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BMW iX2 xDrive30 2024 review – hot hatch speed, but not without compromise

The 302bhp iX2 xDrive30 delivers the goods in a straight line, but it’s too tightly-wound for an everyday family car

Evo rating
Price
from £57,445
  • Will trouble a Golf GTI in a straight line; excellent build quality and tech
  • Lumpy ride and twitchy steering quickly become tiring

The BMW X2 has morphed from a crossover into a Sports Activity Coupe for its second generation. What's a Sports Activity Coupe, you ask? BMW coined the term back in 2007 with the original X6, and it describes the firm's high-riding coupe-style models. In real terms, that means the less practical, more style-conscious relations to its conventional SUVs

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The new X2 borrows its UKL2 underpinnings from the X1, and it’s bigger than its predecessor in every dimension (194mm longer, 21mm wider and 64mm taller). It also gains an all-electric iX2 variant this time around, with a 64.8kWh battery pack mounted beneath the floor and the option of a single-motor eDrive20 (coming later) or the model we’re testing here – the xDrive30. 

With a motor driving each axle the xDrive30 generates peak outputs of 302bhp and 364lb ft – those figures are firmly in hot hatch territory, but then the XDrive30’s 2020kg kerbweight is comparable to that of a large saloon. Still, 0-62mph comes up in a respectable 5.6sec, and the iX2 feels every bit as quick as that if you select Sport mode, pull the ‘boost’ paddle behind the steering wheel and bury the throttle from low speed. The front tyres briefly hunt around for traction and the iX2 takes off rapidly, that initial punch only fading away once you're up to motorway speeds. 

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Unfortunately, the iX2 only makes a convincing impression of a performance crossover in a straight line. BMW has clearly made an effort to infuse some verve and energy into the driving experience, but put simply, it's gone too far. You sense it from the moment you encounter a mildly bumpy road – there's a tension to the ride that leaves the car feeling busy and reactive, and while it stops just short of being harsh, the setup feels overwrought for what is a family crossover – sorry, Sports Activity Coupe…

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The same approach extends to the steering, which is almost Mini-like in its overly sharp, alert responses. Bumps and cambers tend to nudge the wheel around in your hands, corrupting the feel and making it difficult to find a rhythm with the car and carve precise, clean lines. It all culminates in a slightly ragged feel on a technical road, and while there are flickers of athleticism in the way the iX2 drives, we just wish it allowed you to relax into its dynamic qualities rather than shining them brightly in your eyes. On the plus side, brake feel is positive and the iX2 only loses control of its mass if you're hammering along through big undulations. 

Inside, the iX2 is much more difficult to fault – build quality is first-rate and the materials are as good as anything in this class. The same goes for the tech – the iX2 gets BMW’s iDrive 9 infotainment system, and while it sadly loses the usual rotary controller in this application, it does come loaded with 5G compatibility, a smartphone-based key system and augmented reality navigation, plus media streaming functionality – useful to pass the time while charging. 

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Speaking of which, the xDrive30 can officially achieve 266 miles from a full battery – roughly the same as a Mercedes EQA 350 – with a 10-80 per cent top up taking 29 minutes. The eDrive20 offers 283 miles from a charge, and given that the most powerful iX2 doesn’t reward as a performance car, we’d be inclined to opt for the single-motor version. Or better yet, the more practical and marginally cheaper iX1. 

Price and rivals 

The iX2 is only available in M Sport trim and costs from £51,615 in eDrive20 form, rising to £57,445 for the xDrive30 – a few hundred pounds more than the equivalent iX1 models. Standard kit includes LED headlights, the aforementioned iDrive 9 infotainment suite, dual-zone climate control and parking assistant with a reversing camera. 

The cheapest Mercedes EQA – the 250 + Sport Executive – comes in at £49,750, providing similar performance to the single-motor iX2 and a handy 346-mile range. Stepping up to the EQA 350 will cost you £54,510, for which you get a 288bhp dual-motor powertrain, 266 miles of range and similar charging times to the BMW. 

If you’re looking for outright performance, Tesla is king in this space; the Model Y offers a rapid 3.5sec 0-60mph time for £2545 more than the flagship iX2 and a 315-mile range. The recently updated Skoda Enyaq is the most family-friendly option, meanwhile, with a large practical cabin and a competitive 348-mile range figure in £44,540 85 Edition spec.

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