While almost every manufacturer is going hard after the lucrative SUV market space at the moment, BMW is undoubtedly one of the pack leaders, and the X2 is the firm's latest arrival.

Nearly two decades have passed since the introduction of the original BMW SUV: the first X5. Today, this type of car accounts for 38 per cent of the brand's business, with just over 700,000 vehicles delivered worldwide in 2017, thanks to a line-up of five models.

The X2 aims to bolster that figure this year. It acts as a more stylish alternative to the conventional X1 and sits at the smallest end of the X line-up, rivalling everything from the Mercedes GLA and MINI Countryman to the likes of the Audi Q3 and Jaguar E-Pace.

Size and shape are immediately the X2's defining characteristics. It looks quite unlike anything else on BMW's SUV roster, designed with a younger target audience in mind.

In the same way as the Audi Q2 boasts a distinct character compared with its Q stablemates, the X2 gets plenty of unique tweaks, such as the BMW roundels on the C-pillars and that angular front bumper.

The back end is shaped rakishly with a steep rear window, and the whole car tries as hard as it can to appear squat and sporty. However, it's quite easy to catch the X2 at an angle that looks more oversized hatchback than pert SUV.

Inside, the amount of legroom is comparable to the X1's, and headroom isn't impeded too much by the sharp back end. The 470-litre boot capacity is decent enough, too, albeit 35 litres down on that offered by the X1. Up front, the driving position feels fairly low – something buyers after a taller, SUV-like ride will have to compromise on.

Get settled behind the wheel, though, and the X2 is a good car to drive. The interior has been lifted almost wholesale from the X1. The design is more conventional than the exterior styling, but it oozes quality and is neatly laid out.

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