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 M35iThe 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 M35iThis 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 M351The 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 M35iThe 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 Supra finally gets a manual transmission for 2023.

Toyota

After an almost nonstop chorus of enthusiasts and journalists asking for a manual transmission in the new Supra, Toyota has gone and done it. The car will get an available six-speed manual transmission that will be available on both variants of the GR Supra 3.0, plus a limited-edition model on the U.S. market next year.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTToyota had to modify the car's interior for the new gearbox. Toyota

The A91-MT Edition Supra will be limited to 500 units, and gets two exterior colors with an exclusive Cognac leather interior. All 2023 Supras come with a 3.0-liter straight-six engine that makes 382 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. Toyota says the six-speed manual has been specially tuned to work with the car's engine, and notes that it modified an existing transmission housing to come up with the design. The gearbox's final drive ratio is shortened to improve response and take-off.

Toyota had to modify the car's interior to accommodate a gearshift lever, so the iDrive controller and other buttons had to be relocated. The automaker says that it focused on the feeling of shifting, from the weight of the knob to the ergonomics and location of the component.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTThe limited-edition A91-MT trim gets an exclusive cognac leather interior.Toyota

A Supra with a manual gearbox is reason to celebrate, but availability is limited to the top Supra 3.0. The "base" Supra 2.0 won't get the transmission. Toyota says pricing and other information will be available later this year.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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