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      08-16-2018, 01:45 AM   #1
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BlueX2's Avatar

Drives: BMW X2 2018 - xdrive 28i
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Canada

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BMW X2 - 6 Month Review - Drive, Power, Programming, Tuning, Aftermarket

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Thought I'd share my experiences with the X2 as a daily city driven car and everything I've looked into so far. I've owned the car as of early March 2018 and was told from BMW Canada I was the first in all of Canada to take ownership. As part of the early adopter I knew I'd have some extra and missing perks that might be avaialble in the next production run of the car.

The model I have is a 2018 BMW X2 X-Drive 28i in Misano Blue, on 20" wheels and Pirelli P ZERO tires. The car is fully loaded as part of the exclusive launch package minus the auto driving cruise control (not sure if it is available in Canada). Surprisingly my car can auto park itself too (I am too paranoid to use this and end up parking myself, but have used it on the test drive vehicle)

More images on my instagram

When I first saw the X2 from online pictures I was kinda turned off from the car and when I saw it in person I still felt the same way. I still went on the test drive to see if it would be a car that would fit several of my requirements of a car and wasn't completely sold because I thought the gold was off and the grey paint on the lower trims took away from the car. I asked to see the blue model and when I opened up the door to see the model I instantly fell in love with the look.

The blue model I was shown had the body of the UK's X-Sport model, but had the guts of the X-Drive model (a perk for me living in a city that has to deal with snow). The model removed the ugly grey paint on the lower trims of the car and replaced it with the body color and it makes the car look more like what a person would consider to be a sports activity vehicle, as per BMW.

I have kept my car detailed whenever there is a stretch of sunshine available and I have been stopped several times in the city, about once every two weeks, and am asked what kind of car is it (debadged it), how beautiful of a car it is, how the blue color looks amazing and vibrant, how they thought this car originally looked ugly until they saw mine, and several other compliments. The blue color that BMW chose is every so slightly darker than the BMW roundel blue. It really pops in day light and in the dark with city lights hitting it is always a head turner for anyone around it.

What strikes me as odd is that I haven't seen another X2 with the X-Sport styling yet. I know that it was only available in white and blue, but all the ones I have seen were the base models or always had that ugly grey lower trim. I've been to my dealership several times and even checked auto trader to see if they had anything in my spec to no avail. Feels good knowing that I have a rare model in the city.

Also the rear BMW roundel on the C pillar does make people do a double take on the car as they walk by it. I've heard things like "OMG it's a BMW" to people realizing it's a BMW and taking a slow walk by the car to look at it. I haven't had a person say that the C pillar roundel looks out of place yet (I actively ask people when they want to know more about the car).

Since I was an early production launch adopter my car cannot be retrofitted with rails because a part that was missing which was added in the later production models. I'm forced to go without rails and go aftermarket which I will list below.

I've also noticed that my wheels are different from the M Sport X models. I've got a solid black finish whereas the other models have a matte dark grey tone to it. There is also a slight difference in that the finish is not broken on the outermost part of the wheel whereas the other models are broken by a black bar.
Also the areas where I was supposed to receive that ugly grey is replaced with black finishes.

The Drive:
This is probably one of my biggest musts in a car. It has to drive fun... and it continues to put a smile on my face. My model is fitted with 20" wheels and Pirelli P ZEROS and I exclusively drive in sport mode unless I'm parking or am in horrible heavy rain/snow conditions. It has enough low end torque to get me off the line nice and fast between stop light to spot light in the city and handles the best out of all of the BMW X line up. It feels closer to a F30 3 series drive feel than it does to any of the X models. It does have slight body roll, but just enough to take the sting out of pot holes while still maintaining confidence around nice speedy turns. This car will keep your enjoyment up when you want it to when you just want to have a good rip through the city or windy canyon style roads. It's pretty nimble for it's size and can zip in and out of traffic with a feel between the 2 series and 3 series.

The steering isn't like classic BMW, but have really been dialing it closer and closer with every revision. The steering in sport mode is closer to an 2016-2018 M2 in sport mode (not the new M2 Competition because I don't know how that drives). It has the right amount of heaviness, direct input, and road feel to know exactly where your tires are pointed. At high speed long highway drives it's perfect without having to micro correct the wheel and at bends and corners it's so direct and perfectly responsive to road.

Whatever the engineers did to the drive feel for this car they really nailed it perfectly. This is the fun driving SAV that BMW. I've been on the fence about doing lower springs, coilovers, or air suspension because of how well the drive feels. It's just a super fun car to drive.

The Power:
As stated before in the drive section, I drive exclusively in sport mode. The reason behind this is because I prefer my cars to be as responsive as possible to my inputs especially in the throttle. This little four cylinder turbo can really give you some quick off the line and slow speed pulls but when you're at highway speed and wanting to overtake there is a delay before the boost kicks in. Now it isn't a six cylinder straight six, but for everyday city car it's perfect as the torque comes on low and fast. If I lived in the rural areas I'd definitely want more power in this car for longer pull power accross the band. Now by no means do I think this car is a slouch versus the competitions compact/small sized SUVs but is considered the best in it's class in my opinion (except the GLA 63 AMG, but that will cost you about $10k more [*don't quote me on that]). If BMW does announce the X2 M35i I think that would fulfill every want and need from an SUV for several people who want more power but until then... I think I'll just tune this engine for more power (see below for tuning)

Now for comfort mode... it's ok.. my wife drives it in comfort exclusive and I only use it when I am parking to make the steering wheel less heavy and get accurate lighter throttle response. I can't drive in comfort mode unless road conditions are terrible. It drives surprisingly really well in terrible conditions with the Pirelli P ZEROS on. There was a pretty bad ice storm that happened and it delivered the correct amount of power needed at every hairy situation and X-Drive helped a lot. Other than that... it's sports mode all the time.

My model came with black leather seats with blue stitching with a aluminum hexagon trim with matte blue highlight. I have the new heads up display paired up with the latest version of iDrive which has been clear as day but with some issues with polarized sunglasses. A simple tilt of the head will make it so that you can see the HUD as a tip. I have a panoramic sunroof which will only open up the first part of the sunroof and not pull back both glass panels. The sunroof does cut into the rear headroom space, but I've had a six foot friend in the back seat with no issues and some room to spare.

The space is deceivingly larger than what you'd expect in this segment of micro/small SUVs. The only one comparable or possibly even larger is the Honda one. The extra storage space you get from under the trunk is massive and can carry an emergency kit, air pump, detailing supplies, towels, extra blanket, large golf umbrellas, brush and snow scraper, extra pair of shoes, and a small knapsack. No joking.. all of that can fit just in the bottom trunk space.

You can fit two large suitcases or 4 small carry on luggages in the main trunk space without the seats folded down. I was able to fit two snowboards and a pair of skis through the middle 40/20/40 split rear seats while still having passengers seated comfortably on both sides. It's pretty identical to the X1 in size except head room. I am personally a small short person at 5'4 and it pretty much fits like a glove for me for space. I've had my friends drive my car at 6'+ and they had no issues and actually loved how low you can put the seats. Not quite 3 series low, but still nowhere near as the other X line up BMW has.

Harmon Kardon nailed it with this car. The acoustics with audio are just so spot on. I think close to what the 3/4 series has.. but definitely not M2/2 series/X3/x4. The cabin is super quiet.. too quiet for my liking, but I've always preferred to hear everything around me including my engine. If you're the person who likes that quiet ride.. then this will definitely meet your requirement. There is so much sound insulation on this car that road noise is kept to a minimum. This is where luxury hits the SUV line up.

For those wondering what the best mats you can get are (especially for those that deal with snow), look into getting TuxMat. I went with the BMW one at first but they didn't cover up much.. went with WeatherTech and they didn't cover up much more than the BMW ones. The WeatherTech ones went up an inch or two and didn't even cover the middle hump in the rear. TuxMat provided full coverage on all carpeted areas and had clips to help secure them down. In the winter I usually end up dragging in a lot of dirt and mud from snowboarding so max coverage is necessary to keep my car clean and dry.

I haven't done anything yet, but poke around. I'm ultra interested in getting additional power and will be talking to a few local shops to see what they can provide. I'm hoping to get the tune with a new intake and exhaust but I may save that for next spring to see what is available in the market since there are very few manufactures out there that have anything. I'm still waiting on Dinan to come out with something but Burger Tuning got back to me and said with the JB4 they can get up to 40HP to the wheels (50HP crank) completely stock on pump gas. I'm also hoping to get a tune that won't really cause any issues with warranty or any service intervals so I've gotta do my homework on that still. Supersprint has them available, but I'm waiting till I can get someone with a video/audio before making the purchase.

I looked into getting the exhaust flap to stay open always but had issues with my low end torque go missing. There was no golf tee for this. It was simply removal of the pin and get some wire to hold the flap open. It wasn't pretty, but it worked. Drove with it for a day with no engine light and ended up reverting the work because I wanted the power back.

I have a BMS intake and originally had a few CEL pop up, but redid the installation and drove it for a bit and it went away. Sounds much better than stock, but I reverted it back and am going to wait on an exhaust and tune to put it back in. Besides I get free filters as part of the free maintenance so I'll take advantage of that for now.

I'm not sure how I feel about the reflector deletes yet. I may just smoke them, but if anyone wants to delete them here are the links
Front reflectors:
Rear reflectors:

If you want a fully blacked out grill here is the link:

So a few things that bug me about the car is that with minor stuff with the programming the car will be perfect. So any Bimmer Tech people out there.. if you're reading this, here is a check list of items for you.
- Unable to disable/save last settings for auto start/stop feature. (it will always revert back to default off after. Dealership said they can't fix it.. GG)
- No power trunk close via the key fob
- No option to open up the valve for the exhaust pipe. (Also doesn't open. I've had a GoPro attached to check and it has never opened from streets to highway for 45mins)
- Can't disable dimming mirror
- high beams turn off the fog lights
- indicator lights on hud
- Doesn't remember last used heating for steering wheel or seats
- Disclaimer removal
- Active noise on/off and increase the volume (helps with knowing when to change gears manually since I can barely hear the engine)
- increase the seat heating temperatures
- Tire pressure live PSI may not be accurate. I've had to check my tire pressure on four different devices to verify, but when I lost 6-7 PSI on my tires from the iDrive menu it was showing a variance of +5 PSI from the menu. I haven't gone back to dealership to ask about this one yet.)

So I finally got around to programming my car. Looks like I was able to knock out a few things with Bimmercode.
- Tire pressure now shows tire temps
- Disclaimer removal
- Video in motion (didn't really test it since it doesn't do MKV codecs)
- Closing the trunk with the key fob
- Heated seats are now hotter (Canadian winters can be a pain sometimes)
- AC and Heated seats now remember the last setting forever
- M animation on startup for iDrive
- start stop last setting memory is now set to save.. .FINALLY
- Car is set to start in sport mode by default
- high beams do not turn off fog lights

If anyone finds out how to change the following I'd love to get some info on how you were able to do it
- active noise to a different engine (sucks to not hear my engine properly)
- exhaust flap control (open/closed)
- get MKVs to work in Video in motion
- options for the heating temperatures for the heated steering wheel

Oil @ 5000 KM:

I've had my oil changed by a local BMW mechanic and was surprised to see a new model car come in so early. Now as per my free scheduled maintenance intervals with BMW they wanted me to come in at 10,000 KM for service on the new car. Now call me old school, but I decided I wanted to know more about my car and not take that chance with such a late maintenance window for my oil and swapped out the oil at 5000 km. I also took a sample and sent it off to Blackstone Labs to see what is actually going on with the engine and I'll go with their recommendation on intervals and to see if there are any odd metal shavings or contaminants that I should be aware of. Listed below is what they said for the comments on the car.

"Congrats on the new BMW! Wear metals tested a bit high in this sample, but that's to be expected for the first sample out of a new engine. The metals come from wear-in and the silicon is from sealers. Look for lot of improvement as this material washes out of the engine over the next few oil changes. The viscosity tested in the 5W/20 range, and no fuel dilution, water, or coolant was present. The TBN read 2.8, showing a bit of active additive left (a reading of 1.0 or less is low). Our averages are based on 9,200 km. Try up to 7,000 km for next time."

The image below are the full details from the oil sample I sent in. If anyone wants to tell me something about this more so than what Blackstone Labs told me I'm all ears.

I love this car. Not only does it look amazing and turns heads, but it drives amazing too. I'll admit that the engine could use more power to add to the fun factor, but that can be said about nearly every car. If you're in the market for a fun spirited mini suv then look no further... that is... until they come out with the X2 M35i.

Anyhow... it's late.. I'm tired... I've probably got spelling errors, formatting issues, etc in this but you get the idea. If anyone has questions I'll try to answer them as best as possible. Good night

Last edited by BlueX2; 09-15-2018 at 11:34 AM.. Reason: Programming Updated - Used BimmerCode