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 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is coming soon to a LEGO store near you.

Photo courtesy of LEGO

The Jeep Wrangler has fans the world over. For those fans whose extracurricular activities include LEGO building along with Jeeping, there's a new LEGO Technic model they'll want to take a look at. The LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the first LEGO model of a Jeep SUV.

Ask any Jeep Wrangler owner and they'll tell you that their vehicle is just a bigger version of this new LEGO set," said Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design. "The design of the Jeep Wrangler allows them to take it apart, top off, doors off, reconfigure it, add new pieces from our Mopar team, and then put it back together again. This LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler should bring a new level of joy to our Jeep enthusiasts and help inspire future designers to the brand."

LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Photo courtesy of LEGO

The 665-piece model features all the classic Jeep hallmarks - a performance 4x4 system, rugged tires, fold-down rear seats, and a seven-slot grille. It features a button operated front steering system and axle-articulation suspension. It has a yellow-and-black color scheme.

"The Jeep Wrangler is an icon in the off-road world" says Lars Thygesen, Designer, LEGO Technic. "The Rubicon has a lot of the iconic details loved by 4x4 fans the world over, so it was important to me to pack as many of the authentic, powerful features of the real vehicle into the LEGO Technic replica. I hope LEGO fans and vehicle lovers enjoy all aspects including the suspension, winch and open air design that we developed alongside the talented Jeep design team."

The LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler is designed for Jeep and LEGO fans alike, aged 9 and above. It will be available from January 1st 2021 from LEGO.com, LEGO stores and other retailers globally, priced at [49.99€/49.99$/£44.99].

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Audi is only making the car for U.S. customers.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The 2021 Audi R8 Panther special edition is one of the rarer gifts you can get for your garage this holiday season. With a limited run of 30 coupes in the works, the R8 Panther edition models are the first available units in the R8 rear-wheel-drive model line and available only for U.S. customers.

If the name sounds familiar to you, that's because it should. The R8 Panther edition joins the 2019 RS 5 Panther edition, which was also a limited run and featured the same paint color and interior upholstery.

2021 Audi R8 Panther The hallmarks of the model include its black paint job and red-edged wheels.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The unique 2021 R8 Panther comes covered in an Audi-exclusive Panther Black crystal effect paint job with carbon exterior mirror housings. Its badging has been coated in black. The model rides on 20-inch five-double-spoke dynamic design wheels that have been milled cut, finished in matte black with red trim, and wrapped in summer performance tires.

Your neighbors will hear you leaving the cul-de-sac thanks to the car's sport exhaust system, which amplifies the sound of the V10 engine. LED headlights and LED taillights, with dynamic turn signals will help their eyes follow your path on the way out as they peer out their windows.

The R8 Panther is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V1 engine that produces 532 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, and sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. It has a top track speed of 201 mph.

The chassis of the R8 Panther edition has been specifically adapted for rear-wheel drive, including using solid rear axles as opposed to hollow, a stiffer front anti-roll bar, and an increase in rear negative camber.

2021 Audi R8 Panther

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The model has a full black leather interior with Crimson red stitching. Its racing shells seats are covered in red Nappa leather and have power height and manual fore/art seat adjustment. The car's gear selector and parcel shelf are covered in Alcantara, and the headliner features a diamond-stitched Alcantara. Audi has given the model a brand-exclusive steering wheel with leather/Alcantara and 12 o'clock marker as well as exclusive R8 floor mats with Crimson red leather edging.

Audi virtual cockpit, Audi smartphone interface, Audi phone box with signal booster, navigation, a 13-speaker Bang & Olufson sound system, and illuminated door sill inlays are included.

A carbon exterior package adds carbon fiber to the engine compartment and carbon sigma sideblades while the carbon interior package adds carbon fiber high-gloss surrounds for both the virtual cockpit and the air vents, as well as the center console.

The 2021 R8 Panther edition will be available in select dealerships this month with an MSRP of $183,300. There is an additional $1,495 destination charge, $1,700 gas guzzler tax, sales taxes, title, options, and dealer charges.

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