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.
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.
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.