When the BMW X2 was first announced, and all the press photos showed it in M Sport trim with bright colors, I sorta kinda liked it. But now that I’ve seen the regular version in person, I’ve realized the error of my ways. It’s crap.

In theory, I liked that the X2 didn’t have a dumb swoopy roof line that kills rear headroom, visibility, and cargo space, like the X4 and X6. It seemed like a more practical way to have a better looking version of the X1, with only a small compromise in practicality, and slightly higher price. Sure, it would be paying more for less room, but it didn’t create an inherently compromised vehicle.

The press photos do not accurately convey how boxy and stupid the X2 actually is. Especially when viewed from an angle from behind the thing, it looks terrible. Tall, slab-sided, boxy, but small windows. Especially in the typical drab colors most luxury brand vehicles are leased in. The closest I could find to capturing this crappy angle was the picture below, short of walking to the BMW dealer near my house.

(Yes, I drive a BMW and live in walking distance of a BMW dealer. Insert frequent shop visit jokes here.)

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The best way I can describe the looks of the X2 is that it has the same overall proportions as a Mercedes GLA, being essentially a 5 door hatchback on stilts and suffering from the combination of too-tall beltline and too-small windows, but boxier and uglier. It is not an attractive vehicle by any stretch of the imagination, and is significantly uglier than the X1 it’s supposed to be a better-looking version of.

And there’s the rub: the only reason to pay more for an X2 than an X1 is the X2's appearance. You don’t give up *much* room, but it’s been beaten with an ugly stick. Why pay more? The X1 is clearly the better choice. But I’ve already seen a few X2s on the road, and there’s a whole bunch of them at my local dealer. Clearly BMW knows something I don’t. Maybe they’re riding the “these ugly-ass chunky sneakers are cool because they’re so ugly” trend, but in vehicle form.