The BMW X2 is the answer to a question nobody asked – but I like it.
The German premium maker’s SUV line-up was served perfectly well by the X1, in the small segment, the X3 in the mid-size segment, and the big X5.
Read more: Review – BMW X1
BMW believes that the SUV market is more nuanced than simply small, medium and large.
The even numbers in the SUV line-up – the X2, X4 and X6 – are aimed at a different market than the odd.
So while the X1 is aimed at families, the X2 is aimed at something called a DINK (double income, no kids).
The kind of buyer who might prioritise driving dynamics and good looks over legroom and a big boot.
Which is why, despite being built on the same chassis as the X1, the X2 is better looking and has a smaller boot (35 litres smaller).
Price: £37,390 (£43,815 as tested)
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, diesel
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Top speed: 137mph
0-62mph: 7.7 seconds
CO2 emissions: 126g/km
It’s also two centimetres shorter and seven centimeters lower and, thanks to short overhangs and a swooping rear roofline, looks sportier than your average SUV.
It’s the first of BMW’s line-up to feature their next-generation grille, which gives the car an imposing look from the front, particularly when combined with our test car’s M-sport bodykit.
Inside, the cabin is typical BMW, featuring loads of leather, a comfortable driving position and everything in the right place.
The head-up display – which is part of the £710 tech pack along with wireless charging, satnav and WiFi – and the perforated Dakota leather seats are highlights, while the annoying indicators (contrary to the stereotype they are OVER sensitive) are the only low point.
It feels quite heavy, but as one might expect from a car aimed at buyers who prioritise driving dynamics, the handling is excellent.
The trade-off is a firm ride at low speed, with the X2 very much an SUV for the road, rather than the dirt track.
The 189bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine is a very refined powerplant, with plenty of power and paired to the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, acceleration is smooth and quiet.
The engine provides a good balance of power and frugality, with a nought to 62 second time of 7.7 seconds and 58.9mpg (combined).
A smaller, 150hp 1.8-litre diesel is also available as is a 2.0-litre petrol, which matches the diesel for acceleration.
Marring the refinement slightly is noticeable tyre noise at speed – but I tested the car with performance tyres on 19-inch alloy wheels, so that might improve with thicker rubber.
Our test car was extremely well-equipped, but, being a BMW, you pay for that equipment.
Before options, our test car came in at £37,390.
However, when you add in options such as the aforementioned tech pack, vision pack (reversing camera and folding mirrors), parking sensors and everything else which you’d get as standard on something manufactured in Japan or Korea, the final price rises to £43,815.
But for that you do get a terrific looking car that (sort of) looks like an SUV, but without compromising on driving pleasure.
The question for would-be buyers is, with a lower ride and a smaller boot, does the BMW X2 have enough of the advantages?
Read more: Volvo XC40 vs BMW X1 vs Volkswagen Tiguan