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2018 BMW X2 Review – Long-Term Update 1

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2018 BMW X2 sDrive28i front three quarter 1

Staff photographer Robin Trajano and I have agreed to swap long-term cars. From here on out, Robin will drive the BMW X3 M40i and I will oversee the BMW X2.  Robin wanted more size, power and aggressive noise, and I wanted a smaller footprint, quieter exhaust and better fuel economy.



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Horse-trading sorted, my first order of business is to try to better comprehend what sort of vehicle the X2 really is, and more so, does it serve its purpose of intended function. I’ve been behind the wheel for a few weeks, and still continue contemplating if this is simply BMW’s direct response to the Mercedes GLA or something more? Maybe it’s BMW’s interpretation of Volkswagen’s much-loved GTI? Or perhaps it is a remixed version of BMW’s own rear-drive 1 Series, a hatch that is still in production, but not sold here. Possibly this is just BMW offering a sportier variation of their X1 SUV, one with sharper styling, better driving dynamics, and more curb appeal. I’ll continue contemplating knowing that more time spent with the X2 is certain to reveal the answer.

The second order of business is adapting to the reality of a front-drive BMW, one that shares a platform with various Mini products. That fact aside, it’s apparent that the brand has done a good job at impregnating X2 with BMW DNA inside and out.  Exterior styling is unmistakably BMW (the roundel on the C-pillar is a wink to BMW’s ’70’s era CS coupe), and the interior switchgear, instrument panel dials, and dash layout all look similar to what you’d find in any modern BMW. But, the budget platform origins of the X2 occasionally shine through in the form of small seats that look out of place in a BMW, and a lack of adjustable seatbelt height. Furthermore, the chicken-leg-like, mechanical shifter is strikingly different than the electronic shifter found in most other BMW SUVs and sedans. Though the mechanical stick works just fine, it lacks the luxo-tech premium feel experienced in other BMWs. Also noticeable is the lack of detents in the HVAC system. Temperature selections can only be had in increments of two, something that Mini owners can relate to, but that ultimately is perplexing and annoying when one setting is too warm and the other too cold. On the plus side, anyone familiar with BMWs will be delighted at the seat bottom extenders and the thick, beefy steering wheel, both signature BMW accouterments that help make this this hatch feel like a genuine BMW merchandise.  

Read more about our long-term 2018 BMW X2:



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The radio preset buttons display their programmed channel when you hover a finger on them.

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