Small crossover SUVs are a thing right now---and most of them lean to the "utility" part of "Sport Utility Vehicle". There's a cure for that, and it's the 2019 BMW X2 M35i.
It has the size and proportions of most small crossovers---four doors, a liftgate instead of a trunk in the back---and if you simply get an X2, you're getting BMW's take on that---well-equipped, beautifully built and oozing German engineering.
But if you specify the M35i model, things get interesting very quickly. The M badge has signified the highest-performance BMWs for decades now, and it means magic when applied to the X2.
The M35i is lowered, rides on bigger wheels with low-profile tires. Underneath, there's an M Sport suspension, M Sport brakes and M Sport steering.
But it's what's under the hood that transforms the X2 M35i. The 228-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powering other X2s is replaced by a twin-turbo two-liter four, making 302 horsepower. Believe me, you'll notice the extra 74---especially in a smaller, lighter vehicle. Zero to 60 happens in 4.7 seconds. And even with that kind of muscle, the EPA fuel economy estimate is not too shabby---23 city/29 highway.
Starting price for the BMW X2 M35i is $46,450, and that brings the performance goodies I mentioned above, plus LED headlights with cornering lights, LED fog lights, Shadowline exterior trim, 12-way power heated front sport seats with four-way lumbar support and driver's seat memory, two-way power driver's seat side bolsters, SensaTec upholstery, interior ambient lighting, navigation, Apple CarPlay, USB, Bluetooth, keyless entry, active cruise control, front and rear park distance control, a rearview camera, auto-dimming interior and power folding exterior mirrors, a universal garage door opener, run-flat tires, a power tailgate, black high-gloss interior trim, a center armrest, automatic climate control, an aerodynamic kit, rear spoiler and an anthracite headliner.
The one I drove for a week had extra cost options, the single priciest and most controversial being the Magma Red Dakota Leather interior. It costs $1,450, my wife hated it but a few people at last Saturday's Cars and Coffee in Folsom loved it. I think it's a little bright, but the alternative is black, which could be a little dark.
Beyond that, there's a Premium Package (head-up display and navigation touchpad) for $1,800, upgraded double-spoke 20-inch M wheels for $600, a panoramic moonroof for $1,350, Stop and Go for the adaptive cruise control with Active Drive Assist adds $1,000, an upgraded Harman Kardon audio system sounded great and cost $875 and upgraded M Sport front seats were $500.
With $995 destination charge, the bottom line on the window sticker read $55,020.
It's a blast to drive---you'll never know you're in a crossover until you look behind you. If you want a 2-series coupe, but your lifestyle demands more utility, the 2019 BMW X2 M35i is a great choice.