Launch Drive: BMW X2

cars  /   /  By Nafisa Akabor

BMW South Africa unveiled its first ever X2 at a media even this week in Cape Town. I was in attendance, and if first impressions are anything to go by, I love what it looks likes. It has a sporty, aggressive, angular look but I don’t particular like the BMW badge that is placed towards the back on the door – feels a bit out of character.

Speaking about out of character, it is exactly what this car is based on the #TotallyUngovernable hashtag. Edward Makwana of BMW South Africa says its for the non-conformists, cool, urban crowd, combined with some bold new colours: unique gold and blue shade.

If you don’t already know, this is a direct competitor to the E-Pace I drove last week, with both being compact SUVs. Both cars are trying to appeal to the younger generation who want a bit of luxury in their life. By younger generation, I mean folks in their 30s – LOL. Especially if you look at the prices, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

And so, because of this appeal, they’ve put the tech features as standard, like the navigation system with real-time traffic on a 6.5” screen; ConnectedDrive with apps; emergency and break down calls via SOS button in the car; CarPlay (they did not mention Android Auto); and wireless charging for Apple’s iPhone and supported Android devices for people like me…

I tested the wireless charging feature on the S9+ on it but alas it was too big, however the iPhone X fits fine. It charges a bit slower than what you may be used to – like 1% in six minutes, which is ok if you don’t have an almost dying battery. But, you’re better off keeping a cable in the car for other features like CarPlay – I’m old school in a sense that I prefer keeping my phone plugged in with a cable.

I love that BMW ConnectedDrive supports a wide range of apps, including the newly launched Spotify in South Africa. I loaded some offline playlists before I hit the road, and it worked great, via CarPlay. You just have to pair the phone to the car first, once you plug the cable in. Thereafter, I saw an option that allowed CarPlay to work wirelessly. As mentioned above, I prefer it with a cable. Also, if you have any supported app open, it will tell you that you can’t use your phone for safety reasons, but you can dismiss the message to use it anyway. 

We made use of the navigation in Cape Town and found that like all in car navigation, it struggles a little when it comes to recalculating. The highway was closed as we were forced to reroute but it kept asking us to make a U-turn to take the same route. Eventually we just had Google Maps as backup. I do love that the real-time traffic info factors how many minutes you will be delayed on your route – a feature we know as standard on our phones but it’s nice to see on a car too.

There are two types of X2’s in the range, the X2 M Sport and the X2 M Sport X, available in petrol and diesel. We drove the X2 sDrive20i and the X2 xDrive20d (M Sport X), both of which are available immediately. The X2 sDrive 18i will be available in May. I preferred the diesel on the X2 range; it felt lighter.

I also loved the route we covered, so we got to experience varying conditions in the car, regular traffic in the morning, highways, mountain passes with a lot of curves, covering beautiful parts of South Africa that were postcard perfect. After lunch we went through Chapmans Peak which was gorgeous, of course. On the second part of the drive, our car had red interiors… it was a bit too much for my eyes, lol.

This will not surprise anyone but I loved the tech available in the car as standard. It makes using my smartphone in the car easier and safer; and Spotify offline playlists ftw!

PRICES
M Sport Models:
X2 sDrive 18i – from R591 300
X2 sDrive 20i – From R642 200
X2 sDrive 20d – From R692 900

M Sport X Models:
X2 sDrive 18i – from R621 000
X2 sDrive 20i – From R671 900
X2 sDrive 20d – From R722 600

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