BMW’s X2 is a car that is determined to avoid being pushed into a pigeonhole.

Yes it’s a crossover, but it has sleek coupé styling and a taut sporty drive that combine to make it stand out from the crowd.

And what a crowd there is vying for attention in this sector of the market. Never mind the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Infiniti Q30, there is the Jaguar E-Pace lining up to catch a buyer’s eye.

Shorter and lower than its fellow X1 model, BMW’s wordsmiths say the X2 has the ‘poise of an athlete in peak condition’. That might be pushing it a bit, but it certainly makes its mark.

Style is crucial to the X2 as it is firmly aimed at younger urban drivers looking for something a little different.

BMW says the M Sport X specification car driven here is inspired by the world of rallying with styling cues, paintwork and whopping 20-inch alloy wheels all designed to grab attention.

With a wide pillar at the rear of the car the BMW badge has appeared on the side of the car, a nod, says the company, to its classic coupés such as the 2000 CS and 3.0 CSL.

Underneath sits the same platform as the Mini Countryman and as the X2 is based on the X1, and shares its wheelbase, it comes with a range of mostly four-cylinder engines, some with all-wheel-drive.

On the road the X2’s ride is firm but really rather pleasant. The driving position is not as high as you might expect but it is quickly adjustable and the seats have firm side bolsters, electrically adjustable on the test car.

Rear room is surprisingly spacious and the boot is a decent size with a deep dip below the floor that adds to carrying capacity.

The front-wheel-drive sDrive model driven here, with a seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox, was fitted with the slightly lowered and stiffened M Sport suspension. Unlike some sports suspension systems this takes the bumps into its stride and even with low-profile tyres, fitted to the optional 20-inch alloy wheels, there is little road noise or bumping about on poor roads. There is also little body roll, so the X2 responds neatly and accurately on tight, twisting bends.

The interior is precisely what you come to expect from BMW – crystal clear layout, high quality materials and superb fit and finish. There is a choice of plain cloth or leather, or the option of mesh fabrics, suede inserts and contrast stitching.

With younger buyers in mind, the technology on offer is right on the pace with the £1,260 ‘technology pack’ fitted to the test car delivering everything from a head-up display and Bluetooth with wireless charging, to a slick satellite navigation system and Wi-Fi hotspot.

The infotainment system is comprehensive with detailed live traffic and connected services, all quickly adjusted by the iDrive hardware controller between the front seats.

An optional driver assistance system includes lane departure warning, speed limit info with no passing info display, high beam assistant, collision warning and pedestrian warning with city braking function.

Move another step up and you can have active cruise control, which maintains both a desired speed entered by the driver and the safety distance to vehicles travelling ahead. There is also a traffic jam assistant system that removes some of the strain in stop-start traffic and park distance control uses a rear-view camera to make reversing easier.

The optional parking assistant also helps you find and slot into a parallel parking space, a boon around town.

Auto facts

Model: BMW X2 sDrive 20i M Sport X

Price: £41,360 as tested

Insurance group: 32 (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 47.9mpg

Top speed: 141mph

Length: 436cm/171.2in

Width: 184cm/72.6in

Luggage capacity: 16.6 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 11.2 gallons/51 litres

CO2 emissions: 134g/km

Warranty: Three years/ 100,000 miles