Taking Your BMW X2 Off-Road: Lift Kits, Wheels, and Tires

bmw x2 off road wheels

The BMW X2 blends sporty driving dynamics with the versatility of a compact crossover. With its available xDrive all-wheel drive system, the question arises – can you upgrade an X2 for light off-road duty?

In this article, we’ll look at options for preparing an X2 for unpaved roads and mild trails. We’ll recommend the best tire and wheel package for improved traction, while keeping the overall diameter close to stock specs. A mild lift kit can provide a bit more ground clearance without sacrificing much on-road performance.

Lifted BMW X2 on All Ground springs
This BMW X2 is fitted with a 40mm lift kit a set of BF Goodrich T/A KO2 All terrain tires by Hirotaka Kanemoto, from RD-Base.jp shop. Unfortunately, the exact tire size wasn’t provided by the installer, but based on the list of BFG T/A KO2 sizes it should be either 215/65R16 or 225/65R17.

While more serious off-roading may be out of its league, with the right upgrades, the X2 can handle gravel, forest service roads, and other basic off-road conditions. Tweaked for versatility, this BMW can surprise you with its performance, but don’t expect it to be a Land Cruiser. Read on to transform your luxury crossover into the perfect weekend adventure mobile!

Off Road Setup:

Component Recommendation
Wheels & Tires Equal to stock: 215/65R16 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires (R16 rims may interfere with the brakes on the inner size)
Aggressive: 225/65R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 (may rub and require modifications)
Lift Kit All Ground +40mm lift springs
Ground Clearance Increase Approx. 1.5 inches

BMW xDrive AWD

The X2’s available intelligent xDrive all-wheel drive system provides enhanced traction on loose or slippery surfaces. It continuously monitors conditions and adjusts torque distribution between the front and rear axles.

For descending steep inclines off-road, the X2 also comes equipped with Hill Descent Control. This system maintains a steady low speed without the driver needing to touch the pedals, which is especially handy on slippery hills. This allows the driver to focus on steering when navigating tricky downhill sections.

Key xDrive and Hill Descent Control Features

  • Automatically transfers torque to rear wheels when slip is detected
  • Full torque to rear wheels possible in extreme situations
  • Maintains constant speed downhill
  • Works in forward and reverse gears

While xDrive and Hill Descent Control are helpful for light trail riding, their abilities have limits, and modest ground clearance of 7.2″ will not let you go wild on the trails. For more advanced off-roading, upgrades to improve clearance and traction are recommended.

BMW X2 Winter tires and a lift kit
BMW X2 With a 40mm lift and winter tires. Photo by RD-Base.jp

Off Road Wheels & Tires

One of the easiest ways to improve off-road capability is by fitting more aggressive all-terrain tires. The stock low-profile street tires simply cannot cut through mud or find traction in mud and sand.

However, putting significantly larger tires on the X2 is not advisable, as it can interfere with other suspension components and cause rubbing. The best sizes keep the overall diameter close to the original spec, and luckily BF Goodrich makes a tire that fits into the wheel wells of the X2 without exceeding the recommended overall wheel diameter, yet it’s only available for 16″ Rims (you need to make sure smaller rims will not interfere with the brake components on the inner side).

BMW X2 BF Goodrich off road tires

Possible Tire & Wheel Package

The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 in a 215/65R16 size has a 686mm diameter – equal to the stock 225/45/19 wheel and tire package. This makes it a direct fit ensuring proper speedometer and xDrive operation. With its tough sidewalls, aggressive tread pattern and raised white outline letters, the KO2 both looks and functions great off-road.

Some key advantages of this wheel & tire package:

  • Better performance on gravel, mud, rocks, etc.
  • Maintains critical system diameters
  • Increased sidewall height for protection
  • More cushioning from impacts

While the KO2 tire excels off-pavement, it is still road-friendly with no major compromise in on-road comfort, except for the noise levels. For primarily street-driven X2s that only occasionally go off-road, it strikes the good balance of capability and street manners.

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Lift Kit

Installing a small lift kit is recommended to provide a bit more ground clearance for off-road wheels. Even with all-terrain tires, the X2 has limited clearance that can lead to bottoming out on rocks or ruts.

40mm All Ground lift springs specially are designed for the X2 and give roughly 1.5 inches of lift. These kits include a set of springs specifically calibrated for the X2’s suspension and weight.

Key Benefits of Adding a Lift Kit

  • Increases ground clearance approximately 1.5 inches
  • Allows larger tire size if desired
  • Improves approach, departure, and breakover angles
  • Protects underbody components from bottoming out

So for primarily stock X2s that are only occasionally taken off-road, a set of 40mm lift springs is ideal. It subtly increases clearance just enough to expand the vehicle’s overall capability and prevent beating up the underbody.

BMW X2 Crossove with off road wheels

H2 Conclusion

While the BMW X2 urban crossover isn’t designed as an off road vehicle just like it’s older brother BMW X1, with the right set of tires, wheels and a lift kit, it can confidently tackle gravel roads, forest trails and various other moderate off-road conditions.

By fitting All Terrain tires, owners may benefit from increased traction, cushioning and off-road performance while maintaining critical vehicle diameters. Adding a 40mm lift kit subtly increases ground clearance reducing the risk of bottoming out.

With its sporty handling and potent turbocharged engine options, the X2 retains its on-road manners while being transformed into a slightly more rugged weekend warrior. No longer confined to the pavement, the X2 becomes an adventure seeker’s ally ready to accompany you to the trailhead or campsite in comfort and style.

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