2017 BMW 2 Series Convertible Review

by Edmunds
Edmunds Editor
What do you give the sport coupe that has everything? In the case of the 2017 BMW 2 Series, the answer is more power. This small luxury coupe and convertible get two new engines this year, and the upgrades result in name changes: The former 228i becomes the 230i, while the former M235i becomes the M240i. Power output jumps to a healthy 248 horsepower and 335 horsepower, respectively, significant gains that are bound to make these already quick compacts just that much quicker. Elsewhere, the 2 Series retains all the same good qualities that have made it popular since its debut, not the least of which is a well-tuned suspension. The result is a car that’s adept at blasting along a winding stretch of asphalt yet still composed and comfortable while motoring down long stretches of arrow-straight Interstate. The maneuverability that such a compact package delivers also gives the 2 Series  practical advantages in everyday driving, including the ability to weave through traffic and squeeze into tight parking spaces. Inside, the passenger cabin features a stylish design and top-notch materials reminiscent of the slightly larger BMW 4 Series. Unfortunately, the interior also reveals this car’s shortcoming: It’s really meant for front seat passengers only because the rear seats are cramped for anyone other than children. If four-passenger utility is a priority, you might want to consider sporty four-door alternatives including the Audi A3 (and performance-oriented Audi S3), the Cadillac ATS and the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, all of which offer similar driving dynamics and amenities with slightly larger backseats (and we do mean slightly). For comparable performance at a lower price, you might also want to have a look at the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. That said, the 2017 BMW 2 Series coupe and convertible are still sports cars that have everything, including now greater power output for more driving excitement. Standard safety equipment on the 2017 BMW 2 Series includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, and special brake technology not only compensates for fade in high-performance driving but also keeps the brakes dry and responsive in wet weather. Traction and stability control are standard, as is hill start assist for manual-transmission cars. Front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags (coupe only) are also standard. Optional safety equipment includes front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, lane departure warning system, and forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking. During Edmunds testing, the 2016 version of the 228i M Sport came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet, a better-than-average performance. Last year’s M235i was even more impressive thanks to its high-performance tires, performing the same task in only 106 feet (104 feet for the convertible). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2 Series its top rating of Good in the small-overlap front-impact, moderate-overlap front-impact, side-impact and roof strength crash tests. The seat and head restraint design was also rated Good for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

what's new

For 2017, the BMW 2 Series coupe and convertible get two new engines with a corresponding name change for the two distinct models, now known as the 230i and M240i.


On the road, the 2017 BMW 2 Series quickly makes it clear that it's a serious sport coupe. Even the four-cylinder 230i offers acceleration lively enough to satisfy the vast majority of buyers. The M240i's new 3.0-liter six-cylinder delivers startling performance that shows what 335 hp beneath the hood of a small car can really do. The smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission performs well, but it’s nice to see BMW still offers the six-speed manual gearbox as a no-cost option for those who prefer a more hands-on driving style.

The 2 Series suspension does an exemplary job of smoothing out rough pavement, even with the available adjustable dampers dialed in to their firmest setting. In terms of handling, the 2 Series seems as docile as any other small premium car in ordinary driving, yet it delivers a thoroughly engaging driving experience on a winding stretch of road thanks to precise steering and carefully controlled body roll. In short, the combination of civilized ride quality and crisp handling make this compact car everything you expect from a real BMW.


Slip inside the 2017 BMW 2 Series and you'll find highly adjustable sport seats that provide good support in spirited driving and above-average comfort on extended jaunts. The rear seats are as cramped as you'd expect from a car this size, making them best suited to small children or as a place to stash a jacket, purse or backpack.

In terms of ambiance, the passenger cabin is attractive, functional and especially quiet in hardtop form, and it features good quality materials. The BMW iDrive infotainment system that’s used to call up various settings on the standard 6.5-inch display (or the optional 8.8-inch screen that comes with the Technology package) responds quickly to inputs, though in our experience it takes a few more twirls of the control knob and a couple of extra clicks to accomplish common tasks than similar systems from competing manufacturers.

Out back, the 2 Series hardtop offers a decent-sized trunk with 13.8 cubic feet of cargo space. The convertible's trunk checks in with just about 9 cubic feet.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.