Power comes from a B48 turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It delivers 302 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, fairly prolific figures for just 2.0 liters of displacement, and a whole lot beefier than the standard X2's 228 hp.
BMW says standard all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission help get the M35i to 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds.
Where the base X2 sDrive28i model is rated at 23 miles per gallon city and 32 mpg highway, and the all-wheel-drive xDrive28i returns 21/31, the M35i's EPA figures of 23/29 seem quite good. That doesn't seem much of a penalty at all for an extra 74 hp.
Where the regular X2 has black lower body cladding and a 10-millimeter (0.4-inch) higher ride height, the M35i's side skirts and front fascia are painted body-color. As a result, this version looks far more hunkered down to the road. Add in the fantastic (albeit ride-quality-ruining) 20-inch wheels, and the result is a crossover that gives off more of a squat hot-hatch vibe.
For infotainment, the X2 M35i uses an 8.8-inch touchscreen running BMW's iDrive 6 software. The system is familiar from many other BMWs -- though the newest models, like the 8 Series and 3 Series, now use iDrive 7 -- and is as easy to use here as anywhere else.
The suspension, lower and stiffer than the regular X2's, keeps body roll and pitch to a minimum, while the quicker steering and sticky Pirelli P Zero rubber allow for decisive turn-in. The brakes are enlarged, too, and deliver both a firm pedal feel and right-now stopping force.
The X2 M35i's base price is $47,445 (including destination), an upcharge of $8,050 versus the X2 xDrive28i -- though my tester is optioned to the tune of $55,020.
Cargo capacity is reasonable at 21.6 cubic feet with the seats up and 50 with them down. That's a little less than in the BMW X1, but honestly, the cargo area is plenty spacious and most shoppers won't struggle to fit their belongings in back.
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