BMW X2 sDrive M 2.0i

Sport X

BMW X2, front action
BMW X2, front action 2
BMW X2, full front action
BMW X2, front static
BMW X2, rear action 2
BMW X2, front seats
BMW X2, dashboard
BMW X2, rear static
BMW X2, rear seats

JUST how practical do you want your new SUV to be?

You know; how spacious for people and stuff, how good at tackling a rough road when you head for that remote holiday cottage?

If your short list is topped by the search for a smallish BMW (and absolutely why not?) it is the X1 that will capture your attention.

Rugged looking and every centimetre the sporty activity vehicle its designers intended, it would serve you well. Except⦠you might be among those car buyers who fancy something between the X1's functional appeal and.. a sporty coupe.

A hard nut for the designers to crack but that is precisely where the X2 sits.

Using the same underpinnings as the X1 (and MINICountryman, for that matter) and with front and rear wheels the same distance apart, the body is the same width as its kissing cousin but a touch shorter and lower. Throw in a radiator grille wider at the bottom than the top and the car ends up decidedly more sportif.

Hardly any less practical, though, with a big boot and plenty of space inside for four, or five at a bit of a push, although visibility through the rear screen is reduced a little, a small price to pay for those mildly coupe lines.

Facing the driver is a dashboard of typically BMW driver oriented purpose; the very model of clarity. Tick the box for head up display (part of a £1,260 tech pack) and essentials like speed, speed limit and navigation instructions are presented fighter pilot-style in line of sight in the windscreen.

Make your car an M Sport X version and the sporty theme can continue to the colour of the leather you choose to sit on. Take magma red and you may need sunglasses but it makes a ritzy change from the near inevitable black on black of a German car today.

Pulling everything along is a well behaved 2.0-litre petrol engine that is all but inaudible at speed, recorded 40.4mpg on test and was ready to go into action with all its 189 horses at the prod of a smooth seven-speed automatic transmission.

More surprising on the smoothness front is the way this car's optional 20in alloy wheels and runflat tyres - both once an inevitable road to rougher riding - combine to offer firm control that comfortably fends off the worst a British road can throw at if.

You won't want to venture too far off the beaten track in your petrol powered X2 as it is front wheel drive only. To gain the whole 4x4 thing at the moment you need a diesel up ahead, adding £2,530 to the price of the already bells-and-whistles petrol version tested here.

It lacks for little, with piercing LED headlights, heated sports front seats, lovely leather everywhere, 19in alloys, roof rails and theatrically impressive interior lighting to set it apart at the top of the X2 tree.

FAST FACTS

BMW X2 sDrive M 2.0i Sport X

Price: £35,840

Mechanical: 189bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 141mph

0-62mph: 7.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 47.1

Insurance Group: 32

C02 emissions: 134g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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