BMW x1 vs x2

With car models being churned out every year it can be confusing choosing between various models – especially in the SUV segment. A case in point is between the x1 and its newer brother x2. The vehicles are almost similar in terms of dimensions but there are some subtle features you may miss out on. In this review we are going to put the x1 side by side to the x2 and tell you which is better.

What are the key differences between the x1 and x2?

BMW x1
BMW x2
Sports activity vehicle (SAV), comes in traditional SUV style
Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) cross-breed coupe and SUV
Boot space
505 liters
470 liters
Petrol (18i/20i), Turbo (18d and 20d), sDrive and xDrive
Petrol (18i/20i), Turbo (18d and 20d), sDrive and xDrive. Plus option of M35i
Legroom and headroom
More spacious
A bit squeezed
Eight speed
Eight speed
Fuel economy
105.1” wheel base, 62.5”H, 71.7”W, 175.4” L
105.1” wheelbase, 60.1” H, 71.8” W, 172.2” L
Cargo volume
27 cu ft
22 cu ft
Curb weight
3736 lb
3705 lb.

X1 vs. X3 – How do they compare?


While both models may seem to be identical in terms of dimensions they are quite different from each other. The X1 exhibits more features of a SUV than the x2. You will notice it comes with a more sturdy shape with its exterior more SUV style. The x2 is what BMW call a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC). What this simply means is that it is a SUV with a coupe inspired shape. This is displayed on the exterior through a sleek tapered roofline and with narrower windows. For those who prefer the traditional SUV style then the x1 is ideal while the x2 is for those who prefer a hybrid between a coupe and SUV.

Engine Performance

You will find similar engines in both cars with the 18i and 20i being petrol engines while the 18d and 20d representing turbo engines. You also have options like sDrive and xDrive that is FWD and AWD respectively. If you want something that is more agile and with greater fuel efficiency then the sDrive is better. You will also find different types of tires to choose from the Entry level SE trims to the sport trims. However, the engine performance similarities end there and if you are looking for a more powerful engine then the x2 offers its M35i. This 4-cylinder twin turbo engine is capable of hitting 4.9 seconds from 0 to 60 seconds.

In terms of engine performance the x2 edges out the x1 with a more sporty M tuned engine.

Space and interior technology

If you are looking for more head room and legroom then the x1 is more spacious than the x2. You will find that in the x1 you have more spacious front seats and the cargo space is quite generous with its 505 liter boot space. The x2 compromises its spacious interior due to a more stylish exterior that resembles a coupe. You get slimmer rear doors than the x1 but the legroom is still generous. The problem is mainly for tall persons who will find the x2 a bit squeezed compared to the x1. The boot space is less by 35 liters compared to the x1.

As for the interior design and technology the cars are quite similar with 8.8” display for the x1 and 6.5” for the x2. You can upgrade the latter to a 8.8” screen if you want. The interior also have that characteristic BMW finish with high quality wood finishes.

X1 vs. X2 – A Comparison Overview

X1 – Overview

The x1 comes with a 228 HP turbocharged four cylinder engine that is capable of delivering enough torque for your city and off-road trips. It is one of recent BMW crossover models and resembles your typical SUV. The car interior is spacious with enough leg room and headroom for tall persons. You also get 505 liters of boot space which is quite adequate for a family of four. For the 2021 model there have being some upgrades like the inclusion of the SiriusXM satellite radio which has become standard in all x1 models.

The car comes with a variety of  engine options for petrol (18i and 20i), turbo (18d and 20d) and FWD (sDrive) and AWD (xDrive). The car is categorized as a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). The 228HP engine is mated with a smooth eight-speed transmission. This allows the car to hit 6.3 seconds from 0 to 60mph. When it comes to fuel economy the x1 does remarkably well delivering 29mpg on highways.

The X1 interior like most of BMW cars is stylish, comfortable and spacious. The cockpit is driver focused so you do not have to move your eyes from the dashboard. The driving position is also great with multiple steering adjustments. On the back the cargo space is carpeted with trimmed chrome finishing. The X1 comes with a standard 8.8” iDrive entertainment console. You also get Apple CarPlay capability but it lacks Android Auto like other BMW models like the x5.

The x1 also offers you siriusXM satellite radio, one USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio capability and a seven speaker audio system. You can control all your functions via the rotary knob on the center console. Here you will find shortcuts for the nav, phone and other functions.

The car is also on top in terms of safety features as it comes with standard forward-collision warning, automatic high beam headlamps, and lane-departure warning.

What we liked:

  • Crisp handling
  • Stylish interior
  • Generous cargo space with enough legroom
  • Decent fuel economy

What we did not like:

Aging infotainment interface

X2 – Overview

The X2 is what we call a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC). It is a cross between the SUV and coupe as such is comes with sleek tapered roofline with narrow windows. This means you have less leg room when compared with the x1. The boot space is also small at 475 liters. The car compromises on space for a more stylish design.

For engine performance you get some engine varieties to choose from. You have for petrol (18i and 20i) engines, turbo (18d and 20d) and FWD (sDrive) and AWD (xDrive). The cars are lightweight and agile. This gives you excellent fuel economy. If you want more power you can go for the more powerful M35i. With this engine you get a powerful 302 HP 4-cylinder twin-turbo engine that is capable of hitting 4.9 seconds from 0 to 60 seconds. The base model has the 228HP turbocharged four cylinder engine.

When it comes to fuel economy the X2 performs quite well and you can hit 32mpg on the front drive models and 31mpg for the all-wheel drives. When it comes to the interior design you get a standard 6.5” screen which you can upgrade to a 8.8” console. Dual-zone climate control is standard on all their models. Compared to its exterior the interior is less expressive. The driving position is great with visibility for all your controls. However, the rear seat head room is a bit tight and may be uncomfortable for tall persons.

You also get BMW’s option for leather color. Due to its sharper backside the X2 cargo space is not that great but it can fit five carry-on suit cases and 15 should you fold the rear seats. For the console the driver gets the controller knob on the center console for those who are not accustomed to touchscreens. The controller knob will have shortcuts for major units like nav and phone. You get a head-up display as an add-on. For audio you get decent seven speaker audio system but you can upgrade it to a Harman/Kardon premium sound system.

The car comes with many safety features like the standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, available adaptive cruise control and standard lane-departure warning. The X2 is a sportier car and focuses more on handling than leg space.

What we liked:

  • Has more style and sportier
  • Superior BMW driving dynamics
  • Stylish sloped roof
  • Good on fuel economy

What we did not like:

Cabin space is a bit squeezed

Verdict: So, which is better – X1 or X2?

The choice between the two boils down to preference; do you want a more sportier car or are you looking for practicality. The X2 wins when it comes to a sportier presence and its M35i engine is a great choice for those who want more power and speed. However, for those who desire a more traditional SUV with enough leg room and boot space then the X1 is a better choice. If you have a large family and plan on doing road trips with your car then go with the X1.


Which has bigger cargo storage space – x1 or x2?

The x1 offers you a larger cargo space of 27 cubic feet against the x2 22 cubic feet

Which is faster – x1 or x2?

Both cars come with the same standard 228HP turbocharged four cylinder engine. But, the x2 has a more powerful M35i engine capable of 300HP.

Jurgen Shmidt works as an automotive engineer, his duties revolve around vehicle design, development manufacture, and testing. Shmidt is also involved in marketing, sales, and the after-sale care of cars, apart from his 8 hours job, he interacts with enthusiasts who have concerns or wish to learn about the various models of the BMW luxury cars. Shmidt believes that the demand for detailed information surpasses its availability and that is why he dedicates most of his free time, researching and compiling reliable information. The information compiled on bmwexpert has been derived from hands-on experience and not some snazzy press release, thus we believe you will find answers to your troubling questions about the BMW.

Leave a Comment