2 to type 2 cable) and a 12-month subscription to the Chargefox network.

 

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

 

There’s a broad spread of driving flavours across the X2 and iX2 ranges.

 

The most familiar is the X2 xDrive20.

 

Its 2.0-litre engine provides mid-rev meat where it’s useful and ensures steady progress, albeit with more of a getting-the-job-done demeanour rather than anything fiery.

 

There’s the occasional hesitation from the twin-clutch auto on initial take-offs, but underway it’s slick and responsive.

 

The M35i steps things up with 0-100km/h acceleration in 5.4 seconds.

 

There’s some hot hatch flair to the way it accelerates and it’s backed up by a beefier exhaust sound in keeping with its added spice.

 

In the standard drive mode there’s more bass but the rawness and burbles are amplified once you dial up Sport.

 

Hold the left-hand shift paddle for a second and it activates a Boost mode that provides 10 seconds of sharper throttle response along with a mild torque boost (Boost mode is available across all variants).

 

A more focused Sport drive mode also adds weight to the steering for some added dynamic nous of which there is plenty.

 

There’s no hiding the weight, though, with the M35i tipping the scales at nearly two tonnes.

 

Combined with the higher ride height of the X2 body and despite its straight line pace there’s not the hot hatch solidity through bends.

 

Still, the two all-wheel drive X2s are well behaved through curves with a tendency to lean on their nose if you dial up the pace.

 

It’s predictable and there’s respectable grip to make slicing through the corners enjoyable.

So it’s a tick of the box for athleticism with a caveat or two.

 

The X2 also does a decent job of dealing with lumps and jiggles.

 

There are subtle adjustments to the ride quality in Sport mode but even with the dampers in their firmest setting it’s still towards the comfort side of the ledger.

 

That steps up a notch in the all-electric iX2 xDrive30 (we didn’t get to drive the front-drive eDrive20 because they’re arriving a few months later).

 

It’s even heavier than the others at almost 2.1 tonnes, so maybe those extra kilos help tame the ride a tad, although it was also on the smallest diameter 19-inch wheels that provide a fraction more air between rim and road. Either way, it felt more composed.

 

There’s no shortage of thrust either, with the dual motors providing near immediacy to any prod of the throttle and a lovely surge that works well at suburban speeds or on the open road.

 

And while its 0-100km/h falls just short of the M35i – at 5.6 seconds – in many instances the BEV  feels quicker in part because of the superior throttle response of the electric motors.

 

The iX2 also maintains the fun cornering manners to make for an enjoyable all-rounder.

 

A range of 395km means it’s not terrific on road trips but it has the ability to charge from 10-80 per cent in as little as 29 minutes. Home wallbox charging can be done at up to 22kW for a full charge in three hours and 45 minutes. The more common 7.4kW single-phase wallboxes take more like 10 hours.

 

Inside, the X2 and iX2 are identical, save for the space beneath the boot floor.

 

In the iX2 about half of the underfloor space is swallowed by an electric motor, although the remaining space is still perfect for stashing charging cables.

 

With a 40/20/40 folding back seat and up to 560 litres of space (525L for the iX2) the X2 has more luggage capacity than its X1 sibling.

 

But don’t go getting too excited; being a small SUV limits its usefulness for families.

 

The back seat is where the compromises are most obvious, with tight leg and headroom.

 

There are terrific front seats offering loads of support as well as generous sprawling space.

 

Storage is also good, with sizeable door pockets and dual cup holders in the centre console that also houses the wireless phone charger with a bracket to stop things shifting around.

Attention to detail is top shelf and there are some interesting materials and finishes to ram home the luxury positioning. The split finishes on the dash – with a textured pattern below the stitching line – is one of the highlights.

 

It adds up to a car that requires some emotional appeal to justify the price premium, even if it is backed up with smatterings of substance.

 

That sentiment is aimed more at the petrol-powered models.

 

Once you’re sizing up the iX2 – especially the xDrive30 – it mounts a more convincing value case, especially if you can leverage the fringe benefits tax exemption that can save thousands annually.

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