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The 2024 BMW X2 M35i has made me give up

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We love – I mean absolutely, head-over-heels, favorite thing ever kind of love – to thumb our noses at cars that have M badges on them, but are not “real” M cars. Well, I give up. I don’t love it anymore. And I think this new BMW X2 M35i is the reason why.

What is the new BMW X2 M35i?

Well, it’s not pretty. Photo: BMW

Look, it’s ugly, I get it. At least an X4 has a certain sleekness to it. And let’s forget the rental-spec 30i – been there, reviewed that. There’s an electric version too, because the apocalypse is coming.

But this BMW X2 M35i version? It’s actually full of M outside:

  • Quad pipes
  • M double-wing mirrors
  • Illuminated kidney grille like on an XM
  • 21-inch wheels
  • An M body kit of course
Pretty nice for entry level. Photo: BMW

It’s full of M inside too:

  • M sport seats with that little illuminated M logo
  • Alcantara on the dash and doors
  • An M wheel, complete with stitching and center stripe. Not even the M3 gets that.
  • Terrible iDrive 9
  • No buttons inside. No shifter either.
  • Check out those air vents. Passenger princess issues incoming.

It doesn’t look anything like the previous generation, although it is missing those little Roundels BMW made such a big deal of on the C pillars.

Does the BMW X2 M35i have actual M performance?

It won’t be slow. Photo: BMW

Well, it’s still got a buzzy little 2-liter four-cylinder, this time with 317 horsepower. I bet you’ll feel some turbo lag!

  • Standard adjustable M suspension, lowered by 15mm
  • xDrive
  • A seven-speed DCT. I swear.
  • Optional M Compound brakes – they are even cross-drilled
  • BMW says 5.4 to sixty, but I’m guessing it’ll be lower than that

The current M235i isn’t a terrible car – you could do worse as a daily.

What’s BMW M doing?

Lots of things are changing, and the X2 M35i is only the beginning. First, there won’t be any more “base” M models (yet more proof the the stick is going away). The Competition models will just be it. Does that mean there won’t be an M5 anymore, just “M5 Competition”? Seems silly to me – M should just have one trim level.

That means BMW will try to convince you that all these M Performance models are really base M cars. Does that mean…

The is BMW X2 M35i a real M car?

Photo: BMW

There will never be a full-M version of the X2, of this I can be fairly certain. It’s still built on a MINI platform, after all. But look at what BMW is doing here – M Performance models usually don’t get quad pipes, and they definitely don’t get M brakes. Everyone went into an uproar when the original M2 didn’t get M mirrors. The X2 has them.

This car gives the salesman something to point to when you complain about the lease on an X3 M being $1,800 a month. That’s coming too.

So I give up. Welcome to the M Bro club X2. We all might be driving you soon.

The BMW X2 will begin production in March of 2024.

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