Published on March 22nd, 2018 | by Subhash Nair


5 BMW X2 Alternatives That Are Cheaper and More Fun

Cars like the BMW X2 are what make me very cynical about the brand. The BMW I grew up with wasn’t obssesed with meaningless phrases like, ‘Sports Activity Coupes’ or ‘Daring to be Bold’ or ‘Rising above Status’. They just built cool cars that drove well and looked great.

I look at the X2 and I see a front-wheel drive crossover that costs way too much.

I would have been prepared to give it a pass, but with a price tag of RM321K and a tagline that sells it as something unique and above the rest… Well, it just seems like BMW is going further down the wrong direction. The 330i back in 2016 was cheaper than this, and it had so much more substance and power.

Such edginess! Make a mass-produced, brand-sanctioned statement for RM320K

BMW says the X2 is for those who dare to be Bold, Loud, Strong and Different (how insecure rich people describe themselves, really). But what is the X2 sDrive20i? It has no off-roading capabilities. It has no more performance than a Mini Clubman Cooper S (which costs RM50,000 less). What it has is a lot of stylistic cues and a new gearbox.

I knew I recognised that rear end

Is that enough to part ways with RM320,000?  We’re not big fans of the Clubman either, but that thing’s faster and cheaper than the X2 without being less fashionable.

So instead of pushing BMW further down this path paved in fashion magazines, we say spend your money on something truly unique and not something that’s marketed as unique. Spend your RM320,000 on one of these cars that are more BMW in spirit than the X2. And yes, they’re all available with manual gearboxes.

Honda Civic Type R

For RM800 less than an X2, here’s something else that’s practical, front-wheel drive, European built, and powered by a 2-litre turbo. Yes, for RM320,000 you could get one of the fastest front-wheel drive vehicles ever made – the Civic Type R.

So what if it’s a Honda? Have you seen how well Hondas retain value? Have you compared that to older BMWs?

0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds. A top speed of 272km/h. A 6-speed MANUAL gearbox. You’re actually getting what you pay for.

Lotus Elise Cup

This one’s a little tough to recommend but apparently, it’s still on sale. For about RM315K, you don’t have to buy another crossover. You can buy something that’s actually attention-grabbing. A road-legal go-kart. It’s also stupid-fast. 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds.

The Elise 220 Cup, of course, cannot be your only car. But with the RM5,000 you save from not buying the X2, you can go buy a used Saga or Iswara to transport your family.

That way both cars in your garage will be Malaysian, your family will have the transport they need and you will have the fun and attention you deserve.

Subaru WRX STI 2.5 Manual

sDrive. Sometimes it means rear-wheel drive. Sometimes it means front-wheel drive (like with the X2). xDrive. Sometimes it means rear-wheel drive (to save fuel). Sometimes it means all-wheel drive (when the computer decides it is time). You know what doesn’t lie? Symmetrical all-wheel drive.

That’s the Subaru promise, and you’ll find that on the RM315,000 WRX STI. With a 2.5-litre, turbocharged boxer 4 engine and a 6-speed manual transmission, this thing was built for huge amounts of fun. Plus, just like the Honda Civic Type R, the Subaru has 4 doors.

Toyota 86 Manual

The 86 is almost a no-brainer to some. It’s well priced at RM260K, but perhaps not quite as practical or rare as the others on this list. To us, the trade-off is fair.

You get RM60,000 saved for a used crossover or sedan of your choice, plus the guarantee of Toyota quality, longevity and resale value for something that’s rear-wheel drive with a 6-speed manual and great balance. In 3 years, park an 86 next to an X2 – which do you think will grab more attention? Which will age better? Which will be cheaper to extract fun out of? Our money is on the Toyota.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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