BMW X2 xDrive25e review (2021): A sporty hybrid crossover

The F39 BMW X2 went into production in late 2017 and offers a more agile driving experience over its Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) equivalent, the X1. Indeed, the German automaker coins the X2 as a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC), because it’s claimed to have better driving dynamics and more aggressive styling over its larger sibling.

Since its introduction, the X2 has undergone a few changes but the biggest came in early 2020, where the manufacturer announced its first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant, the X2 xDrive25e. It offers customers the chance to reduce their CO2 emissions by roughly 100 g/km and for company car drivers, to significantly lower their benefit in kind (BIK) tax rate.

If you’d prefer to watch a review of the BMW X2 xDrive25e, head on over to our YouTube channel.

BMW X2 xDrive25e price & competition

Rightfully, the xDrive25e has a BIK rate of 10%, while the petrol-only xDrive20i and diesel-only xDrive20d sit between 31-35%. Unsurprisingly, the PHEV model is the priciest out of the bunch, where prices start from £39,390 for the Sport trim and go up to £43,210 without any additional extras for the M Mesh Edition.

No matter which trim you choose, the X2 plug-in comes in a single powertrain and drive type configuration: its 1.5-litre straight three-cylinder engine combines with an electric motor to output 162 kW (220hp) of power and produces up to 385 Nm of torque; it also operates on an all-wheel-drive system, thus the use of ‘xDrive’ in its naming structure.

BMW X2 xDrive25e PHEV

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To give you an idea of how the PHEV compares to its ICE-based siblings, we’ll be looking at the BMW X2 xDrive25e M Sport X, which starts from £42,460. Aside from its power output and BIK rate, it has a claimed all-electric range of 31-32 miles, a WLTP consumption combined figure of 156.9-166.2 mpg, emits 31-39 g/km of CO2 emissions on the WLTP test cycle and is available in an automatic transmission, only.

The comparable petrol-only BMW X2 xDrive20i M Sport X has a peak power output of 131 kW (178hp), a WLTP consumption combined figure of 38.7-40.9 mpg, emits 158-166 g/km of CO2 and is available in a ‘Sport Automatic Transmission with Gearshift Paddles’ transmission, only. Prices start from £40,045.

As for the diesel-only variant – the BMW X2 xDrive20d M Sport X – it has a peak power output of 140 kW (190hp), manages 47.9-52.3 mpg, emits 142-154 g/km of CO2 into the air and has the same gearbox as the petrol model. Prices of the xDrive20d start from £40,830.

Effectively, you’re paying around £2,000 to greatly reduce your CO2 emissions, improve fuel economy, lower your BIK rate and increase peak performance.

BMW X2 xDrive25e rear design

As for competition, the X2’s main rival sits within BMW’s own range – the BMW X1 xDrive25e Sport starts from £38,780; a £610 cheaper vehicle that gives you more bang for your buck. It is, of course, aiming at a different crowd where it’s more practical at the expense of being less fun to drive.

Outside the BMW Group, there are a few compact plug-in hybrid crossovers to choose from: Volvo XC40 Recharge (£39,130), Mercedes GLA 250 e (£39,995)Land Rover Evoque P300e PHEV (£43,850), and the upcoming Audi Q3 TFSIe.

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BMW X2 xDrive25e exterior review

As standard, the X2 comes with 17″ Double-spoke style 564 light alloy wheels, although, one can opt for larger 18″ or 19″ alloys instead, where depending on the trim level you choose could even come as standard.

For example, the pictured 19″ Y-spoke style 722 M light alloy wheels with run-flat tyres are included at no additional cost within the M Sport X package. These stunning 19″ alloys give the vehicle a sporty and aggressive look. Combined with the M Sport styling, it lifts the side profile to new heights; sharp rectangular-shaped wheel arches and side skirts give the X2 a unique look in its segment.

The same could be said about the front of the vehicle, which has a flared bonnet, stylish intakes by the bumper, and an appropriately-sized grille that resides in-between the stylised headlights.

Around the back, the X2 retains its sporty look by incorporating accentuated taillights and a robust-looking rear bumper. A 90mm circular exhaust outlet is also on display, which is a rarity for a modern vehicle, where most manufacturers opt for a downward-facing tailpipe, instead.

You might also notice two BMW badges located by the vehicle’s C-pillars, which take the tally up to four badges. These have been added to recreate a detail seen on classic BMW Coupes – it’s a nod to the past.

The M badge is also plastered around the vehicle, where it signifies a sportier styling over its Sport or SE counterparts. In our opinion, however, we feel this devalues the M badge wherein the past it would signify a notable difference in performance; it wasn’t just the aesthetics.

Unfortunately, in the modern era, the BMW Group has chosen to use its M badge to showcase a difference in style, where the vehicle – no matter which segment it sits in – will just look more aggressive. One can see an immediate difference when cycling between the SE and Sport, versus the M Sport, M Sport X or M Mesh Edition.

BMW X2 xDrive25e performance

Branding aside, the Phytonic Blue metallic paint glistens under the sun. Other colours are available too: Black Sapphire, Mineral Grey, Misano Blue, Galvanic Gold, Sunset Orange and Storm Bay – all of which cost an additional £550. Should you wish to save money, you can opt for the non-metallic Alpine White at no additional premium.

While looks are undoubtedly subjective, we feel the German automaker has executed the X2’s design to perfection. It’s a sporty crossover that sets itself aside from its rivals.

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BMW X2 xDrive25e interior review

It’s equally impressive inside the cabin, too. Everywhere you look or touch feels premium and for BMW fanatics, the styling is also reminiscent of the automaker’s older generation models. In fact, above the physical climate control buttons, there’s a CD player. We certainly weren’t expecting to see it present on a vehicle that went into production in 2020, but some will appreciate its inclusion.

Above that sits an 8.8″ touchscreen display that visualises BMW’s comprehensive iDrive system; one can also get a larger 10.25″ display (pictured) with the £1,250 Technology Pack 2. Here, one can adjust the vehicle’s settings and use to display navigation data. To better the experience, the automaker has slightly angled the display toward the driver, which is great from a practicality point of view. The screen itself is very vivid and supports multi-touch input.

BMW X2 xDrive25e maps

Apple CarPlay is supported as standard, which is a novelty for BMW vehicles, as it used to be inexplicitly charged as an option. Unfortunately, Android Auto doesn’t get the same amount of love, where BMW has only recently started rolling out the operating system across its fleet. As such, Android Auto wasn’t supported in our vehicle and made for a painful experience, as there’s no convenient place to store a device toward the front of the centre console. If, like us, you fall into this category, we’d suggest grabbing a phone holder – here’s a selection of our favourites.

Should you choose to connect your phone to the infotainment system via USB, you’ll find a Type-A port sitting beside a 12V output toward the front of the centre console, and a Type-C port toward the rear. There’s a larger storage bay to place a larger sized smartphone, too.

On that note, our model comes with an altered version of the £900 Technology Pack 1 option, which features ‘Enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging’ – this places a wireless charging module within the front armrest. The only issue is: if your smartphone is 6″ or larger, it won’t fit. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S10+ that has a 6.4″ display fails to fit into this cradle, resulting in the option becoming redundant.

As for wireless connectivity, Bluetooth works flawlessly and supports both the SBC and AAC codec. The latter results in a better quality stream and is ideal for those who own an Apple device.

No matter which mode you use to connect up to the vehicle’s system, you’ll find a six-speaker system that outputs up to 100 Watts of power. Opt for the Harmon Kardon system instead, and it’ll go up to 360 Watts with the addition of six additional speakers. If you’d like to hear how the stock system performs, watch our dedicated review of it on YouTube.

Onto the steering wheel, it has a substantial heft to it, which we don’t feel works well with the rest of the vehicle’s feel. It’s as if it’s been taken from its larger sibling or another SUV. While it’s perfectly easy to grip, we’d have preferred a more slender design. On the wheel itself resides cruise control settings on the left and phone controls to the right; the rubber wheel doubles up as a skip/previous button.

It’s also a shame not to see any flappy paddles, a standard option that makes its way in the equivalent petrol or diesel models. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the electronic gear selector to make manumatic changes; when placed in M/S mode the selector is harder to reach.

Behind the steering wheel resides a part analogue and digital display. It’s bright and showcases all the key information that you’d seek to know when glancing down at the instrument cluster.

To enhance your driving experience, you might want to opt for the Head-Up Display, which is part of the Tech Pack 2 option. The HUD will show built-in navigation data, your current speed, the speed limit, and even displays Bluetooth information such as track data. Our only gripe is its positioning: while you can alter the height and angle through the infotainment system, we found that even at its lowest setting it would obstruct a bit of our view. Should you also dip your head or slouch, it’ll also cut-off the display. So, despite finding the HUD extremely useful, it does seem that it hasn’t been properly optimised for the X2.

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BMW X2 xDrive25e storage review

On the plus side, BMW seems to have maximised boot capacity. With the seats up, you’ll get 410 litres, and with them propped down, this figure extends up to 1,290 litres. While this won’t compete with the likes of the BMW X1 PHEV, which gets 450 and 1,470 litres respectively, it’s still plentiful.

What we particularly like is the inclusion of 40:20:40 rear seats, which mean you can fold flat whichever seat you’re not using and still seat up to four occupants. Elsewhere, there’s a compartment located under the boot floor that serves as a perfect place to store your charging cables.

The rear boot is also electronically activated, where it can be opened by long-pressing on the key fob; ideal when you’re approaching the vehicle with a trolley full of groceries. Loading the boot is also easy as there’s a metal lip, which makes it easy to drag in-and-out larger goods. The addition of a flat loading bay makes for a perfect inclusion when transporting longer-sized luggage.

Within the cabin, there are two cupholder spaces toward the front of the centre console and a bay under the front armrest. Each of the BMW X2’s four doors also has a compartment to store a larger-sized purse or wallet. We did, however, find that the cut-out for a bottle was a bit too big; a 500ml bottle won’t sit properly and instead, will wobble around.

At the back, there are two cupholders that can be revealed within the armrest.

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BMW X2 xDrive25e comfort review

Indeed, if there are only four occupants, the middle seat can be used as an armrest. Of course, if you choose to utilise the seat, the BMW X2 xDrive25e will seat up to five occupants.

While the seats are a little firm, they’re still comfortable to sit on. The front two are also adjustable, where if you pick the £1,000 Comfort Pack 2 option, you’ll also get electric front seats with two-mode driver memory, a heated steering wheel and ‘Comfort Access’, which allows for convenient entry into the vehicle. Still, it would have been nice to see these features come as standard.

As for headroom and legroom, it’s plentiful at the front of the cabin, where 6-foot (182cm) individuals won’t feel henned. At the rear, however, headroom is limited; 6-foot 2-inches (188cm) might struggle to sit comfortably at the back. Unsurprisingly, there’s more space in the X1 or other larger-sized SUVs, such as the Audi e-tron.

Unlike the Audi, however, the BMW X2 isn’t as well insulated. Exterior noises can be heard and further, noticeable tyre noise creeps into the cabin making for a rather distracting experience when going on long drives.

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BMW X2 xDrive25e performance review

The same could be said about the vehicle’s suspension setup which is stiff. Potholes and speed bumps are felt, and while they won’t be as noticeable as opposed to a BMW M2 Competition, it’s certainly not a comfortable experience if you solely commute within the city.

On the flip side, the hardened setup yields a phenomenal driver’s feel – put the X2 on windy country roads and you’ll be left with a smile on your face. It grips extremely well and often makes you forget that you’re driving a crossover SUV. There’s very little body roll and with the inclusion of firm brakes, give you the confidence to lob the vehicle at speed on corners. To further add stability and better driving control, the plug-in model comes with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system as standard.

BMW X2 xDrive25e engine

The xDrive25e is also the most powerful X2 the manufacturer has to offer. Here, its 1.5-litre straight three-cylinder petrol engine dispatches 92 kW (125 hp) of power and 220 Nm of torque. It combines with the electric motor, which in itself outputs 70 kW (95 hp) of power and 165 Nm of torque. Combined, the two output 162 kW (220hp) of power and 385 Nm of torque.

BMW quotes a 0-62mph time of 6.8s, but tested with Racelogic’s Vbox Sport, we got to 60mph in 6.16 seconds, where both the electric motor (Auto eDrive) and engine were engaged. Top speed sits at 121mph, wherein all-electric mode, it’ll get up to 84mph.

The vehicle’s throttle response is exquisite, namely in Sport mode. It picks up instantaneously and with the addition of the electric motor, doesn’t leave you hanging at the traffic lights.

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Its six-speed Steptronic transmission is also buttery smooth. In both Sport or in manumatic mode, the gear changes are seamless. There’s absolutely no delay in shifting nor lag that we noticed from the gearbox.

Should you opt for Comfort or Eco Pro mode, the vehicle will be less responsive to input, namely in the latter mode, which makes the accelerator pedal feel mushy. The former driving mode will default each time you step inside the vehicle.

BMW X2 xDrive25e drive mode

Of course, these modes aren’t there just for responsiveness, but are aimed at promoting a greener drive. Indeed, the xDrive25e has a 10 kWh battery pack, which claims to give 31-32 miles of all-electric driving range. In our tests, we found this figure sat closer to 25 miles, which isn’t bad nor impressive for a plug-in hybrid.

There is a degree of regenerative braking that can’t be customised, which recoups energy back into the battery pack each time you apply pressure to the brake pedal. To recharge its cells more efficiently, you’ll want to plug it in; through a domestic power outlet, it’ll take five hours to go from 0 to 100%, or 80% capacity in 3hrs 48mins. Opt for a 7kW charger via its Type 2 port and it’ll take around 3hrs 12mins to 100% or 2hrs 24mins to 80%.

If you plan on doing a longer route or don’t want to wait around to recharge the vehicle’s batteries, the BMW X2 xDrive25e also has a 36-litre fuel tank. In our tests, it nets around 39 MPG, which isn’t too shabby for a car of its class.

Finally, onto safety, the Sports Activity Coupe has only a few basic features included: Collision Warning, Pedestrian Alert and Lane Departure Warning. The latter system is also rather poor, whereby it’ll only give you a gentle nudge on the steering wheel if you’re veering off-piste – unlike more advanced systems, it doesn’t keep you in lane or assist with steering.

We found ourselves surprised not to find a reversing camera included as standard, and the lack of adaptive cruise control and blind-spot assist can be an annoyance for those who frequent motorways.

On the plus side, we did find the Speed Limit Info to be pinpoint accurate; the system uses a camera and built-in navigation data to detect speed traps. Elsewhere, there are front and rear parking sensors that make up for the lack of a reversing camera.

BMW X2 xDrive25e TotallyEV award

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TotallyEV’s verdict on the BMW X2 xDrive25e

On the whole, the BMW X2 xDrive25e is a fun-to-drive crossover SUV that has the German automaker’s DNA written all over it.

It’s aggressively styled, seats up to five adults and more importantly drives like a BMW. It is, however, outdated in a few of its systems, isn’t as feature-packed as some of its rivals, and has a somewhat stiff suspension that won’t suit commuters who are after a soft daily driver. It’s also not as roomy as its larger sibling, the BMW X1.

Still, it’s arguably the best sporty hybrid crossover on the market, and as such gets TotallyEV’s Performance award. What do you make of the BMW X2 xDrive25e? Let us know in the comments section below or via social media; we’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
10
Features
6
Storage space
9
Driving comfort
7
Performance
9
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Christopher is an avid car enthusiast and techie. In his spare time, he reviews the latest consumer electronic products on his YouTube channel, TotallydubbedHD. Elsewhere, he practices Taekwondo, in which he has held a black belt for several years and coaches at a national level. He also speaks fluent English, French, Armenian, and loves to practice freestyle street dance.

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