2019 BMW X2 M35i Review By Larry Nutson
2019 BMW X2 M35i
By Larry Nutson
Executive Producer and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
BMW’s X-series vehicle lineup, now ranging from X1 to X7, uses odd number designations for utility and even numbers for sport.
I drove the 2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i last year and found it very appealing. Although positioned within BMW’s range of sport activity vehicles the X2 is very much a car. BMW refers to it as a sports activity coupe.
The X2 rides on the same architecture as the X1 but is 3.2 inches shorter and 2.8 inches wider. The X2’s coupe-like proportions give it a sporty look and its overall dimensions make it very urban friendly. The four doors open up to seats for five and under the rear hatch is a trunk the holds 21.6 cu.ft. The rear seats fold to increase cargo room to 50.1 cu.ft.
This time around I drove the 2019 X2 M35i, the performance variant in the X2 lineup. On sale since spring, the X2 M35i is priced at $46,450. In the usual BMW fashion a number of equipment packages are offered that drive the price up.
My Alpine White drive-evaluation M35i’s most striking feature was its optional ($1,450) Magma Red Dakota leather interior. I liked it. However, I only lived with this car for a week. It might just be that over time this “wake up right now” interior would wear on me. This interior color is offered only with the $500 M sport front seats. I probably would choose to stay with the standard sport seats with SensaTec interior in the Oyster and Black combo.
Also equipped on my X2 driver was the Premium Package ($1,800), 20-inch wheels ($600), moonroof ($1,350), adaptive cruise control with stop and go ($1,000), and the harmon/kardon premium sound system ($875). All total this pushed the bottom line to $55,020 including the $995 destination charge.
The 20-inch wheel option brings with it 225/40R20 performance tires. These are great if your looking for the maximum in handling performance. And of course, they look good too. However my choice would be to stay with the 19-inch wheels and their 225/45R19 all-season tires. This will provide better ride comfort, reduced risk of pothole tire or wheel damage, and good usability in winter.
The X2 M35i comes standard with a range of “M” equipment which include sport brakes, sport steering, sport suspension, and sport steering wheel. In keeping with all things sporty, the M35i is only available with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system I think of the X2 as a car…a 5-door hatchback… with a slightly raised ride height. The M Sport suspension lowers ride height by 10mm/0.4 inch for better looks as well as better handling.
Under the hood is BMW’s 302-horsepower twin-turbo 2.0-liter I-4 engine which is coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission that includes launch control. For the first time ever, a front axle M Sport Differential makes its appearance and features Torsen-based limited slip capabilities with up to a 39% lock-up.
The power-dense engine delivers plenty of performance. BMW says zero to 60 mph comes in 4.9 seconds. I had lots of fun. The M35i is quick, responsive, pushes you back in the seat, and entertains you at each upshift with a nice exhaust-pop from the twin-tailpipe M sport exhaust system. Shift paddles make for even more fun and driving engagement.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 25 mpg combined with 23 city mpg and 29 highway mpg.
The M sports steering features a quicker ratio for a more direct and precise steering feel. The M Sport suspension has stiffer spring and dampers. Overall ride and handling is very comfortable while also nicely compliant for confident driving when pushed hard.
A complete array of advanced driver (ADAS) assistance safety features come standard. Parking Assistant helps the driver to find parallel parking spaces and park the vehicle. I probably wouldn’t have opted for the active cruise control with stop and go because I don’t do daily highway commutes with dense rush hour traffic.
The interior is very much BMW with good looks and high-quality materials. Centered on the dashboard is a 8.8 inch multimedia touch screen above the HVAC vents. BMW's iDrive controller is easy and logical to use. Seating positions are a bit elevated but not so much as in an SUV.
Check out more details and information on the 2018 BMW X2 here at www.bmwusa.com.
For 2020 the BMW X2 navigation system has been upgraded to only use an 8.8” screen and the premium package has had some content revision.
I find the X2 interesting and appealing. The M35i delivers a high level of performance and entertainment. The rear opening hatch makes it very functional and utilitarian. The exterior design is quite car-like. It will be interesting to watch how the X2 establishes itself in the market. Let me suggest we will see more and more crossover SUVs from various brands evolve to be more car-like in overall design.
The 100-year long evolution of the family car continues.
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© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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