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2018 BMW X2 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 BMW X2 was new.


Performance: 8.0

The 2018 BMW X2 features a turbocharged engine that rarely feels short on power and delivers good acceleration in highway situations, but don't expect it to blow you away. It also gets good fuel economy estimates for the class. The X2 provides a smooth, carlike ride and composed handling.

  • "Surprisingly, our first time behind the wheel of the BMW X2 was on a racetrack. This seems like an odd place to get one's first experience with a subcompact luxury SUV, but the 2018 BMW X2 puts an emphasis on its handling and performance. So, maybe not so surprisingly, it proved perfectly satisfying. The little BMW SUV boasts sharp steering, good power, and makes the most of its all-wheel-drive setup as it powers out of turns and down straightaways. Yet this doesn't mean it's brutal on the streets. Instead, the new X2 is as comfortable and composed on surface streets as you'd hope." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The X2 is pretty nice to drive, with adequate power and a compliant chassis. But it's no different than what you'll experience behind the wheel of an X1." -- CNET
  • "Acceleration is brisk, the transmission snaps off rapid shifts, the steering is precise and well weighted, and the suspension capably manages roll and body motions. Plus, the xDrive AWD system continually spreads the power around to the wheels with the best grip, transforming the X2 into a tenacious canyon carver." -- New York Daily News

Acceleration and Power

The X2 features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 228 horsepower. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine feels responsive and provides quick acceleration when passing cars on the highway. From a stop, however, it feels a bit more sluggish (BMW claims the X2 will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds with all-wheel drive). Still, there's ample power for most driving situations.

According to EPA estimates, the X2 gets 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those are above-average numbers for the class, though only by a couple mpg.

  • "The engine's 258 lb-ft of torque is available from a very low 1,450 rpm, meaning the X2 feels exceptionally responsive in traffic and when passing." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "0-60 mph is accomplished in a 'yeah' 6.3 or so seconds. Which brings us to our one gripe – the lack of vroom from a dead stop. Once you're rolling, you can pass, change lanes, all that 1,2,3, but from startoff, there is a slight acceleration hesitation, even in 'Sport' mode. You get used to it, however, and the ride is otherwise BMW-smooth, with tight steering and an exceptionally comfortable ride over long journeys." -- Forbes
  • "If there's a downside to how the X2 drives, it was the powertrain. The 228-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is a fine engine there's plenty of passing power and the eight-speed automatic transmission is responsive enough. But the X2's proficiency in other respects left me wanting more power to use them to the fullest." -- Cars.com

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive comes standard with the new-for-2018 X2, and all-wheel drive is available. The X2 lets you choose between three driving modes (Comfort, Eco Pro, and Sport) that alter driving dynamics to suit your taste.

Overall, this BMW won't blow you away with its performance, but it makes a good daily driver. It feels balanced and controlled around turns, and road imperfections are rarely noticeable. The steering feel could be better, however, as little road feedback is transmitted to the driver.

  • "The X2 excels when it comes to dynamics, and not only when compared with the X1. Its handling and ride quality are carlike. … The X2 was impressive on the road and the track, for different reasons. On road, the X2 exhibits great ride quality and comfort, while on track its balance really stands out. For what is ostensibly a crossover, it drives much more like a sedan or wagon, and keeping the car settled was much less of a challenge than I'd expected, especially after hearing how close the ride height is to that of the X1." -- Cars.com
  • "The suspension that feels so adept on the track in Sport mode is perfectly comfortable and accommodating in Comfort on the street." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "My one gripe with the X2's on-road manners is a common trait amongst many BMWs these days: lack of steering feel. Sure, the X2 exhibits quick response to steering inputs, but there's a general sense of numbness through the wheel. Transitioning from Comfort to Sport mode doesn't fix this any, only adding a bit of heft to the overall steering action. BMW used to be known for some of the best through-the-hands feedback of any global automaker. It's not as important in something as mainstream and non-performance-tuned as the X2, but it certainly works to discredit that whole 'Ultimate Driving Machine' tagline. The X2 is fine to drive -- just like the X1 -- but nothing to write home about." -- CNET

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