Behind the Wheel

2019 BMW X2 Review: High-quality daily driver fun with a big drawback

The BMW X2 is high-quality but there's an issue that can't be ignored.

Photo courtesy of BMW

Typically, BMW does a lot right when it comes to designing and executing vehicles. The 2019 BMW X2 is designed to be subcompact daily driver- something it does very well in theory. However, its M35i variant suffers from so much turbo lag that driving that model every day quickly becomes an undesirable chore.

The BMW X2 M35i is new for the 2019 model year. The X2 was a completely new model for the 2018 model year and slots between the X1 and X3 in the BMW lineup, positioned squarely as a crossover compared to the odd-numbered BMW SUVs.

2019 BMW X2 M35i The X2 M35i's power plant is more than capable of getting up to speed in a jiffy.Photo courtesy of BMW

Under the hood of the X2 M35i is a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to get from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The 302-horsepower crossover sure is quick enough, once it gets going. And, once it's going the X2 works just as easily as the other SUVs in BMW's stable. Passing at speed is a breeze and the X2 never falls behind traffic due to a lack of power.

2019 BMW X2 M35i This variant of the X2 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 302 horsepower.Photo courtesy of BMW

The interior of the X2 is outfitted in high-quality materials with the exceptional fit and finish that is typically found in BMW vehicles. The look is clean and modern, allowing for good passenger space. However, it appears to be from the BMW parts bin and not as nicely furnished as many other vehicles at its price point.

The infotainment system, driver information screen, and climate controls on the BMW are rather straightforward to use. The control knob for the infotainment system allows for easy cruising between SiriusXM channels and navigating the infotainment system's screen is a breeze.

2019 BMW X2 M351 The interior of the X2 is modern and the infotainment system is easy to you.Photo courtesy of BMW

The BMW doesn't come with as many bells and whistles as you might think it should for its price tag. Getting advanced safety and convenience technology is a box-checking game. Adaptive cruise control with stop and go is $1,000 and parking assist is another $200. A heated steering wheel is a no-cost stand-alone add-on but a moonroof will set you back an additional $1,350, a wireless device charging pad is $500, and a Harman Kardon surround sound system is $875.

The X2's front seats are typical for the automaker, meaning that they're ergonomically pleasing for short trips but after more than an hour behind the wheel you'll start looking for a place to get out and stretch. It's a subcompact SUV so the rear seats are tight and tall children and adults probably won't like being squished back there for long trips.

2019 BMW X2 M35i The seats inside the X2 are sporty but its rear seats are a different type of confining - tight for long legged folks.Photo courtesy of BMW

The SUV's cargo space is decent compared to other vehicles its size. The space won't wow you, but it's more than sufficient for daily activities.

Buyers can get a lot for the same price as a BMW X2 M35i ($46,450). Is the model the best bang for the buck? No, and with its engine and transmission woes, it's worth test driving the base model xDrive28i and other luxury models before committing.

The 2019 BMW X2 M35i is on sale now and the 2020 model will be arriving at dealerships shortly.

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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A new Texas-themed version of the Jeep Gladiator is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep has brought the Gladiator's off-road chops to the trails of the Lone Star State. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail is another of the the traditional of special edition vehicles for Texans who occupy the nation's largest truck market. It's the first time Jeep has offered a unique-to-Texas truck.

The new model builds on the Gladiator Sport S trim adding 17-inch Mid-Gloss Back Aluminum wheels wrapped in 32-inch mud-terrain tires, four-wheel drive, standard side steps, and the Trailer Tow Group. The Gladiator Texas Trail has a unique hood and decals that feature the year 1836 in the graphic as a nod to the year of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It also wears a black hardtop, black leather seats embossed with the Texas Trail graphic and comes equipped with the Technology Group and Convenience Group packages.

2021 Jeep Gl The vehicle is ready to be fully accessorized to the buyer's wishes.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

2021 Jeep Gl

The Texas-themed model features the buyer's choice of Jeep's new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that's rated at 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque or the tried and true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 power plant, which achieves 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Jeep has badged each of the models with Trail Rated status. To achieve this status, Jeep vehicles must pass extreme off-road capability challenges.

The Gladiator Texas Trail is available in 10 colors: black, white, Snazzberry, Granite Crystal, Sarge, Nacho, Hydro Blue, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver, and Sting-Gray. Jeep recently introduced a Snazzberry-colored Wrangler.

Each Gladiator comes with the Jeep Wave customer service program, which includes three years of maintenance, 24/7 phone/online support, trip interruption/first-day loaner coverage, and VIP access to Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail has a starting MSRP of $40,435 (plus $1,495 destination) and is currently available at Texas dealers.

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