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Quick Drive: 2019 BMW X2 M35i


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2019 BMW X2 M35i-2.jpgThe X2 is BMW’s entry into the compact crossover vehicle segment. It’s based on the X1, but with a lower roofline and more car-like characteristics. While the base X2 28i comes with a 228 horsepower 2.0-liter engine with either front or all-wheel drive, I got my hands on one with the M badge at a meeting of the Mid-West Automotive Media Association at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet Illinois.

The M badge brings a default of BMW xDrive and increases engine horsepower to 302 and the torque to 332 lb.-ft.  BWM claims a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and 29 mpg. With that much power coming from a 2-liter engine, there was bound to be a bit of turbo lag and while rolling the small BMW minimizes the lag well. However, from a dead stop, there is a disturbing amount of lag that would scare me if I needed to pull out into fast traffic. Sprints from zero require planning.  When already at speed, the 8-speed automatic is quick to downshift and the engine is willing to rev. Putting the X2 M35i into sport mode does make the engine more lively.

2019 BMW X2 M35i-3.jpgThe suspension setup is stiff and you’ll feel all of the road imperfections except on the most glass-smooth of pavement.  That is the tradeoff for having very nimble handling.  It is rather fun to push this small front driver into the corners. My tester came with 20-inch wheels rather than the standard 19-inchers.

This is not one of those cars that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. The interior is definitely snug and I wouldn’t recommend the driver’s seat to anyone much larger than my 5’10” frame. Because of the lower roof, headroom suffers, especially in the rear. Cargo room is small, but if you’re in the market for a car this size, it is to be expected.

2019 BMW X2 M35i-4.jpgStill, in spite of its lack of size, the X2 is a comfortable place to sit with bold leather seats in Magma Red. The controls are well placed, though with a large number of buttons. BMW’s iDrive is here too, which always takes some getting used to.  Android Auto is not an option and BMW offers Apple CarPlay as a subscription service.  This is one thing I can’t get my head around as both are offered for free on much less expensive vehicles.

Because of the smaller dimensions, rearward vision isn’t great and there are a few blind spots that can make things tricky.

The BMW X2 competes with the likes of the Volvo XC40, Audi Q3, Range Rover Evoque, Cadillac XT4, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA.  All of those, save the GLA, feel roomier inside, making the X2 a more ideal fit for someone of diminutive size. However, the M35i can out power all of them except the GLA AMG 45.

The as-tested price of my X2 M35i is estimated at $50,400 MSRP. Whether you can stomach $50k for a compact crossover with 302 horsepower is up to you.


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55 minutes ago, Anthony Fongaro said:

The only things I like are the information system and the stats. Hate the styling but after my last article that may not be surprising haha.  Like @dfelt said, the BMW faithful will buy the X2 over the X1 for the styling.

Just think the changes in reporting and comparing once we have more EVs on the road to choose from, this will be very interesting especially if a company like Rivian delivers on what they have marketed their full size pickup truck and suv to be about road trips and especially off road adventures, that is going to really challenge all auto companies.

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31 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I find it funny how bought in to Rivian you are already. You're ready to throw them cash even though there's nothing out yet and we're yet to see their teething issues, like every new company. 

I can understand what you say, I have researched RJ the CEO and the backing of the company and R&D they have done. Very solid, very efficient company so far and clearly not dragging along the attitude of Musk. I honestly think with building the F150 EV truck for Ford, building their own auto's and the Amazon Prime EV delivery van fleet that we will see a much better run and production company as they move from their current Beta testing and assembly line building to a full production site at the end of the year.

Knowledge is power and my research on Rivian is showing a better planned and executed company. 

The only thing holding me back from putting down a deposit is my test fit into the auto. I hope to do that in the near future.

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What R&D do they do that seems better than anybody else? 

Also, it seems odd to not want a product because the CEO has an attitude. I get it but I don't at the same time. 

I do really like what they're doing with Amazon and Ford to get a guaranteed cash flow. 

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4 hours ago, ccap41 said:

I bet this is actually quite a bit of fun to daily. It's like a hot hatch but you don't have to fall into and climb out. 

I think that's the entire target market for this.  Someone who has no kids but grew up with the hot-hatch craze 15 years ago. 

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4 hours ago, dfelt said:

company like Rivian delivers on what they have marketed their full size pickup truck and suv to be about road trips and especially off road adventures, that is going to really challenge all auto companies.

How the hell it has to do ANYTING with X2?

 

3 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I think that's the entire target market for this.  Someone who has no kids but grew up with the hot-hatch craze 15 years ago. 

So for $40k you can get Golf R that most likely will be much faster (less power but 400lbs lighter) and has about as much room inside.

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4 minutes ago, ykX said:

How the hell it has to do ANYTING with X2?

 

So for $40k you can get Golf R that most likely will be much faster (less power but 400lbs lighter) and has about as much room inside.

@dfelt try to keep it on topic.

@ykXThe interior of the BMW is a lot nicer

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42 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I think that's the entire target market for this.  Someone who has no kids but grew up with the hot-hatch craze 15 years ago. 

Yep. Exactly that. I have a buddy who moved to TX a few years ago and he's always been into sporty cars and hes outdoorsy so he wanted/needed a little more utility and bought a GLA45. FWIW, before this he was cross shopping a Taco TRD Pro and a Focus RS.. went with the Pro. 45k is 45k. 

I know this likely isn't quite in that price range..maybe it is.. 

32 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

@dfelt try to keep it on topic.

@ykXThe interior of the BMW is a lot nicer

I also wouldn't put it past BMW to underrate that 302hp, like they do in pretty well everything. 

I wouldn't doubt if they were almost identical in a straight line. Obviously the R will be better once you need to stop and/or turn. 

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5 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I also wouldn't put it past BMW to underrate that 302hp, like they do in pretty well everything. 

I wouldn't doubt if they were almost identical in a straight line. Obviously the R will be better once you need to stop and/or turn

Why would that be obvious when considering an M tuned X2? 

The other factor is that the Golf R is going out of production for a year or two. 

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@Drew Dowdell I understand, was just answering @ccap41 question.

I think the performance CUV market has great potential and will drive interest for those that want to snowboard / ski but also will mostly be in town and want a performance version rather than the average CUV.

Over all, still think this will sell well to the BMW faithful but I really do not see it stealing market share. Interior is just average and the exterior just blends in.

I honestly am not sure what it will take to get auto companies to stand out on their own. They used to clearly have distinct models, but now they all just blur together.

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31 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Why would that be obvious when considering an M tuned X2? 

The other factor is that the Golf R is going out of production for a year or two. 

Isn't this like a half-@ss "M" though? I guess I didn't realize it was a "Real" M. 

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30 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Isn't this like a half-@ss "M" though? I guess I didn't realize it was a "Real" M. 

Well, it's M "tuned".  It's not a full M.  I didn't have it on a track of course, but it felt really firm and the steering was great. Given that it is AWD like the Golf R, I would expect handling to be within the margin of "operator error" in difference. 

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2 hours ago, regfootball said:

yes, quality, the Pontiac Vibe won't require buying a 10 year extended warranty on the vehicle like an expensive off lease German car would

Ironically, at the time it was on the market, the Toyota built Pontiac Vibe was the lowest rated in CR of all the Pontiacs.

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2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Ironically, at the time it was on the market, the Toyota built Pontiac Vibe was the lowest rated in CR of all the Pontiac's.

Which is really weird considering it was built on the same line as the Toyota Matrix by the same bloody employee's.

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2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Ironically, at the time it was on the market, the Toyota built Pontiac Vibe was the lowest rated in CR of all the Pontiacs.

was it due to their 2.4l  'performance engine'?  maybe that had high rate of repairs or something.

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    • By William Maley
      Considering the number of Lexus RC coupes I have driven over the years, there has been a significant hole - the V8 RC F. Whenever I have asked for one, the vehicle either wasn't in the press fleet or someone else was driving it during the dates I had available. But I was able to finally get my hands on one for a week in early fall. It was good timing as I was feeling the effects of being home for the past six months due to COVID-19. Maybe this coupe could give me a bit of joy.
      The RC F is not a shrinking violet. From its bright yellow paint, blacked-out 20-inch wheels, and optional carbon fiber package that includes a retractable rear spoiler, this coupe is very brash and proud of it. I'll admit that I was worried about scraping or cracking the carbon fiber front splitter if I took a steep entrance ramp or bump a bit too aggressively. It looks cool on the car, but the existential dread of an expensive repair bill does sour the appeal.  Not much changes on the inside for the RC F except for carbon fiber trim and a set of racing-style seats. Usually, I have a lot of trepidation on this type of seat because I don't fully fit in due to my slightly wide shoulders. But the seats conformed to my body within a day or so and I found them to offer the balance of support during hard-driving, and comfort for day-to-day - something I find to be hit and miss on seats from other automakers. Lexus Enform is still a frustrating infotainment system to use on daily basis. With a touchy control pad, it is easy to find yourself changing the song or end up in a different section of the system. This means you need to pay close attention to any change being made, which becomes a distraction hazard. Apple CarPlay is standard and does make using the system a bit more bearable. But I do wish Lexus would roll out their touchscreen system which makes it much more intuitive. Though, that likely will not come until a redesign, possibly in the next year or two. The main event for the RC F is under the hood. A 5.0L V8 engine with 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque - figures that slightly pale when compared to the BMW M4 or Mercedes-AMG C63. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic which routes the power to the rear wheels. The initial acceleration is a slight disappointment as the throttle response feels a bit sleepy. I'm not sure if this was due to improve fuel economy or throttle feel higher in the rev band. Thankfully, this sleepiness goes away as the car climbs up in speed and the V8 reveals its party trick. The noise that comes out of this engine sounds like a muscle car and you find yourself stepping the accelerator to enjoy it. Not much to say about the eight-speed automatic. It goes about its business smoothly and quickly. Fuel economy was surprising in the least, as I got an average of 18 mpg in mostly city and suburb driving. A set of adaptive dampers comes standard for the RC-F and gives it a split personality. Turn the drive mode knob to Sport+ and the dampers tighten up to make the coupe feel more agile than its weight of 4,017 pounds would suggest. Also helping in the handling are a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, providing tenacious grip. But switch the drive mode into normal and RC F becomes a very comfortable and refined grand tourer. Ride quality is very good with only a few bumps making their way inside. A minimal amount of road and wind noise is present. One area where the RC F holds a distinct advantage over the completion is the base price of $65,925 - undercutting most by a few grand. The danger is going through the option list and deciding to go crazy, which explains the as-tested price of $89,654. You can chop off over $11,000 by skipping the Performance package which brings all of the carbon fiber bits. The RC F lacks the outright performance as those from Germany. But I'm willing to overlook it because sometimes you want a car that just shouts to the world and the RC F does that very well. During my week, I found myself reveling in the engine and the grand touring characteristics of the suspension. It brought me the joy which sometimes is all you need a car to do. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RC F, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RC F
      Trim: -
      Engine: 5.0L DOHC 32-Valve V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 467 @ 7,100
      Torque @ RPM: 389 @ 4,800 - 5,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 3,958 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $64,900
      As Tested Price: $89,654 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Performance Package - $11,400.00
      Premium Package - $5,350.00
      Navigation System w/Mark Levinson Audio - $2,725.00
      Torque Vectoring Differential - $1,250.00
      Premium Triple Beam LED Headlamps - $1,160.00
      Flare Yellow Premium Paint - $595.00
      Intuitive Parking Assist - $500.00
      Illuminated Door Sills - $449.00
      Orange Metallic Brembo Brake Calipers - $300.00

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