The BMW X2 Is a Standout In More Ways Than One

The subcompact crossover is a true headturner.
IMAGE Paul John Caña

When BMW launched the X2 in the country in 2018, officials said the crossover Sport Activity Vehicle (or what BMW calls its SUVs) appeals to younger buyers who want to stand out. 

“They want to be trendsetters,” a BMW rep said then. “They want to lead the way. They want to stand out. They don’t want to be part of the norm. They are the people who would dislike what everyone would like. They’re the ones wearing pink when everyone else is wearing white, grey or silver.”

When I picked up the car one afternoon, I saw what he meant. The X2 was in an eyecatching Galvanic Gold hue, which easily sticks out in congested city streets. I’m usually one who prefers to blend in, but I saw the drive with the X2 as an opportunity to see what it’s like to be a bit more of a headturner.

Photo by Paul John Caña.

Photo by Paul John Caña.

New design

The German marque has a full range of crossovers and SAVs under its X models, from the X1 to the X7. The X2 is slightly bigger than the X1, and is the first modern BMW to have a reshaped kidney grille, which widens as it slopes down.

Another distinctive design detail is the placement of the BMW logo or “roundel” on the side just above the fuel cap. Officials said it’s a tip of the hat to the classic BMW coupes of the 1970s, including the 2000 cs and the 30 csl.

Under the hood, the X2 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four diesel engine. It’s the lone model offered here in the country (xDrive20d M Sport X). Inside, the seats are comfortable, natch, and upholstered in fabric. I had no trouble connecting my phone to the car via Bluetooth and pretty soon, I was rolling down the road with Kaleo blasting from the speakers.

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As expected, there were quite a few heads that turned to admire the BMW as I drove slowly through light traffic in the city. I chalked it up to the unconventional color, but also perhaps the fact that it’s a BMW—the brand is still relatively rare on Manila’s roads despite cornering a significant chunk of the local luxury vehicle segment.

Photo by Paul John Caña.

Photo by Paul John Caña.

Photo by Paul John Caña.

New features

To make driving easier and more enjoyable, the X2 offers features like Parking Assistant, which automatically identifies suitable parking spaces and can take over steering duties for the parking maneuver; Comfort Access System, which can sense the unique BMW key even remotely and can unlock the vehicle with a touch on the door handle; and 470 liters of luggage space, which can fit everything from bags of groceries to a full mountain bike.

For me, it was a leisurely drive up to Tagaytay for Sunday lunch. Instead of passing through the regular highways, Waze had me go through smaller inner roads that aren’t as well-maintained. Thankfully, the X2 more than held its own against cracks, potholes, and humps.

In Tagaytay, the X2 looked at home with other fancy cars at the parking lot of the Taal Vista Hotel, but again, because of the color, it’s where your eye naturally gravitates. BMW says the model is available in other colors (Mediterranean Blue, Dark Olive and Misano Blue), but if you’re the type who absolutely has to be the center of attention everywhere you go, Galvanic Gold is the color for you.


BMW is targeting first-time SUV buyers with the X2, but it’s clearly not for everyone. When it comes to luxury vehicles, you’re buying the prestige, the quality and the assurance that you’re not getting something that everybody else has. When you’re ready to rise up from the regular, the X2 is a standout choice.

The BMW X2 xDrive20d M Sport X model retails at Php 4.3 million.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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