HAS BMW’s new baby SUV got the X factor? The German car maker has revealed the new X2, its smallest SUV to date, as it seeks to grab a greater share of drivers of the most popular type of car in decades.
Increasingly, drivers are turning their backs on ordinary family hatchbacks and saloons and switching to the new breed of affordable, compact SUVs and crossovers.
Based on the same platform as the BMW X1, the X2 is lower and shorter and slots between it and the larger X3 and will take on competitors such as the Land Rover Evoque. It goes on sale next month, and costs from £33,980. More affordable versions will be introduced later.
The new model looks like a cross between a hatchback and an SUV. It is claimed to offer family car levels of practicality, with seating for five and a 470-litre boot.
The range will initially start with a four-wheel drive diesel model, the 187bhp xDrive20d SE. Capable of achieving up to 61mpg, and with CO2 emissions of 121g/km, it is expected to be the best-selling version of all diesel and petrol models. However, the company has not confirmed whether a plug-in hybrid model will be offered.
There will also be a two-wheel-drive, petrol-engined sDrive20i, and a pair of four-wheel-drive diesels, the xDrive20d and xDrive25d. The sDrive20i has 228bhp, and comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. It covers 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds, and emits from 126g/km of CO2.
The diesels models use an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The xDrive25d produces 228bhp and emits from 133g/km.
Early next year, more affordable X2 models will be added to the line up. A pair of petrols will include a 138bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder sDrive18i, which is front-wheel drive, and a four-wheel-drive xDrive20i with 189bhp. A front-wheel drive, 148bhp sDrive18d and four-wheel drive xDrive18d will also go on sale next year.
BMW will offer the choice of three trim levels on the X2 range – SE, Sport, M Sport and M Sport X. The latter command a £3,550 and £4,350 premium respectively over SE versions.
As standard, the SE trim level features sat-nav, dual-zone climate control and a power tailgate, while Sport adds sports seats and LED lights. M Sport variants get larger wheels and body-coloured side skirts, and M Sport X versions have styling modifications to give the car a ‘rough n tough’ appearance.