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BMW X2 sDrive20i 2018 review

Getting into a BMW is kind of like putting on a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses. Instant. Cool.

Getting into a BMW is kind of like putting on a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses. Instant. Cool. There's something seamless and understated about these cars that's almost a bit smug - and everyone wants one.

The new X2 launch has been widely anticipated as it's their first foray into the small SUV market. I was in the sDrive20i, second in a range of three, running on petrol. So, how does it deliver? Is there enough room for a family of four or will it be squishy like the other small SUVs I've tried? And is it worth the extra moolah because even though it's a small SUV, it's still a BMW. Let's find out.

How does it drive?

This car is silky. Quite honestly it glides along the road with barely a sound and so much smooth it could be Barry White. The steering is responsive and you have plenty of confidence driving because the handling is spot on.

There is enough power to get me up hills, I can nip in and out of traffic easily and it's got plenty of zip. It was so lovely to drive, I didn't want to give it back.

The thing about small SUVs is that they fit in lots of places. (image: Dean McCartney) The thing about small SUVs is that they fit in lots of places. (image: Dean McCartney)

And the size suited me perfectly. The thing about small SUVs is that they fit in lots of places, parking is a breeze and I could actually nail u-turns for once because of the smaller turning circle compared to larger SUVs.

When you spend your days driving in tight city streets, dropping kids off here and there, and trying to squeeze into parks, the size of your car makes a real difference to the quality of day-to-day living. It's often underestimated.

This car was so easy for me to do all of that this week, and I still had enough room for the kids and their stuff. Plus there's a reverse parking camera and front and rear parking sensors to make parking easier. The whole experience was a pleasure.

Parking is a breeze and I could actually nail u-turns for once because of the smaller turning circle. (image: Dean McCartney) Parking is a breeze and I could actually nail u-turns for once because of the smaller turning circle. (image: Dean McCartney)

What does it look like?

Smashing, actually. The exterior design is as stylish as you would expect from a BMW, with a sleek profile and curved lines. If this car were a celebrity it would be Selena Gomez - small, but so, so chic. Attention to detail is to be admired with the BMW badge on the back the key to opening the boot. It's the little things that make the big differences.

  • The exterior design is as stylish as you would expect from a BMW. (image: Dean McCartney) The exterior design is as stylish as you would expect from a BMW. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • Attention to detail is to be admired with the BMW badge on the back the key to opening the boot. (image: Dean McCartney) Attention to detail is to be admired with the BMW badge on the back the key to opening the boot. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • If this car were a celebrity it would be Selena Gomez - small, but so, so chic. (image: Dean McCartney) If this car were a celebrity it would be Selena Gomez - small, but so, so chic. (image: Dean McCartney)

Inside is just as fab. The dash and centre console is finished in high gloss black which makes it luxurious. Everything is clearly set out and well designed and I'm not left wondering why they have made certain design decisions like I can in other cars. This is elegant.

The seats are made with a thick, quality leather that looks durable, plus they feel great. The sDrive20i comes standard with the 'M Sport' package, which means sport seats that hug you just the right amount and are cleverly comfortable. The steering wheel is that smooth leather which runs lightly underneath your hands when you're turning corners and is one of those little things that makes a big difference.

The dash and centre console is finished in high gloss black which makes it luxurious. (image: Dean McCartney) The dash and centre console is finished in high gloss black which makes it luxurious. (image: Dean McCartney)

How spacious is it?

Here's the thing. Yes, bigger cars have more room. You can fit more stuff in the boot and more stuff in the backseat. But do you need to? It's about weighing up whether you really need all the space of a larger SUV or whether a smaller SUV that fits easily into parking spaces is your thing. And your suburb certainly will factor in the decision making process.

In the back, my two children aged four and six fit easily in their child seats with room to spare. (image: Dean McCartney) In the back, my two children aged four and six fit easily in their child seats with room to spare. (image: Dean McCartney)

The front had lots of leg and headroom for my 185cm husband to drive comfortably and we each had enough space between us that we didn't feel compacted, like you can feel in some small SUVs. In the back, my two children aged four and six fit easily in their child seats with room to spare. Sure, they weren't swinging around like they can in a larger, but they were comfortable which is the important thing.

And the boot has 480 litres of space to play with - bigger than an Audi A2 and on par with a Mercedes GLA. It fits a pram or a full load of groceries and you don't feel like you've skimped on the boot space which is one of the biggest things for a family.

How easy is it to use every day?

It's a fairly practical car, the X2. The kids can climb in by themselves, the boot is not too high off the ground so it's easy to lift groceries in and out of. There are two cupholders in the front, two in the back and a small but practical centre storage bin that also charges your phone, plus bottle holders in all doors.

This is also the first small SUV I've come across that has air vents in the back (finally!) and there are extra air vents in the front, too, so you will be nice and cool, or warm, depending on the season.

  • The boot has 480 litres of space to play with - bigger than an Audi A2 and on par with a Mercedes GLA. (image: Dean McCartney) The boot has 480 litres of space to play with - bigger than an Audi A2 and on par with a Mercedes GLA. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • It fits a pram or a full load of groceries. (image: Dean McCartney) It fits a pram or a full load of groceries. (image: Dean McCartney)

The boot opens automatically with a touch of a button on the key which is a serious help for parents usually overloaded with bags, and it also opens easily on the car by pressing the BMW badge - a bit of a novelty and really quite enjoyable.

The size means it's a great run around car that's easy to park and to turn, something I found most helpful this week.

There is enough power to get me up hills, I can nip in and out of traffic easily and it's got plenty of zip. (image: Dean McCartney) There is enough power to get me up hills, I can nip in and out of traffic easily and it's got plenty of zip. (image: Dean McCartney)

What's the tech like?

I quite like the tech the car comes with - there's a high definition sat nav that's easy to use and you can use your fingers on the screen to zoom in or out. Handy. There's a digital radio and a knob controller down near the gear stick if you don't want to use the touchscreen, so that was all great.

To get Apple CarPlay however, you will have to pay $623 - kind of odd when you think less expensive cars come with this technology standard, and Android Auto isn't even an option, which is even stranger.

What's the safety like?

So you're transporting your family around and one of the most important things to me as a mum is safety, which is covered by airbags for the front driver and passenger, and also side curtain airbags extending to the back row. There are two ISOFIX points and three top tethers for childrens car seats.

As far as advanced safety features go, it's got lane departure warnings but not auto emergency braking or blind spot monitoring, and you can't option them in either. This is something that is now being introduced as standard across less expensive cars so it's not exactly what you want out of your 2018 new car.

What does it cost to drive?

The BMW X2 sDrive20i comes in at $55,900, and there are packages you can get with a bunch of extras, should you choose to do that. Being a small SUV, fuel efficiency is good with BMW claiming six litres for every 100km on the combined cycle.

The X2 is covered by BMW's three year/100,000km warranty and servicing is based on the condition of the car - it will let you know when it needs a service.


The Wrap

The BMW X2 is a beautiful car to drive and I enjoyed every minute. I was able to whizz around town with this smooth driving experience and excellent handling, straight into parking spots. It accommodated my little family of four comfortably with enough boot space and I also appreciated the stylish exterior and interior. Yes, there are things you'll have to pay for that you might not have to on other cars, like Apple CarPlay, but generally if you're looking in this price bracket you'll expect to go up with some options packages.

I gave it a family rating of eight out of 10, taking points off for the lack of new safety features and general value for money. My children gave it eight too, they loved the 'Magma' coloured seats.

Likes

Interior and exterior style
Smooth driving
Fuel efficiency

Dislikes

No AEB
Paying for Carplay

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$43,990 - $63,985

Based on 24 car listings in the last 6 months

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