The 2024 BMW X2 may be a coupe crossover, but BMW would prefer if you didn’t call it that. Mind you, I’m not sure that the alternative is an improvement. See, BMW calls this small, swept-roof crossover a SAC (short for Sports Activity Coupe), and aside from a lack of wrinkles, the X2 fits that description perfectly. In essence, it’s a less practical X1, which means it rides on BMW’s UKL2 front-wheel-drive platform, and it’s aiming straight at image-conscious buyers who can’t even come close to swinging the payments on an X6, or even an X4. So, is this SAC a convincing alternative? Let’s take a quick look and see what’s what.
Ever since the first one, SACs haven’t been pretty things to look at, but the new X2 is better than most. The profile is mostly fine, with a sharp roofline kink aft of the rear doors that should preserve headroom while giving shoppers the silhouette they want. However, the not-quite-round wheel arches are mildly irksome, and the front and rear fascias need some work. From either end, the X2 is lumpy, unnecessarily aggro, and full of flourishes seemingly made by recent ArtCenter graduates with more hard skills than vision. Still, it appears less stunted than its X4 bigger brother, and it doesn’t look a bionic rhinoceros quite like the Mercedes coupe crossovers. The downside to all of this? I think the $24,395 Buick Envista does the coupe crossover styling thing better.
Sure, the South Korea-built Envista may have a tiny little 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, but for a car that tops out at $32,050 with every conceivable factory-installed option equipped, its styling sure punches above its price class. From the sleek front end to the intriguing flank surfacing, this is a more interesting car to look at than the BMW, and it doesn’t cost a mint.
Powering the BMW X2 xDrive28i is a two-liter turbocharged Miller cycle four-cylinder engine cranking out 241 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, this motor generates perfectly adequate thrust for a compact SAC, enabling a claimed zero-to-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds. Should you wish for more from your SAC, there’s also the 312-horsepower X2 M35i xDrive, sporting a beefed up two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a claimed zero-to-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds. None of that is massively interesting stuff, but the seven-speed DCT does feature a limited-slip front differential, which should help X2 owners maintain control of their SACs in slippery conditions.
Inside the 2024 BMW X2, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this SAC is lined with leathery stuff. It looks like a rather nice, if corporate, cabin that eschews the traditional iDrive knob in favor of iDrive 9’s touch-driven interface. Other neat touches include available aluminum speaker grilles, ambient lighting, a wireless phone charger the size of a rotisserie chicken, and a nifty floating armrest. That’s a lot of stuff to pack into such a small SAC, although it is nigh-on identical to the type of kit you get in a BMW X1.
So far, so decent enough for half the customers at Equinox. However, there’s an elephant in the room named purpose we need to address. See, coupe crossovers are always a compromise, hacking away at a useful utility vehicle to end up with the usable cargo space of a sedan without the handling of a sedan. Some might make the argument about ride quality, but if you steer clear of the M Sport package on the current 3 Series, it’s a properly comfortable vehicle. Instead, coupe crossovers are vanity vehicles, and while vanity vehicles can work as flagrant displays of wealth, an entry-level crossover coupe feels a bit like buying the cheapest item Gucci offers.
The 2024 BMW X2 is expected to go on sale in March for an undisclosed price, and if you already have your heart set on one, feel free to buy one. However, if you’re open to options, my advice on any subcompact luxury crossover on a front-wheel-drive platform is the same: Save your money and just buy something from a normal brand. Regular cars have grown so refined that one could buy a loaded Mazda CX-30 or a well-specced Hyundai Tucson and still end up with a lovely, refined vehicle at a far cheaper price. That’s not exactly keeping up with the Joneses, but if you’re not gaining a longitudinal architecture, the fabulous ZF 8HP automatic transmission, or the gorgeous proportions of a long dash-to-axle ratio, it probably isn’t worth paying a premium for some textiles and a badge.
(Photo credits: BMW, Buick)
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