– Article/photos by Rod Fuller –
Do you work to live? Or live to work? If you answer yes to the former, then read on, this is a car for you. If not, I think you’ll need to take a good hard look at yourself – there’s more to life than work!
Seriously though, SUV’s are all about lifestyle, and the BMW X2 M35i is a vehicle that compliments and supports your many lifestyles. I took the X2 for a trip to the Southern Highlands recently and was impressed in many ways with what this practical SUV offers.
Firstly, it doesn’t drive like a SUV. It feel more like a sports coupe with its powerful (225kW/450Nm) 2.0lt turbo engine, sling-shotting you through the countryside and winding back roads, with a level of responsiveness and handling you don’t normally find in a SUV. Believe me, the engine in this car really cooks, with its 0-100km/h time listed at less than five seconds. Adding to the theatre and spectacle of driving this X2, is its raucous and exhilarating exhaust note, it just sounds great! I certainly enjoyed the exhaust’s ever present growl in all driving situations, noticeable but never intrusive.
The eight speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters) sends power via the xDrive system to all four wheels. Upshifts can be harsh at times under hard acceleration, but the overall split and dynamic changes in how xDrive sends the right amount of power and torque to the front or rear wheels as needed is fantastic. Giving X2 phenomenal grip in cornering and road handling that belies the fact that is a SUV.
There are three drive modes, Comfort, Eco-Pro and Sport. Each delivers what it promises, in ride comfort, performance and economy. Fuel economy lists as 7.4lt/100km (combined cycle), but I wouldn’t have achieved that on my trip as I as was too addicted to that sexy exhaust sound – yeah!!
X2 M35i’s looks match its performance. 20” alloys (225/40R20 Pirelli’s) enhance what is for a SUV, a very attractively styled vehicle. Aggressive air intakes (complete with ‘air curtains’ to help reduce drag) help set the tone for the beautifully contoured body, which visually demands attention and commands a strong road presence. Reinforcing this is X2 M35i’s distinctive DRL’s and full LED adaptive headlamps providing a well illuminated drive at night.
Inside the very attractive heated sports seats are electrically adjustable just about every-way imaginable. Providing the support you want for spirited driving and also the comfort needed for everyday. Strangely there isn’t a height adjustment for the front seat belts, which was a little uncomfortable; and there isn’t a centre console bin, instead it’s a folding armrest, which lifts apart revealing a place to hide/charge your phone (I’d rather have the bin to put stuff in). Rear seat head and leg room is good for a SUV of this size, but taller passengers wouldn’t like it on an interstate trip.
Cargo space is very good at 470 litres with the rear seats up and 1,355 litres with them folded down. A 12V outlet is also provided in the rear, perfect for a car fridge.
The infotainment system is controlled by either the 8.8” touchscreen, voice control or the iDrive central controller which was easy to use. There’s a 12 speaker Harman Kardon stereo, Sat Nat with live traffic , dual zone climate control, Bluetooth and wireless Apple Car Play (which I couldn’t get connected, more to do with me than the car I suspect).
All the usual safety/driver assist features are there, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise-control, lane departure alert, reversing camera and parking assist, but no blind spot monitoring or lane keep assist. Surprising for a vehicle costing $77,500 driveaway. BMW offers a three year unlimited km warranty with all X2 models.
An exceptional SUV, X2 M35i is a great lifestyle vehicle with a sporty edge. Perfect for couples with small children/no children or fur babies, those looking to downsize or if you want a practical and versatile vehicle that’s damn fun to drive.
More than worthy of consideration for your next novated lease, the X2 M35i will support your lifestyle during the week and have you yearning to take it out on the weekend. Live for the weekend, drive an X2.