BMW has expanded its line-up very effectively after catching the SUV wave early with its X5 in 1999. Now it’s plugging gaps in its line-up starting with the X2, a compact “coupe SUV”. It shares underpinnings with the X1 but has a racier shape and higher specification. It’s a thoroughly urban vehicle with front-wheel drive the default setting, pitched at young aspirational city dwellers with upwards of $60k to spend.
Volkswagen has a newcomer called T-Roc, which might not arrive in Australia until 2019; demand for the Polo-sized SUV has outpaced Volkswagen’s expectations. Audi has a Q2 and Q3, but its streamlined Q4 is another two years away.
Volvo unveiled its first compact SUV mid-year and production starts in Belgium this month. The XC40 will offer four-cylinder diesel and hybrid petrol-electric drivetrains; later variants will include a pure electric version and Volvo’s first three-cylinder engine.
The Volvo and BMW land in the second quarter next year at the same time as Jaguar’s second SUV, the E-Pace. Starting at $48k, this compact five-seater takes its visual cues from Jaguar’s sportscar and has huge wheels. It’s the first Jaguar fitted only with in-house-developed four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with outputs ranging from 110kW to 221kW. It features thin-film technology driver display and wi-fi hotspot.
Riding high: Volvo XC40; above, BMW Concept X2