2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i new car reviews

Review by Tim Suddard

Motor Trend kicked off their review of the X2 on a rather high note: "The BMW X2 hits the mark perfectly for a Dual-Income No-Kids household. For everyone else, though, it's long on sport and short on utility."

Publisher Tim Suddard recently spent some time with an X2. He was less enthralled:

Ever since it came out 15 years ago, we have loved the BMW X3. It drove well, was built well, looked sharp, and seemed like a truly practical, yet somewhat upscale vehicle that met the needs of nearly anyone who didn’t need seven passenger or serious towing capacity.

And despite pundits lamenting the fact that the X1, introduced in 2013 was Mini-, and not BMW-based, we loved it as well. It had usable carrying capacity, stately BMW looks, all-wheel-drive and best of all, it drove like a MINI.

So, with this set up, we were pretty psyched to drive the new X2. Certainly, this newest offering from BMW would combined what we love about the X1 and X3 right?

Not so much. You see, the X2 is not halfway between and X1 and an X3. It is a more expensive, lower, and sportier version of the X1.

BMW doesn’t miss many, but in our opinion, they have missed it badly with the X2. They obviously feel that there is a market for an overpriced X1 that offers less space and a punishing ride.

We do not.

On the plus side, we liked the Galvanic Gold Metallic paint scheme on our test vehicle. We liked the typically upscale looking and feeling interior as well. We also applaud the efficiency, feel and power delivery of the twin-turbo, 228-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine. We also can appreciate the published zero-to-60 time of 6.3 seconds for this model and can attest that out on the road the X2 is plenty quick enough for a small SUV.

What we don’t like is the base price of $38,400 and as tested price of approximately $50,000 for what is essentially a gussied-up Mini. That seems a bit egregious in our minds.

At $36,950, the base price on the X1 may only be about $1500 less than the X2, but we don’t really care for the looks and the lack of space, the lower roofline provides. Perhaps more importantly, in a competitive market place, every $1500 counts, or at least should count, in consumer’s minds.

At this point, $1500 might not be the end of the world for many and styling is subjective. Our real complaint with the X2 is the punishing ride quality. We have race cars that ride nicer than the new X2.

And yes, we were in the Northeast and the roads are bad there, but we have read other reviews on this model, and this complaint was often seen. A new BMW should have a firm ride and great handling, but no one wants to be punished. After a week in the X2, we were ready to be done.

So, as a review of the X1 or the X3, call this one five stars or two thumbs up. As for the X2, in our opinion BMW missed it by a mile.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more articles.
View comments on the GRM forums
M2Pilot Dork
2/13/19 8:21 p.m.

I had an X2 for a loaner a couple of months ago. It was OK but I don't think I'd buy one. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/13/19 8:24 p.m.

I had an X1 on loan for a couple of weeks. The suspension was both harsh and floaty, which is a really difficult trick to pull off. It was a fundamentally terrible vehicle with a lot of pretty tech pasted on top. 

02Pilot SuperDork
2/13/19 8:49 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I had an X1 on loan for a couple of weeks. The suspension was both harsh and floaty, which is a really difficult trick to pull off. It was a fundamentally terrible vehicle with a lot of pretty tech pasted on top. 

I had an X1 as a loaner when my 128i was getting a recall taken care of at the dealer. I agree entirely with your assessment. As a long-time BMW owner, it provoked a disturbing realization of just how far the Bavarians have strayed from the One True Path. It made me sad.

yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/13/19 9:43 p.m.

That color though! 

rothwem New Reader
2/14/19 7:18 a.m.

The 2013 X1 was just an E91 with a slightly taller body.  It didn't get turned into a transverse engined Mini until 2016.  And just FYI, 2013-2015 X1s were available with the 300 Hp N55, which basically makes it the last inline 6 BMW wagon available in the states.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/14/19 10:23 a.m.

The X1 I drove would have been a 2016 or 17 model. I lost respect for both MINI and BMW due to that car. Big props to Schomp BMW for taking care of me with the loaner, but thumbs down for the vehicle engineers and beancounters on that one.

2/15/19 11:53 p.m.

In reply to rothwem :

The first gen X1 is quite a good all-rounder.  As said above, it is based on the 3 series wagon.  Mine has the N55 and I use it as my daily driver which provides great utility.  I also enjoy its stealth performance attributes on BMW club drives, where I inevitably receive comments along the lines of  "I kept looking in my mirror and saying that can't be an SUV staying with my (Z4, 335i, M3, 650, etc.).  Or, "how can that SUV pull away like that?" It's good fun I must say.

Our Preferred Partners