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BMW X2 review: Getting cross eyed
CROSSOVERS are super popular these days, so much so that we're getting a bit sick of writing about them.
The draws of a higher seating position and eye-catching, off-road-inspired designs come with negatives, such as a higher centre of gravity, more weight and less visibility, which all translate into far less fun for the nut holding the steering wheel.
Thankfully, there's a breath of fresh air in the form of the BMW X2, which is being launched in Singapore on March 23.
It's the smallest and newest member of BMW's coupe-like Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) range - there's the X4 and X6 above it in the family hierarchy, while the 'regular' SUVs, the X1, X3 and X5, are a parallel range of boxier, more practical cars.
Put the words 'BMW' and 'coupe' together and there will always be high expectations. The X2 lives up to them in the way it bolts excitedly from corner to corner, egging a driver on in the same way a hot hatchback would.
Its engine isn't short of gusto either. With 192 horsepower on tap from a 2.0-litre turbo engine, it has a joyful, eager power delivery and an upbeat soundtrack to match.
It's also dressed like a coupe. The lower stance, shapelier rear end and eye-searing 'Galvanic Golf' metallic yellow paint means it'll never be confused for its brother, the closely-related BMW X1.
The interior, with its contrast stitching, sport seats and adjustable mood lighting, is also finished to a higher level. It has only a little less boot space than the X1, and still fits five adults in relative comfort.
On the minus side, it's not particularly quiet or composed over bumps since the large 20-inch wheels add noise. There's also some wind roar at higher speed, but these are foibles seen in normal crossovers, too.
The other major drawback is that it's not exactly cheap, with a price tag of S$193,888 (with Certificate Of Entitlement). If that's too rich for your blood, less expensive variants with less equipment are due here, while a 1.5-litre version will also be launched in the near future.
Money aside, the fact that the X2 is alone in being fun to drive within the segment of small, stylish crossovers says as much about the car itself than it does the segment as a whole. If you're going to get cross, you might as well have fun doing it.
BMW X2 sDRIVE20i
Engine 1,998cc, inline 4, turbocharged
Power 192hp at 5000-6000rpm
Torque 280Nm at 1350-4600rpm
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Top Speed 225km/h
0-100km/h 7.7 seconds
Fuel efficiency 5.9l/100km
Price S$193,888 with COE
Agent Performance Motors