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CAPE TOWN, Western Cape – If there was ever a gap in a certain niche-plugging Bavarian brand’s burgeoning crossover range just begging to be filled, it was the coupé-shaped cranny separating BMW’s X1 and X3.

Lending a pleasing completeness to BMW’s alphanumeric crossover line-up – ahead of the arrival of the flagship X7 and seemingly inevitable X8, anyway – the new X2 runs on the same UKL2 platform as the X1, the 2 Series Active Tourer and Mini siblings, the Countryman and Clubman.

In the same way as the X4 is positioned as a sportier version of the X3 – and, indeed, as the X6 relates to the X5 – the latest member of the X-badged family uses the X1 as a base and adds both bolder styling and ostensibly more exuberant on-road manners.

So, is this more than merely an X1 in a swish suit? Well, before we answer that question, let’s take a closer look at the X2’s freshly tailored attire. Interestingly, the new model’s coupé-like silhouette isn’t quite as pronounced as those of the X4 and X6, even if its roofline is some 70 mm closer to the tarmac than that of the more conventionally proportioned X1. It’s also shorter overall, despite sharing the same 2 670 mm wheelbase, but boasts a dramatically rising shoulder line.

All dressed up

The exterior design is certainly distinct – and not too far removed from the daring concept we first clapped eyes on at the Paris Motor Show in 2016 – adding striking elements such as an inverted kidney grille and the retro-inspired positioning of the brand’s roundel on the C-pillar to familiar BMW styling traits like the signature (albeit slightly tweaked, in this case) Hofmeister kink. In short, the X2 undisputedly has its own visual charisma, whether you pick the standard M Sport package or the more rugged-looking M Sport X option pictured here.

And, we’re happy to report, that character filters through to the driving experience, too. While we came away suitably impressed after sampling the grippy xDrive20d variant in Portugal, the petrol-powered, front-wheel-drive derivative that forms the subject of this local driving impression (take note that a cheaper sDrive18i variant will arrive in May) offers a similarly enjoyable if less punchy experience from behind its leather-clad tiller.

The familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre petrol mill serves up 141 kW, while peak twisting force of 280 N.m is available from 1 350 r/min all the way through to 4 600 r/min. The resulting tractability, along with the deftness of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, lends the sDrive20i both an ease of use in comfort mode and a certain sprightliness in its most dynamic setting (the four-paw turbodiesel model, however, is still the better to drive of the two).

Under the skin

But it’s the chassis tuning that really sets the X2 apart from the model on which it is based. With M Sport suspension as standard (including a 10 mm drop in ride height), the newest member of the X family feels markedly more agile than its already nimble X1 counterpart, and noticeably more resistant to body roll, too. Add a lower-sited seating position and the X2 begins to feel more like a neat little warm hatch than a common-or-garden crossover.

This tidy handling (if not entirely BMW-like in sDrive20i form, what with grunt sent exclusively to the front axle) comes courtesy of tauter springs, which in turn, along with the relatively low-profile rubber coating the standard 19-inch alloys, results in a fairly stiffly sprung ride that is sometimes upset by poorly maintained road surfaces. Refinement levels, though, are high, even if some tyre roar does make its way into the cabin.

Inside, the X2 borrows much of its hardware – and software, in the form of the intuitive iDrive system – from the X1, although new figure-hugging front seats have been added to the mix (how much you appreciate these firmer pews will depend largely on, well, your figure).

The new model’s more dramatic shape, however, cuts into rear headroom a little, and takes a small bite out of the luggage compartment, too. Furthermore, the rear bench loses its ability to slide fore and aft. Still, the X2’s cabin is less functionally compromised than anticipated and certainly seems capable of serving the needs of a small, young family.

Plenty of competition

Ultimately, this lithe crossover-cum-hatchback is entering an already bustling segment – where the lines are becoming increasingly blurred as each automaker finds and fills another micro-niche – that will soon be further bolstered by the local arrival of the new Volvo XC40 and later the next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA, to name but two. Indeed, the sheer number of rivals means the X2 most certainly won’t have things all its own way.

So, is it more than just a dressed-up, slightly more expensive X1? Well, despite sharing a large portion of greasy bits under the skin, there’s no doubt that the strikingly styled, markedly sharper X2 possesses a character entirely separate to that of the X1, thus appealing to an audience new to the BMW brand. Gap plugged.

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Cloth upholstery: partial cloth + suede-cloth
  • Leather upholstery: partial cloth + suede-cloth (opt artificial / opt leather)
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Optional
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Lumbar support adjustment: opt front electric
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Run flat tyres: Standard
  • Tyre pressure sensor monitor deflation detection system: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 6
  • Lane departure warning: Optional
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Approach home safe lighting time delay park headlights: Standard
  • Directional turning headlights: opt LED
  • Adaptive headlights varying light distribution: opt LED
  • Emergency brake hazardlights: dynamic flashing brake lights + hazards
  • Start stop button: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Sports suspension: Standard
  • Electronically adjustable suspension: opt adaptive
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • Head up display: Optional
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Standard
  • Cruise control: std incl brake function (opt adaptive)
  • Active adaptive cruise control: Optional
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • CD player: Optional
  • Aux in auxiliary input: Standard
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front + rear + boot
  • Central locking: remote (opt keyless)
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: Optional
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Auto dim interior mirror: Optional
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Heated exterior mirrors: Standard
  • Auto dimexterior mirrors: Optional
  • Sun roof: opt panoramic
  • Panoramic roof: Optional
  • Electric seat adjustment: opt front
  • Memory for electric seat adjustment: opt driver
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: opt LED
  • Frontfog lamps lights: std (opt LED)
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Camera for park distance control: opt rear
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Towbar trailer hitch: Optional
  • Metallic pearl escent paint: Optional
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Fuel range average: 850 (opt 1017) km
  • Driven wheels: front
  • Driven wheels quantity: 2
  • Gearratios quantity: 7
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automated dual-clutch
  • Transmission name: Steptronic
  • Front tyres: 225/45 R19 (opt 225/40 R20)
  • Reartyres: 225/45 R19 (opt 225/40 R20)
  • Length: 4360 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1824-2098 mm
  • Height: 1526 mm
  • Wheel base: 2670 mm
  • Load volume / capacity: 470-1535 L
  • Load volume / capacity: 1535 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1535 kg
  • Load carrying capacity / payload: 595
  • Gross weight (GVM): 2055 kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 750
  • Towing capacity - braked: 1800
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 51 (opt 61)l
  • Fuel consumption average: 6.0 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 138g/km
  • Power maximum: 141 kW
  • Power maximum total: 141 kW
  • Power peak revs: 5000-6000 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 92 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 280 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 1350-4600 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 280 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 182.4 Nm/ton
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 7.7s
  • Maximum top speed: 227 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1995 cc
  • Engine size: 2.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.0T
  • Engine + detail: 2.0 turbo
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Variable camvalve timing: Standard
  • Variable valvelift: Standard
  • Turbocharger: Standard
  • Warranty time (years): 2
  • Warranty distance (km): unlimited km
  • Maintenance plan: Standard
  • Maintenance plan time (years): 5
  • Maintenance plan distance (km): 100000 km
  • Service interval indicator: Standard
  • Service interval (distance): service interval indicator km
  • Brand: BMW
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 05022130
  • MMVariant: X2 sDRIVE20i M SPORT (F39)
  • MMintrodat: 2018-02-01
  • Introdate: 2018-02-21
  • DuoportarecordID: BMWX2_1e1

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BMW X2 sDRIVE20i M SPORT A/T (F39) sDrive20i M Sport auto for sale in Bloemfontein from one of Carmag.co.za's apporoved car dealerships
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