BMW X1 vs X2

SAV or SAC?

BMW X1 vs X2

The Lowdown

The BMW X2 is essentially a BMW X1 with a chopped-off roof. The sloping roofline of a coupe gives it a sportier look, but it's backed by the same engine and transmission so don't expect any difference in performance. The X1 costs less and offers a slightly more spacious cargo area.

2021 BMW X1 sDrive28i

MSRP
$35,400
Body Type
SUV
Horsepower
228
Weight
3,554 lbs
Seating
5
MPG (City/Hwy)
24 / 33

2021 BMW X2 sDrive28i

MSRP
$36,600
Body Type
SUV
Horsepower
228
Weight
3,499 lbs
Seating
5
MPG (City/Hwy)
24 / 32

Note: Images shown may not represent trims

The BMW X1 and X2 are BMW's smallest SUVs. BMW themselves don't use the term SUV, preferring instead to classify its SUVs as being either Sports Activity Vehicles ® (SAVs) or Sports Activity Coupes ® (SACs).

The X1 is a more traditional subcompact SUV, whereas the X2 is a sportier, coupe-like subcompact SUV.

They therefore belong to the same size segment, and in many aspects they are more or less the same.

Both are smaller than the BMW X3 and BMW X4, and smaller still when compared to the BMW X5. Equivalently sized competitors include the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA.

Let's take a more detailed look at the exact differences between the two models.

Price

The entry-level 2021 BMW X1, the sDrive28i, costs $35,400 . The entry-level 2021 BMW X2 sDrive28i is slightly more expensive, costing $36,600 .

Both the X1 and X2 are both available with BMW's patented xDrive all-wheel drive (AWD). The X1 and X2 xDrive28i will cost you $2,000 more than the front-wheel drive sDrive28i, at $37,400 and $38,600 respectively.

However, BMW offers the X2 in a high-performance M35i trim. This costs significantly more at $46,450 MSRP and differs quite a bit from the standard X1 and X2 (more on this later).

Styling

While it's difficult to differentiate the X1 and X2 from a quick glance, a closer inspection shows some subtle differences.

BMW X1 side view
X1
Photo: BMW
BMW X2 side view
X2
Photo: BMW

The X2 BMW SUV has a sportier, more athletic build with its sloping rear roofline and significantly slimmer windows . The 10-spoke wheels on the X2 also look different to the splitting spokes on the X1.

BMW's signature dual-kidney front grilles are present on both the X1 and X2, but looks wider on the X2. The X2's headlights also appear slimmer and wider, giving the X2 a more aggressive look overall.

The rear of the X2 looks considerably more handsome than the X1, thanks to the body's shorter profile, pronounced rear diffuser and meaner looking taillights.

BMW X1 rear view
X1
Photo: BMW
BMW X2 rear view
X2
Photo: BMW

Interior

The styling differences on the exterior were pretty subtle, but they're even more difficult to detect on the inside.

Barely anything separates the cabins of the X1 and X2. Changes are limited to the X2 getting a slimmer and more rounded steering wheel , as well as some special stitching elements on the cloth seats.

BMW X1 interior
X1
Photo: BMW
BMW X2 interior
X2
Photo: BMW

The X2 borrows the same multi-tiered horizontal dashboard as the X1, as well as the same analog instrument cluster and gear shift lever. 2021 models now come with SiriusXM satellite radio and feature 8.8-inch touchscreen displays as standard, but pre-2020 models come with a 6.5-inch screen unless upgraded.

Both BMW crossover interiors are sufficiently luxurious, but there are still cheap plastics employed here and there. The X3 and above definitely feel a notch higher in overall quality.

Exterior and Interior Dimensions

Given that they're both subcompact SUVs built from the same base, the X1 and X2 are very similar in size.

The sportier X2 sits 2.8 inches closer to the ground and is 3.2 inches shorter in length. Other than that, the exterior dimensions are more or less the same.

The X1 has the edge when it comes to its cargo hold with a cargo capacity of 27.1 cu.ft. compared to the X2's 21.6 cu.ft.

Passengers will also appreciate the X1's extra passenger headroom. The taller X1 has 41.9 inches of headroom in both the front and back whereas the X2 has 38.9 inches of headroom in the front and 37.1 inches in the back.

Engine Performance and Fuel Economy

Both the X1 and X2 share the same 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder engine. This produces 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This is matched with a 8-speed STEPTRONIC Automatic transmission.

Despite the X2's sportier profile, the performance of these two SUVs is exactly the same. Going from 0-60 mph takes 6.6s in the front-wheel drive sDrive28i models (6.3 seconds in the AWD xDrive 28i). The top speed is electronically limited to 131 mph .

Although the mechanical underpinning is the same, the lower center of gravity and tighter turning radius does at least give the X2 an advantage in cornering.

Fuel efficiency is a respectable 24/32 (city/highway) mpg, which is fairly average within the subcompact SUV class but far behind the class-leading Lexus UX 200 (29/37 mpg).

The BMW X2 M35i

BMW's M series is a collection of high-performance versions of regular BMWs. The BMW X2 has an M series version, the M35i. The X1 has no such M series version.

X2 M35i rear
Photo: BMW

The M35i features various performance enhancements as well as aesthetic changes. Its 301 hp engine takes it from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds , although fuel economy is lower (23/30 mpg).

Verdict

There is no doubt that the X2 is the better looking SUV. It looks much sexier from the side and all the finer detailing gives it a more sophisticated look.

However, from a practicality standpoint it just doesn't make much sense. It offers less cargo space, less room for passengers and yet ends up costing more than the X1.

While we think the X1 is a more sensible purchase, if you’re looking for a blazing fast subcompact SUV, the BMW X2 M35i is your answer. No equivalent X1 exists.

Related: BMW X1 vs X2 comparison

Full Comparison Table

2021 BMW X1 sDrive28i2021 BMW X2 sDrive28i
Performance
Engine2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Horsepower228 hp @ 5000 rpm228 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque258 lb-ft @ 1450 rpm258 lb-ft @ 1450 rpm
Transmission8-Speed Automatic8-Speed Automatic
DrivetrainFront-Wheel DriveFront-Wheel Drive
Handling
Steering TypeRack-PinionRack-Pinion
Turning Diameter (ft.)37.437.2
Front SuspensionStrutStrut
Rear SuspensionMulti-LinkMulti-Link
Front Wheel Size18" x 7.5"18" x 7.5"
Rear Wheel Size18" x 7.5"18" x 7.5"
Front TireP225/50VR18P225/50VR18
Rear TireP225/50VR18P225/50VR18
Fuel Economy
MPG - Combined2727
MPG - City2424
MPG - Hwy3332
Gas Tank Size (gallons)16.116.1
Cruising Range - City (miles)386.4386.4
Cruising Range - Hwy (miles)531.3515.2
CO2 Emissions, 15K mi/year (tons)6.66.6
Exterior Dimensions
Length (in.)175.5172.2
Height (in.)62.960.1
Max Width (in.)71.771.8
Front Width (in.)61.561.6
Rear Width (in.)61.661.6
Wheelbase (in.)105.1105.1
Weight (lbs.)35543499
Interior Dimensions
Passenger Capacity55
Legroom - front (in.)40.440.3
Headroom - front (in.)41.939.8
Shoulder Room - front (in.)55.655.6
Legroom - rear (in.)3736.7
Headroom - rear (in.)39.437.1
Shoulder Room - rear (in.)55.253.9
Infotainment
BluetoothStandardStandard
Hard Disk DriveNot AvailableNot Available
HD RadioStandardStandard
Satellite RadioStandardStandard
MP 3 PlayerStandardStandard
Premium Sound SystemOptionalOptional
Wifi HotspotNot AvailableNot Available
Aux Audio InStandardStandard
Entertainment SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Comfort
Head Up DisplayOptionalOptional
Navigation SystemStandardStandard
Steering Wheel Audio ControlsStandardStandard
Power LiftgateStandardStandard
Power Mirror SStandardStandard
A CStandardStandard
Adaptive Cruise ControlOptionalOptional
Automatic ParkingOptionalOptional
Climate ControlStandardStandard
Cooled Front Seat SNot AvailableNot Available
Cooled Rear Seat SNot AvailableNot Available
Cruise ControlStandardStandard
Hands Free LiftgateOptionalOptional
Heated Front Seat SOptionalOptional
Heated Rear Seat SNot AvailableNot Available
Heated Steering WheelOptionalOptional
Keyless EntryStandardStandard
Multi Zone A CStandardStandard
Power Driver SeatStandardStandard
Power Passenger SeatStandardStandard
Remote Engine StartNot AvailableNot Available
Remote Trunk ReleaseStandardStandard
Seat MemoryStandardStandard
Universal Garage Door OpenerOptionalOptional
Seat MassageNot AvailableNot Available
Rear A CNot AvailableNot Available
Keyless StartStandardStandard
Navigation From TelematicsNot AvailableNot Available
TelematicsStandardStandard
Interior Trim
Bucket SeatsStandardNot Available
Cloth SeatsStandardStandard
Leather SeatsStandardStandard
Leather Steering WheelStandardStandard
Premium Synthetic SeatsStandardStandard
Vinyl SeatsStandardStandard
Woodgrain Interior TrimOptionalNot Available
Sun MoonroofOptionalStandard
Safety
Back Up CameraStandardStandard
Cross Traffic AlertNot AvailableNot Available
Rear Parking AidStandardStandard
Blind Spot MonitorNot AvailableNot Available
Lane Departure WarningStandardStandard
Lane Keeping AssistNot AvailableNot Available
ABSStandardStandard
Night VisionNot AvailableNot Available
Tire Pressure MonitorStandardStandard
Brake AssistStandardStandard
Stability ControlStandardStandard
Traction ControlStandardStandard
Airbags
Driver Air BagStandardStandard
Front Head Air BagStandardStandard
Front Side Air BagStandardStandard
Knee Air BagStandardStandard
Passenger Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Head Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Side Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Seatbelt Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Warranty
Basic4 Years / 50,000 Miles4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Corrosion12 Years / Unlimited Miles12 Years / Unlimited Miles
Drivetrain4 Years / 50,000 Miles4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Maintenance3 Years / 36,000 Miles3 Years / 36,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance4 Years / Unlimited Miles4 Years / Unlimited Miles