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.

The Mercedes-Benz EQC was originally slated to make its way to the U.S. early this year.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Manager Magazin is reporting that Mercedes-Benz is cutting production plans for its EQC electric SUV by half. The German magazine cites a shortage of battery cells from LG Chem. The South Korean battery maker is in the midst of acquiring a Quebec lithium mine from Nemaska Lithium Inc. That timeline is taking longer than expected.

Mercedes had originally planned on producing 60,000 EQC models in 2020 but is now planning on producing 30,000. The shift comes as Audi is adjusting from stumbling out of the blocks with an EQC competitor, the Audi e-Tron.

The new Mercedes-Benz EQC has a 80 kWh lithium ion battery. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

In 2019, Mercedes had planned on selling 25,000 EQC but was only able to get 7,000 sales on the books allegedly because of the same problem.

Daimler is pushing back on the report saying that it will be producing 50,00 EQC models this year, which is still down from the 60,000 originally projected but not as few as the initial report indicated.

The EQC is a two-row luxury SUV. It features all-wheel drive and delivers 402 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. The model is powered by a 80kWh lithium ion battery with standard DC Fast Charging for a 40-minute charge from 10 to 80 percent at a 110 kW DC charging station.

Mercedes has debuted the launch date of the model in the U.S. until 2021 after originally planning on having it arrive stateside in early 2020.

The EQ family of vehicles will include additional electric models in the coming years.

Infiniti has admitted that it made mistakes when it launched the redesigned QX50 luxury midsize SUV in January 2018. The right packages and options were not in place to give the model the success it deserved. However, in the year since its launch, the landscape has changed.

The Acura RDX has been redesigned as an agile and athletic daily driver, Audi introduced the SQ5 model giving sportiness to the family-friendly Q5 SUV, and the Volvo XC60 has made a strong argument for attention with a redesign. Lincoln has also introduced the Corsair, which is perhaps the QX50's biggest competition.

2020 Infiniti QX50 The models looks haven't changed much since it debuted in 2018.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.

The QX50 is a comfortable cruiser. It's not particularly engaging nor is it altogether peppy but it is capable. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, the SUV does everything it's supposed to without protest.

The SUV rides smoothly and doesn't pass on much road noise to the cabin.

The car steers accurately if a bit numbly but it is easy to drive, especially when equipped with ProPilot Assist, Nissan's suite of drive assistance and safety technology that includes a lane centering functionality when using cruise control. The technology makes long drives less of a chore while also keeping the car centered when the driver exhibits distracting behavior like drinking a sip of coffee or changing the radio station.

Switching from a SUV with ProPilot Assit to one with standard cruise control is a quick reminder of how good the system is. Buyers should opt for models with the technology if they can afford it.

Steering wheel The seats of the Infiniti QX50 are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.

Journalists who review the QX50 are likely to call its infotainment system dated. They're used to having the latest, greatest, and most innovative products at their fingertips. However, buyers coming from cars over three years old will likely see the QX50's two-screen infotainment system as a step up from what they currently have in their driveway. The controls of the system are easy to use despite the fact that the navigation screen isn't able to be easily read while driving.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the model, as are blind spot warning, forward collision warning, and forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Moving up from the $38,000-ish QX50 base model to the mid-grade QX50 Essential $44,000 gets buyers heated seats, a panoramic moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, Around View Monitor, power sunshade, LED fog lamps, and roof rails. It is in this configuration that the QX50 hits the right balance between features, power, capability, luxury features, and price. The QX50 tops out near $60,000.

Dual screen infotainment system Infiniti is one of the few companies that offers a dual-screen infotainment system.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.

If a stranger were to approach on the street and ask if the QX50 is a "good car," it would be easy to answer with, "yes." It's not a vehicle meant for sporty drivers looking for zippy ride around town. It's comfortable, capable, and priced right for the average premium compact SUV buyer coming out of an aging model.