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When you hear the name BMW, a lot of images probably come to mind, and they all probably center around the concept of luxury. And the 2021 BMW X2 does not disappoint in the slightest. This SUV is a lot like its smaller counterpart, the X1, but it has less traditional styling elements. This is, according to BMW, a sports activity coupe (SAC) instead of being an SUV.
This SAC takes the mechanical foundations of the X1 and makes the X2 look totally different from the X1. It also equips a more powerful engine, which is something many drivers will find highly attractive. The sporty performance it offers fits our expectations for what a BMW should drive like. However, there are a few key areas in which the X2 could use more refinement.
The X2 does not have much head space in the rear seat because of the sloping roofline. The trade-off for style is unfortunately practicality and comfort. Also, the suspension offers a too-firm ride quality for a luxury vehicle. The brakes get a bit grabby too, which is unusual for a luxury vehicle. Trying to make a quick stop in heavy traffic can be difficult - if not somewhat scary - because of this.
On top of all that, you only get smartphone app integration with Apple CarPlay. Android Auto is not available, so only iPhone users can sync their favorite smartphone apps to the X2. Most rivals offer integration for both Androids and iPhones.
Overall, there are a lot of things to like about the X2. The engine is, of course, a particular standout. There are quite a few drawbacks too. You might want to carefully consider which of the three trim levels you want to get since these they all offer something a bit different. Read on through to the end of this trim level comparison review to find out which trim level we think is the best deal and has the most to offer to the average buyer.
Compare the 2021 BMW X2 sDrive28i vs xDrive28i - What is the Difference?
The 2021 BMW X2 line-up starts with two trim levels that are really just variants of one another. The sDrive28i is a front-wheel drive model while the xDrive28i is its all-wheel drive alternative. They share many of the same standard features, but the mechanics obviously prove to be a bit different.
Therefore, we will start out with the sDrive28i trim level. It is powered by a standard 16-valve 2.0-liter twin turbo inline 4-cylinder engine that gets matched up with the STEPTRONIC 8-speed automatic transmission that includes MANUAL and SPORT shift modes. This powertrain generates 228 hp and combines variable valve control (doubling Double-VANOS and Valvetronic) with a twin scroll turbocharger and direct injection that is built for high precision. Other standard features include engine automatic start/stop, brake energy regeneration, and a stainless steel 18.7-gallon fuel tank.
When it comes to performance, the sDrive28i is equipped for sporty driving. The vehicle comes with three-stage DSC, with the stages being: DSC, DTC, and DST-OFF. This includes a pull-away assist feature, dry braking, fading compensation, and braking readiness. The Driving Dynamics Control system is composed of COMFORT, SPORT, and ECO PRO Modes. Hill Descent Control gets included, as do power steering that is speed sensitive, gas-pressured shock absorbers, stabilizer bars for the front and rear, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes that have Dynamic Brake Control, and Performance Control.
What about the exterior of the vehicle though? What makes it look so ridiculously appealing? Well, BMW classes it up with high gloss chrome exhaust tips that measure at 90mm in diameter. There are also 18-inch Y-spoke wheels done in style 566. Run-flat all-season tires comes with the sDrive28i. You can take your choice of non-metallic trims, all of which look stunning when paired with the standard satin aluminum exterior trim elements.
The inside is, of course, just as chic. And it also feels user-friendly, which is not something you will always find in a luxury vehicle. The X2's sDrive28i comes with comfortable SensaTec upholstery for the seats, and there is an anthracite headliner to set it off. There are floor mats for the front and rear, and you also get pearl gloss chrome highlights with the high gloss black interior trim.
To make the X2 all the sweeter, you get a huge array of standard tech features. BMW gives the X2 BMW Connected Services as standard equipment. You also get BMW TeleServices, Apple CarPlay connectivity (although, as we already mentioned, sadly no Android Auto), and BMW Remote Services (which includes the BMW Connected App, remote unlock/lock for the doors, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery). With the audio system, you get a Radio Data System with an anti-theft AM/FM stereo, HD Radio with multi-cast FM radio reception, and a 7-speaker HiFi 205-watt sound system.
The X2 is suited for the everyday driver, and its user-friendly control interface reflects this. The driver gets to hold a 3-spoke power telescopic steering wheel wrapped in leather and with multiple controls mounted on top of it for easy access. The on-board computer includes the iDrive system, including 8 programmable memory buttons and a controller. USB audio connectivity is standard, as is hands-free phone and audio streaming access through Bluetooth.
Dynamic Cruise Control is standard issue, as are a tire pressure monitoring system, a rear window defroster, advanced real time traffic data, a condition-based service display with functions accessible via iDrive, and BMW Navigation Business. This latter feature includes an 8.8-inch high-resolution touchscreen display, a voice recognition system with natural speech pattern recognition, and quasi-annual over-the-air map updates.
When it comes to creature comforts, the sDrive28i does not disappoint. It is loaded with everything you could possibly imagine. These features include an engine stop/start button, 8-way power-adjustable front sport seats with 1-way manual headrests and thigh support (as well as driver memory settings for the exterior side mirrors and the driver's seat), 2-way power-adjustable side bolsters on the front driver's seat, and power tailgate.
There is an Advanced Vehicle and Key Memory system that is composed of the most recently-used settings for the climate control system and air flow distribution, the power seats and power side mirrors, audio tone settings, radio presets, lighting preferences, and central locking preferences. The automatic climate control system has air re-circulation and a micro filter. The front windshield wipers are able to sense rain, and there is a front center console armrest. You also get an armrest for the rear seat, two cupholders for each armrest, anti-trapping and one-touch auto up/down on all the power windows, adjustable multi-colored ambient interior lighting, a storage compartment package, and privacy glass.
Also, when it comes to safety features, BMW does not skimp. The front and rear of the vehicle has a Head Protection System, and there is also a central locking system for all of the doors. The vehicle has an impact sensor that kicks the Battery Safety Terminal in to disconnect the starter, fuel pump, and alternator from the battery. It automatically unlocks all of the doors and flips on the interior lights and hazard lights. Active Driving Assistant is a driver aid suite that bundles lane departure warning, speed limit data, and lane departure warning.
In addition, you get cornering lights with the LED headlights, LED fog lights, a rear-view camera, BMW eCall Assist, Coded Driveway Protection, an anti-theft alarm system, front and rear Parking Distance Control, and pretensioners on the front safety seatbelts.
One of the other things we really like about the X2 is the generous warranty coverage offered by BMW. They give you BMW Ultimate Care, a 4-year Unlimited Mileage Roadside Assistance Program, a 4-year/50,00-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty, and a lengthy 12-year Unlimited Mileage Rust Perforation Limited Warranty.
Now, what is so different about the xDrive28i? Not much, save for the fact that it is an all-wheel drive model. You essentially get everything that comes standard on the sDrive28i with a few key exceptions. The price difference is about $2,000, so just be prepared to pay that extra amount for an all-wheel drive system.
Compare the 2021 BMW X2 xDrive28i vs M35i - What is the Difference?
The real step up here comes with the super sporty M35i. It is about $10,000 above the base sDrive28i, so you should expect for there to be a lot of upgrades. The biggest upgrade is the tweaked 2.0-L engine that generates 301 hp. The 8-speed automatic transmission does come with Manual shift modes, paddle shifters mounted onto the steering wheel, and Launch Control. You also get the M Sport exhaust and M Sport differential.
All-wheel drive comes standard, as do an upgraded M Sport suspension and M Sport brakes. There is also a special M Sport Steering system. The wheels get upgraded to 19-inch M Double-spoke wheels done in style 715M. The side mirrors are power folding, and the dual exhaust tips and mirror caps are done in Cerium Gray. There is an aerodynamic kit, shadowline exterior trim, an M Sport rear spoiler, and unique M Sport styling elements on the outside.
The interior steps it up as well. There is some absolutely lovely Estoril Blue Matte Highlight with the Aluminum Hexagon trim. The door sills have special M35i lettering emblazoned on them, and there are more unique M Sport interior design elements. SiriusXM Satellite Radio gets added to the list of standard tech features, and there is an M Sport steering wheel up front.
The front seats are upgraded to being 12-way power-adjustable with 4-way power lumbar support. Comfort Access gives you keyless entry with hands-free opening for the trunk/lid. A universal garage door opener becomes standard as well.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The 2021 BMW X2 has three solid choices that it presents for drivers. Making the decision of which one to buy can be pretty tough. Your hard-earned money needs to go toward a smart investment, right?
Here is what we recommend you consider getting: the sDrive28i with the addition of the M Sport Package. For a few thousand dollars more, you get core components of the M Sport. This gives you the shadowline exterior trim, the 19-inch wheels, the M Sport steering wheel, Active Driving Assistant (which we feel is a 'must' on these newer vehicles), Navigation Business, the 8-speed Sport automatic transmission, and the power-adjustable front seats.
Most drivers will not need the all-wheel drive variant, but if you live in a place where there is a lot of inclement weather, you could consider getting the xDrive28i. But we think that the sDrive28i will suit the needs of most drivers. Just be sure to get the M Sport Package equipped in order to reap the full benefits of what BMW has to offer without paying the higher cost of the M35i.
• Compare the 2020 BMW X2 Trim Levels