BMW X2: 2019 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Contender

WE LIKE Stylish, fun to drive

WE DON’T LIKE Harsh ride, steep price tag, no space

For a young, successful professional, a fun, stylish car can be a personal reward and status symbol. The BMW X2 hits the mark perfectly for a Dual-Income No-Kids household. For everyone else, though, it’s long on sport and short on utility.

Our six key criteria are weighted equally, but performance of intended function usually gets the biggest workout. The X2 is clearly and unequivocally focused on looking good and being fun to drive, and even its strengths were points of contention. Christian Seabaugh, Mark Rechtin, Miguel Cortina, and I all compared it to a hot hatch. Stefan Ogbac, though, called it “uninspiring,” Gordon Dickie called it “numb,” and Frank Markus split the difference, writing, “This is probably the fastest car around the winding track, but it’s not as fun as I would expect a BMW to be.”

Both sides agreed the sportiness came at a price. The rear seat is cramped even for a car this size, and the cargo area is tiny. The ride quality was roundly criticized, with Seabaugh calling it “without a doubt the hardest-riding vehicle here.” Outward visibility is terrible, both to the front and rear. And impact harshness—whether over ripples, chops, or potholes—is severe.

Then there’s the question of value. At $39,395 to start for this xDrive all-wheel-drive model and an as-tested price of $50,920, the X2 is already at the top end of the class price-wise, and BMW has just announced a more expensive M35i model.

It’s easy to rationalize a vehicle that does one thing very well at the expense of other basic functions. But many trade-offs (and only one USB port?) make this single-purpose vehicle incapable of advancement.

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