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X Marks the Spot: 2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i Test Drive

Pick a number, one through six. No matter which one you choose, BMW offers a Sports Activity Vehicle that corresponds to it. The first was the X5 of the late 1990s. It blended BMW’s signature sporty driving dynamics with a larger, roomier body that had more ground clearance than a BMW sedan.

Then came the smaller X3. An even smaller X1 eventually debuted. BMW decided to make its SAVs even sportier by introducing coupe-like models such as the X6 and X4, and M performance versions of the X5 and X6.

Now comes the newest X model: the 2018 X2. It’s available with turbocharged four-cylinder power routed through front- (sDrive in BMW speak) or all-wheel drive (xDrive) and blends the lines of a coupe with the space of a small crossover.

BMW picked a number for us and sent us a 2018 X2 xDrive28i to drive for a week. We put more than 600 miles on it, which included taking it from Austin to Denton, Texas – to attend the Texas Auto Writers Association’s 2018 Texas Auto Roundup — and back.

BMW X2

2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i Exterior

Take a look at the front end of the X2. You won’t just see a grille. You’ll see history being made. The X2 marks the first time BMW has made a grille whose signature twin kidneys are wider on the bottom than they are on the top. Those sit in between standard LED headlights with cornering lights and LED fog lights.

The X2’s greenhouse terminates in the hallmark BMW Hofmeister kink. That points toward a BMW roundel, a design touch reminiscent of the shapely 2000 CS and 3.0 CSL coupes from the automaker’s past.

LED tail lights draw the eye toward another BMW badge in the middle of the power liftgate. Below that is the rear bumper valance punctuated with a pair of 3.5-inch exhaust finishers that give the X2 a sporty appearance.

Our X2 was dressed in optional Sunset Orange Metallic paint and the available M Sport X Package. On the outside of the X2, that bundle of appearance upgrades added aggressive front air inlets, eye-catching Frozen Grey accents all around, dark Shadowline trim around the windows, and 19-inch M wheels that looked as if they were pieces of industrial art. An optional M rear spoiler completed the sporty look. In a world that seems to be full of crossovers, the X2 managed to stand out in a good way.

BMW X2

2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i Interior

Getting comfortable in the X2 was not a problem. Given how much driving we ended up doing, we’re especially grateful for that. The front seats adjusted 10 ways and featured slide-out thigh cushions, which made the Sensatec Oyster seats an even better fit. The white-on-black gauges were easy to read; the head-up display above them made knowing our speed even simpler and faster. Room in the second row was adequate for this 5’10” writer. The 21.6 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the back seats was more than capable of fitting a suitcase, briefcase, bag full of automobile manufacturer swag, and tote, garment, and camera bags. With the second row folded flat, the X2 could swallow 50.1 cubic feet of luggage and gear. Ride quality from the optional M sport suspension was satisfyingly supple. Wind noise was pleasantly low.

The M Sport X Package added a universal garage door opener, keyless entry, SiriusXM satellite radio, hexagonal trim, sport seats, an M three-spoke steering wheel, and a panoramic moonroof to the inside of the X2. Thanks to the Premium Package, we had such luxuries as heated front seats, a head-up display, and navigation with a touchpad controller. Other options included wireless device charging capability, a Harmon Kardon premium audio system, and Apple CarPlay. That last feature was especially useful during the long trip back from the Texas Auto Roundup, where we voted on which vehicles should be named the Family Car of Texas and Car of Texas; we just pulled up a popular podcast and listened to it all the way home. The soft glow of ambient lighting was a soothing sight as we drove through unfamiliar small towns under the ceiling of stars that glowed through the full-length moonroof.

BMW X2

2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i Performance

Contrary to what its name might imply, the X2 xDrive28i is not powered by a 2.8-liter engine. Instead, it uses a turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic with a sport mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters made gear changes quickly and seamlessly. Combined with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive, the 2.0 provided brisk acceleration, particularly when we switched the Driving Dynamics Control from its Eco Pro or Comfort mode to its Sport setting. Doing that also made the steering feel a little firmer – perfect for shooting down winding country roads. However, we spent the majority of our time in the X2 driving it in Comfort mode, which was a nice balance of pleasant ride quality and power.

According to the EPA, the X2 xDrive28i is capable of achieving 21 city, 31 highway, and 25 combined mpg.** Near the end of our week with the X2, we averaged 25.5 mpg.

BMW X2

2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i Safety

In stock form, the X2 xDrive28i is equipped with a comprehensive array of airbags, stability control, Brake Drying, Brake Stand-by, Brake Fade Compensation, and Start-off Assistant. Our press loaner featured the front and rear parking sensors of the optional Park Distance Control system and the optional Driving Assistance Package, which contained automatic high beams, Lane Departure Warning, and Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation.

BMW X2

2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i Overall

Prices for the 2018 BMW X2 start at $36,400.* Our loaded xDrive28i media special had an as-tested price of $50,920. If you want an X2 of your own, go to an AutoNation BMW dealership. You won’t have to pick a number. You’ll just have to pick the X2 you want to drive home.

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

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