Subcompact crossovers are all the rage nowadays. Models like the Ford EcoSport, the Nissan Juke, and the Suzuki Vitara are strong sellers for their respective brands for good reason: They offer motorists the higher ride height and added space of an SUV and the agility and drivability of a sedan.
It’s no wonder, then, that BMW augmented its already sizeable SUV lineup with the X2. It’s bigger than the X1 and smaller than the X3 (duh), but only just so. Proof of that can be found on BMW Philippines’ site, which classifies the X2 as a Sports Activity Coupe alongside the X4 and the X6. But no, its design cues aren’t entirely culled from those models, either.
The coupe moniker doesn’t stem from the number of doors (there are four, for the record), but rather from the slightly sloping roofline in the rear. A strong and straight character line runs along the side, giving a refreshing hard edge to the curves on the rest of the body. Underneath, big 19-inch bi-color alloys fill out the huge wheel wells. Up front, the kidney grille is flanked by big, upswept LED headlamps and complemented by black cladding unique to the M Sport X package. The doors are heavy and close with a resounding thud, as a luxury car’s should. In this gold shade, the X2 looks as stunning as it does athletic, and is certainly a head turner. The M Sport emblems serve as nice add-ons to the overall package.
The stylishness continues inside, where you’re greeted by solid cloth and alcantara seats. The driver’s seat comes with side-bolster adjustment. The dashboard’s layout is subtle but classy, giving you everything you need within reach. I particularly liked the clean instrument panel with its bright white font. The steering wheel, meanwhile, is clad in soft foam and is quite a handful to grip. The ride is comfortable enough for daily driving, but you’ll be reminded every now and then that the car was designed for smoother European roads.
While the infotainment system is chock-full of vehicle and entertainment controls, the latter slightly falters at times. The interface isn’t the most user-friendly one I’ve encountered, and the Bluetooth connection to my phone had a tendency to lag and not reflect on the screen. It’s a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things, as the audio does continue playing, but it somewhat hampers what should be a more seamless experience.
But for all its style and flash, is it really that sporty? After all, BMW’s literature proclaims it as supplying “a dynamic and agile performance that is unrivaled in this class.” In terms of engine grunt, the X2 delivers. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter TwinPower turbodiesel with 187hp and 400Nm, paired to an eight-speed automatic ’box. The power output is adequate, while the available torque provides the car a near-instant boost depending on the settings you choose. Handling and steering-wheel feedback, though, could be a bit more direct and responsive. Even if power is delivered to all four wheels, there is a tendency here for understeer.
So, the X2 is both stylish and athletic. What’s the catch? Naturally, it boils down to the price tag. The asking price is P4,390,000, or the equivalent of two top-of-the-line Mitsubishi Montero Sports. Yeah, we know, obviously the badge caters to a premium market. But it’s a shame that a subcompact crossover that puts everything together so well is so far out of reach for most buyers. Well, you can’t have it all, right?