SUV coupes are becoming increasingly popular across all segments. Once reserved for the top end of a handful of carmakers' ranges, these models are now widespread, even among non-premium brands.

One of the newcomers to this particular type of SUV is the BMW X2, which represents a new competitor to the Audi Q3 Sportback, one of the most important representatives of the segment since its launch five years ago. Here's how they compare.

The exterior

If we disregard the shapes of compact crossovers, as we said, the new X2 has adopted a body almost similar to that of a coupé, with a sloping rear window. Dimensions have also increased considerably compared with the previous model, with a length of 4.55 metres (+19 cm), a width of 1.85 metres (+ 3 cm ) and a height of 1.59 metres (+ 6 cm).

<p>BMW X2</p>

BMW X2

<p>Audi Q3 Sportback</p>

Audi Q3 Sportback

The front end (cover photo above) is reminiscent of the X1, but the double kidney-shaped grille is wider and glows in the dark, while the lower grille has an even more elaborate and distinctive design.

At the side, the silhouette of the roof is reminiscent of that of the X4, although the 'tail' is more compact. The horizontally extended rear lights feature a gloss black diffuser that adds a sporty touch.

The BMW's looks also vary considerably between the internal combustion and electric versions. The latter are easily recognisable thanks to the blue inserts that are characteristic of the electric variants in the German range.

The M35i version deserves a special mention, with an even more aggressive design that includes four tailpipes and a special body kit.

BMW X2 M35i

BMW X2 M35i

The Q3 Sportback made its debut in 2019, but its shape is still very much up to date. The dynamism provided by the sloping coupé roof is certainly the main feature of the model, which is all about sleek, sporty styling.

The front is dominated by the single-frame grille and angular LED headlights that make the Audi look instantly recognisable. The wheels are up to 20 inches long, while at the rear there are the classic horizontally-developed headlamp units and a gloss black lower zone that refines the SUV's proportions.

The design of the RS Q3 is distinctive, and is (also) distinguished by the oval tailpipes taken from the RS 3.

Audi RS Q3 Sportback (2019)

Audi RS Q3 Sportback

Model Length Width Height Wheelbase
BMW X2 4.55 metres 1.85 metres 1.59 metres 2.63 metres
Audi Q3 Sportback 4.50 metres 1.84 metres 1.57 metres 2.69 metres

Interior

The interior of the X2 is equipped with the BMW Curved Display, a 'suspended' panel on the dashboard incorporating two screens: a 10.25-inch screen for the instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch screen for the infotainment system. This system, equipped with BMW OS 9, can also be controlled by buttons located in the central tunnel, where the driving mode controls are also located.

In terms of technology, BMW offers a comprehensive range of equipment. It includes Head-Up Display, Parking Assistant with reversing camera, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop/Go function, Emergency Braking and Active Lane Keeping, as well as BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. It also features cloud-based navigation and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The luggage compartment capacity ranges from 560 to 1470 litres for internal combustion engine versions and from 525 to 1400 litres for electric versions.

The interior is well cared for, with leather and suede upholstery that is pleasant to the touch. Various brushed aluminium and piano black mouldings create a refined (and sporty in some versions) ambience.

<p>BMW X2, interior</p>

BMW X2, interior

<p>Audi Q3 Sportback, interior</p>

Audi Q3 Sportback, interior

As for the Q3 Sportback, the attention paid to technology is not outdone. The interior is dominated by the 10.25-inch virtual cockpit and the MMI plus infotainment screen integrated into the 8.8-inch Black Panel. Generally speaking, the shapes are completely different from those of the BMW, while the dashboard has a more traditional, less minimalist look.

The central tunnel also features a number of physical buttons, including those for the air conditioning. What's more, instead of the 'paddle' found on the X2, here we find the classic gear lever.

Depending on the version, we find fabric and leather upholstery, while the mouldings are in leather or piano black. In terms of practicality, the rear row can slide back and forth by up to 13 cm, while load capacity varies between 530 and 1,400 litres (450/1,250 litres for the plug-in hybrid).

Model Digital instrumentation Central monitor  Luggage compartment (min/max)
BMW X2 10.25-inch 10.7-inch 560/1,470 litres
Audi Q3 Sportback 10.25-inch 8.8-inch 530/1,400 litres

The engines

The X2 has an (almost) entirely new range of engines compared with the previous generation. In particular, the 170 PS 1.5-litre mild hybrid petrol unit (known as the sDrive 20i) and the 313 PS xDrive 30 100% electric version have been introduced.

The only non-electrified petrol variant is the sporty 300 PS M35i, while for diesels there are currently three powertrains: the 150 PS sDrive 18d with front-wheel drive, the 163 PS sDrive 20d mild hybrid with front-wheel drive (available from July 2024) and the 163 PS xDrive 20d mild hybrid with all-wheel drive.

All models with a combustion engine are equipped with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

<p>BMW X2 M35i</p>

BMW X2 M35i

<p>Audi RS Q3 Sportback</p>

Audi RS Q3 Sportback

In the Q3 Sportback, there are four power variants among the petrol engines. There are the 1.5 and 2.0 TFSI with 150 PS ('35') and 190 PS ('40') respectively, as well as the 2.0 TFSI with 245 PS ('45'). The top of the range is the RS Q3 with the five-cylinder 2.5 TFSI with 400 PS.

There's also the rechargeable hybrid with the 1.4 245 PS ('45 e') and two diesel variants with the 2.0 TDI with 150 PS ('35 e') and 200 PS ('40 e'). Three transmissions are available: 6-speed manual for the base models, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic for the S tronic (in fact, all engines except the 35 TFSI and 45 TFSI e) and 6-speed automatic (only for the 45 TFSI e).

Model Petrol Diesel Plug-in electric
BMW X2

1.5 turbo 170 PS MHEV

2.0 turbo 300 PS

2.0 turbo diesel 150 PS n.a. 313 HP
Audi Q3 Sportback

1.5 TFSI 150 PS

2.0 TFSI 190 PS

2.0 TFSI 245 PS

2.5 TFSI 400 PS

2.0 TDI 150 PS

2.0 TDI 200 PS

1.4 245 PS n.a.

Prices

Prices for the X2 start at £41,680 for the 170 PS sDrive20i and rise to £50,785 for the M35i model. The electric iX2, meanwhile, starts at £51,615.

In the case of the Q3 Sportback, prices start at £34,530 for the 35 TFSI 150 PS and go up to £44,920 for the Black Edition 45 TFSI.

Model Minimum price Maximum price
BMW X2 £41,680 £57,445
Audi Q3 Sportback £36,615 £44,920