Can a Redesigned, Coupe-Like BMW X2 Outsell Its Predecessor?

Jackson Wheeler
9 Min Read


  • BMW is taking its somewhat awkward X2 “Sports Activity Coupe” and making it a star with new design, fresh interior packages, and better performance.
  • With as much as 312 hp, the 2024 BMW X2 is completely new, with re-engineered front-end suspension, engine internals, and traction control system.
  • New interior technologies including BMW Operating System 9 paired with iDrive, standardized ADAS, and even animal-free perforated seat fabric.

Finding out what is really underneath your desired crossover is often a toss-up, as manufacturers continue to grow cross-platform model connections. Naturally, this helps companies like BMW save a buck and consumers are rarely none the wiser, especially if the chassis is cloaked in a molded, striking package of metal and plastics.

However, if its looks are just a little off, consumers start to ask questions. Namely, what exactly is this thing? In the case of the BMW X2, it’s Bavaria’s attempt at squeezing another crossover out of the UKL2 architecture.

Joining the BMW X1 and Mini Countryman, the BMW X2 has been known as the slightly awkward cousin of the two popular crossovers.

But this latest X2 represents a new approach to the compact crossover segment after BMW launched the first X2 in 2017, when it was actually smaller than the X1 at the time.

The previous X2 was no runaway success in the US, so it quietly went away while the plant in Germany tooled up for the new X2.

For 2024, the BMW X2 has increased in size, but its looks will be open for debate once again. The new model is 7.6 inches longer and 72.6 inches wide, and has a wheelbase of 106.0 inches. That’s 2.6 inches longer than the current BMW X1, and 2.5 inches taller. All told BMW says it’s enough room for five adults and 25.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

However, the X2 is supposed to be the more elegant, coupe-like model within BMW’s entry-level crossover lineup.

In fact, BMW calls it a Sports Activity Coupe with a sloping roofline as opposed to the more conventional SUV shape of the X1, which is marketed as a Sports Activity Vehicle, for whatever that’s worth. Either way, both versions (the X2 xDrive28 and X2 M35i xDrive) share a sibling look.

Visually, the X2 receives model-specific headlights, a new design taillight section, and an optional illuminated BMW kidney grille. Visually, the X2 is reminiscent of previous generations of X4 and X6—but smaller—with some modern LED lighting, of course. It’s muscular, like other BMW crossovers, but in a bite-sized package.

This small but powerful ethos carries over to the driving characteristics of the BMW X2. Powered by a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine across both trims, the X2 sports modern twin-scroll turbo technology as well as a new dual (direct and port) fuel injection system and a revised combustion chamber geometry.

That’s good for 241 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque in the X2 xDrive28i and 312 hp plus 295 lb-ft of torque in the X2 M35i xDrive, thanks to a stronger crankshaft and Vanos as well as Valvetronic variable camshaft timing in the M-variety engine. Sprinting to 60 mph takes 5.2 seconds in the M35i xDrive, though the slower variant hits 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

2024 bmw x2View Full Gallery

The new BMW X2 comes standard with LED twin headlights for low and high beam.

BMW

Both models feed power to the wheels through a 7-speed double-clutch transmission and benefit from BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

A mechanical limited-slip differential is built into the transmission and helps maintain traction at the front wheels, while xDrive allows for a fully variable distribution of power between the front and rear wheels.

2024 bmw x2View Full Gallery

High-performance tires are available with the optional Adaptive M Suspension.

BMW

BMW says its engineers spent a lot of time working on the X2’s front end. Every component of the single-joint spring strut axle was redesigned, and the caster offset has been increased by 15% over the previous model. The rear suspension setup remains a three-link rear axle setup with high preload anti-roll bars and new wheel bearings.

Comfort is just as important as handling for the X2. BMW lengthened the dampers and added extra lift-related damping to provide a pillowy feel during long highway drives. Adaptive M suspension is available as well, adding active valve dampers on the rebound side and a sport steering system with a more direct rack.

Another significant first for the X2 is the addition of near-actuator wheel slip limitation through the car’s stability control system. Specifically, traction control is integrated into the engine management system, meaning it can respond to slipping wheels 10 times faster than conventional traction control systems.

Braking on the X2 xDrive28i uses single-piston floating-caliper discs front and rear. The X2 M35i xDrive comes standard with four-piston, fixed-caliper M Sport disc brakes at the front, in part due to its larger 20-inch standard wheel size. Standard are 19 or 20-inch wheels on the X2 xDrive28i, as are 245-mm section tires.

2024 bmw x2View Full Gallery

Knee room in the second row has been expanded by a full inch, BMW says.

BMW

BMW says it tried to improve the driving experience by raising the driver’s seating position to offer a commanding view of the road ahead.

The X2 is heavier for 2024 than the preceding models (3803 pounds now versus 3567 then), though its material construction increased rigidity. The longer wheelbase and significantly wider track likely shouldn’t hurt its planted handling either.

The X2’s cabin is run-of-the-mill for modern BMWs, which is largely a good thing. Animal-free perforated Veganza seats, BMW’s iDrive9 central controller, plus the well-known split screen 10.25-inch information display and a 10.7-inch control display are all standard. Forward collision mitigation and active blind-spot detection are now standard, too.

BMW sold 380,000 copies of the first X2 worldwide, but few of those were delivered in the US. After an opening year of 16,154 units sold here, the X2 continued a downward sales trend in the States in following years.

But BMW might be able to turn that around with the new X2, at the very least with its aggressively modern styling. The 2024 BMW X2 is set to debut at the Japan Mobility Show later this month, and US customers can expect units by March 2024.

Produced at BMW Group Plant Regensburg in southern Germany, the company has yet to announce pricing for either trim level.

Do you think the BMW X2 styling is an improvement? Is it heading the right way in the grand scope of BMW design? Please share your thoughts below.

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Associate Editor

A New York transplant hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Emmet White has a passion for anything that goes: cars, bicycles, planes, and motorcycles. After learning to ride at 17, Emmet worked in the motorcycle industry before joining Autoweek in 2022. The woes of alternate side parking have kept his fleet moderate, with a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI and a 2003 Honda Nighthawk 750 street parked in his South Brooklyn community.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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