M Performance cars now come in all shapes and sizes

by Petrol Mum

When BMW released the E46 M3 Coupe back in 2002 we were given one of the greatest ///M cars of all time. This special car did the 0-100km/hr sprint in 4.9 seconds and in 2002 that was considered quick. Fast forward 17 years and there is a M Performance model of basically every car on BMW’s books including now the X2 M35i, which covers the 0-100km/h sprint in the same time as the E46 M3!

The X2 has a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 225kW of power and 450Nm of torque and it offers plenty of oomph. In Sport mode there is a nice bark when you upshift aggressively through the 8-speed sport automatic gearbox. The official combined fuel consumption is 7.4L/100km and for my week I used 9.0L/100km, which is less than a similar powered Jaguar E-PACE I have previously driven.

The ride of the sporty X2 is harsh even in Comfort mode and is only pleasant when you are driving on smooth roads. I know that this is the performance version of the X2, but Comfort mode in any car should be comfortable on the majority of roads and Sport mode should be kept for the stiffer ride.

BMWs are known for nicely weighted steering and the X2 is no exception. The steering wheel is the right thickness and covered with smooth leather. The voice control works well and can be used to set your sat nav destination, but the assistant in the X2 struggled with my Australian accent, which hasn’t happened in any of the other BMWs I have driven recently.

The M Sport seats with integrated headrests are also up to the BMW standard and my X2 was fitted with seats covered in ‘Trigon’ Alcantara black. These were comfortable and looked and felt beautiful, but if you had young children and let them eat in the car then I would imagine that rubbed in food would be hard to clean out of them. The front seats are heated and have power adjustment including two-way lumbar support and side bolster support, and two memory positions.

The X2 has the older version of the BMW multimedia system, but it still works very well. BMW ConnectedDrive gives you one year’s subscription to Real Time Traffic Information and a three year subscription to map updates and Apple CarPlay. After this you will need to pay $179 for 12 months, $479 for 36 months, and $639 for an unlimited-term plan for Apple CarPlay. The X2 also comes with a 360W Harman Kardon sound system with 12 speakers

I liked the look and feel of the Aluminium Hexagon Anthracite trim that ran across the dash and the top of the doors. At the front of the centre console there is one USB port and one 12V outlet, along with an area to store your phone. Under the arm rest is a good sized storage cubby and one mini USB port and my X2 also had the optional ($200) wireless phone charging for compatible devices.

In the back there is enough leg room for adults, but not a great deal of head room and if you are on the tall side you will need to remember to duck your head down when getting in. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but the width of the X2 would mean you would only fit two seats in the back.

This allows you to fold down the central seat to reveal an armrest with smallish cup holders. There is also additional drink bottle storage in the door cubbies. The rear passengers get air speed control only and two mini USB ports in the back of the front centre console. My X2 had the optional sunroof ($2,457), which gave the feeling of more space in the back.

The rear seats have a 40/20/40 split folding mechanism allowing you to customise for your storage needs. The boot is a similar size to the Jaguar E-PACE using my weekly shop as a guide, but the X2 also has additional storage under the boot floor and a 12V outlet. The X2 does have contactless open tailgate operation, but I couldn’t work out how to use it.

There was one thing that annoyed me greatly about the X2, it bonged to tell me to put on my seat belt as soon as I got in the car. It’s like your partner walking through the door and nagging you immediately before you’ve even had a chance to say ‘hello’!

The top of the range X2 lacks driver aids considering the price point of this SUV. It comes with active cruise control, lane departure warning, collision warning, pedestrian alert with emergency braking, high-beam assist and a standard rear view camera with front and rear parking sensors only. You don’t get lane keep assist, blind spot assist or a 360o view camera.

All BMW X2 model variants have a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. The ANCAP safety rating for the X2 is based on testing of the BMW X1 released in October 2015 as the BMW X2 shares a platform and the majority of its structure with the BMW X1. The X2 has dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting airbags. ANCAP also now includes a rating for Child Occupant Protection and the X2 scores 43.0 out of 49 or 87%.

All new BMWs come with a three year unlimited kilometre warranty with BMW Roadside assistance. You can opt in to the BMW Service Inclusive package, which covers your scheduled servicing costs for a specified duration or distance (whichever comes first) for a single, once-off advance payment. This is available for up to ten years and 200,000km and for a 5 year/80,000km package the price starts at $1,395 for X1 and X2 BMWs.

The BMW X2 M35i starts at $68,900 excluding on-road costs and as tested my X2 was $72,467 plus on-roads. It’s a classy and fast small SUV, but that performance has come at the cost of ride comfort. Visit your preferred BMW Dealer to check out the X2 for yourself.

Pros Cons
It’s quick for a SUV The ride in Comfort mode is too harsh
Really nice interior trim A nagging ‘bong’ as soon as you get in the X2
Thoughtful storage solutions For $70k I would expect full suite of driver safety aids

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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