In its normal kind, the BMW X2 is sort of a tough promote. Much less spacious and costlier than the X1 on which its primarily based, however with none actual good points elsewhere, it is a subcompact crossover that is onerous to suggest.

This new M35i mannequin, however, has a lot larger attraction. It makes use of BMW’s strongest four-cylinder engine, and brings with it numerous legit efficiency upgrades. It nonetheless is not any extra practical than an X1, however it’s a go-fast remedy that is unique to the X2 — and an entertaining one, at that.

Enhance, child, increase

The X2 M35i makes use of a closely reworked model of the B48 2.Zero-liter turbocharged I4 engine present in a lot of BMW’s different fashions. The strengthened crankshaft has bigger foremost bearings, and new pistons enable for a barely decreased compression ratio for extra energy supply. A bigger turbocharger provides elevated increase, and the engine’s cooling system has been upgraded to deal with the larger calls for. The result’s 302 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, will increase of 74 in each fields over an X2 xDrive28i.

BMW says the X2 M35i’ll scoot to 60 miles per hour in four.9 seconds, thanks partially to a brand new launch management function constructed into its Eight-speed automated transmission. That makes the M35i a full 1.four seconds faster to 60 mph than its xDrive28i counterpart, and places it squarely in Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS territory.

Energy comes on instantly, with peak torque arriving at simply 1,750 rpm. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters can help you work by means of the transmission’s eight speeds your self, however the X2 is completely adept when left to its personal units. Throttle response sharpens as you turn from Consolation to Sport mode, and gear-changes are fired off with noticeable urgency.

A limited-slip entrance differential and all-wheel drive assist the X2 M35i maintain its composure in corners.

Chris Tedesco/BMW

However the M35i is far more than a faster X2. It will get a decrease and firmer suspension setup, M Sport brakes, a faster steering ratio and a limited-slip entrance differential.

And actually, the M35i is a riot. This X2 has sharp reflexes and it is keen to alter route, the hefty steering providing stable suggestions. The suspension tune is somewhat too stiff for the pockmarked farm roads southwest of Palm Springs, California, however on easy pavement — just like the observe at The Thermal Membership — it feels simply advantageous. The M35i has an simply chuckable nature, like all good sizzling hatch ought to, with its xDrive all-wheel-drive system shuffling energy to the wheels that want it most. It’s going to exhibit a bit extra roll than one thing like a Golf R, however that is largely a product of the elevated floor clearance. BMW nonetheless maintains this factor is a crossover, in spite of everything.

Cannot outrun ugly

To visually differentiate it from lesser X2s, the M35i will get numerous gray-colored exterior parts, together with the mirror caps, grille encompass and model-specific 19-inch wheels (20-inch rollers are a $600 possibility). There is a bigger roof spoiler round again, and an M Sport exhaust rounds out the efficiency upgrades, which provides the two.Zero-liter engine a little bit of rumbly aural delight.

Other than new sport seats, the M35i has the identical cabin as different X2s, with BMW’s iDrive infotainment atop the sprint.

Chris Tedesco/BMW

After all, none of this modifications the truth that the X2 is, nicely, yeesh. The entrance fascia has a kind of bulgy rodent vibe, and I nonetheless cannot get behind the position of the BMW Roundel smack dab in the course of the C-pillar. Magnificence is within the eye of the beholder, I do know, and I will say the M35i is a minimum of probably the most enticing of all of the X2 variants. However I simply can’t assist however discover this child Bimmer u-g-l-y ugly, particularly in my check automotive’s shade of Galvanic Gold Metallic.

Inside, the M35i comes normal with comfy, supportive sport seats. In any other case, its cabin is similar as another X2, with a surprisingly spacious entrance compartment and decidedly cramped rear seats. With 50.1 cubic ft of cargo area on supply, the X2 M35i is extra capacious than a Mercedes-AMG GLA45, however on the identical time, falls wanting many different compact crossovers. Even the aforementioned Golf R has an even bigger boot, with 52.7 cubic ft behind its entrance seats.

BMW’s iDrive 6.Zero know-how handles infotainment duties, housed in an Eight.Eight-inch display screen atop the sprint. You’ll be able to function iDrive by touching the display screen, or by means of the rotary dial and shortcut buttons on the middle console. Embedded navigation is accessible as a part of a $1,800 Premium Bundle, which additionally unlocks adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go tech, for a further $1,000.

The X2 has a face solely a mom may love.

Chris Tedesco/BMW

An entertaining new possibility

The 2019 X2 M35i begins at $46,450, a full $Eight,050 greater than the xDrive28i. Absolutely loaded with all of the aforementioned choices, plus a panoramic moonroof ($1,350), full-leather seating ($1,450), wi-fi charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot ($500), a Harman Kardon premium audio system ($875) and BMW’s parking assistant ($200), you are greater than $55,000 when all the things’s mentioned and accomplished.

That makes the X2 M35i a a lot pricier proposition than conventional sizzling hatches just like the $41,120 Focus RS or $40,395 Golf R, however the BMW provides a bit extra luxurious inside, to not point out a extra prestigious badge on the nostril (and pillar). Alternatively, the M35i vastly undercuts the Mercedes-AMG GLA45’s $53,350 beginning value, which may simply swell to over $70,000 with choices. That mentioned, the AMG can be somewhat firecracker — far more balls-out spastic than the X2, and far more entertaining to drive.

Nonetheless, the X2 M35i is an attention-grabbing proposition: A bit extra luxurious than a Ford or VW, with out emptying your pockets fairly just like the Mercedes. It is an interesting remedy that turns the in any other case meh X2 right into a high-riding sizzling hatch that is a hoot and a half to drive.

The M35i remedy is a $Eight,050 premium over an X2 xDrive28i.

Chris Tedesco/BMW

Editors’ notice: Journey prices associated to this function had been lined by the producer. That is widespread within the auto trade, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to automobiles than to ship automobiles to journalists. Whereas Roadshow accepts multiday automobile loans from producers in an effort to present scored editorial evaluations, all scored automobile evaluations are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases.

The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial group are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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