Small crossover SUVs are a thing right now – and most of them lean to the “utility” part of “sport utility vehicle.” There’s a cure for that, and it’s the 2019 BMW X2 M35i.
It has the size and proportions of most small crossovers – four doors, a liftgate instead of a trunk in the back – and if you simply get an X2, you’re getting BMW’s take on that; it’s well equipped, beautifully built and oozes German engineering.
But if you specify the M35i model, things get interesting quickly. The M badge has signified the highest-performance BMWs for decades now, and it means magic when applied to the X2.
The M35i is lowered and rides on bigger wheels with low-profile tires. Underneath, there’s an M Sport suspension, M Sport brakes and M Sport steering.
But it’s what’s under the hood that transforms the X2 M35i. The 228-horsepower 2-liter four-cylinder engine powering other X2s is replaced by a twin-turbo 2-liter four, making 302 horsepower. Believe me, you’ll notice the extra 74 – especially in a smaller, lighter vehicle. Zero to 60 happens in 4.7 seconds. And even with that kind of muscle, the Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimate is not too shabby at 23 mpg city/29 highway.
Starting price for the BMW X2 M35i is $46,450, and that brings the performance goodies I mentioned above, plus such features as LED headlights and fog lights, Shadowline exterior trim, 12-way power-heated front sport seats with lumbar support, SensaTec upholstery, navigation, Bluetooth and USB, keyless entry, active cruise control, front and rear park distance control, rearview camera, run-flat tires, power tailgate, automatic climate control and rear spoiler.
The one I drove for a week had extra cost options, the single priciest and most controversial being the Magma Red Dakota Leather interior. It costs $1,450, and my wife hated it, but a few people at a recent Cars and Coffee event loved it. I think it’s a little bright, but the alternative is black, which could be a little dark.
Beyond that, there’s a Premium Package (Head-Up Display and navigation touchpad) for $1,800, upgraded double-spoke 20-inch M wheels for $600, panoramic moonroof for $1,350, Stop and Go for the adaptive cruise control with Active Drive Assist for $1,000, upgraded Harman Kardon audio system (sounded great) for $875 and upgraded M Sport front seats for $500.
With $995 destination charge, the bottom line on the window sticker read $55,020.
It’s a blast to drive – you’ll never know you’re in a crossover until you look behind you. If you want a 2-Series coupe but your lifestyle demands more utility, the 2019 BMW X2 M35i is a great choice.