Motor Trend - - Contents -

WE LIKE Stylish, fun to drive WE DON’T LIKE Harsh ride, steep price tag, no space

For a young, suc­cess­ful pro­fes­sional, a fun, stylish car can be a per­sonal re­ward. The BMW X2 hits the mark for a dual-in­come no-kids house­hold. For ev­ery­one else, though, it’s long on sport and short on util­ity.

Our six cri­te­ria are weighted equally, but how well a ve­hi­cle per­forms its in­tended func­tion usu­ally gets the big­gest work­out. The X2 is clearly fo­cused on look­ing good and be­ing fun to drive, but even its strengths were points of con­tention.

Sev­eral of us com­pared it to a hot hatch. Ste­fan Og­bac, though, called it “unin­spir­ing,” Gordon Dickie called it “numb,” and Frank Markus split the dif­fer­ence, writ­ing, “This is prob­a­bly the fastest car around the wind­ing track, but it’s not as fun as I would ex­pect a BMW to be.”

Both sides agreed the sporti­ness came at a price. The rear seat is cramped even for a car this size, and the cargo area is tiny. The ride qual­ity was roundly crit­i­cized, with Chris­tian Se­abaugh call­ing it “with­out a doubt the hard­est-rid­ing ve­hi­cle here.” Out­ward vis­i­bil­ity is ter­ri­ble, both to the front and rear. And im­pact harsh­ness is se­vere.

Then there’s the ques­tion of value. At $39,395 to start for this xdrive all-wheel-drive model and an as-tested price of $50,920, the X2 is al­ready at the top end of the class, and BMW has an­nounced a more ex­pen­sive M35i model.

It’s easy to ra­tio­nal­ize a ve­hi­cle that does one thing very well at the ex­pense of other ba­sic func­tions. But many trade-offs (and only one USB port?) make this sin­gle-pur­pose ve­hi­cle in­ca­pable of ad­vance­ment. Scott Evans

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