2018 BMW 2 Series

2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible Review

With plenty of performance and refinement, BMW's 2 Series proves good things come in small packages.
4.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Mark Takahashi
Edmunds Editor

Even as the BMW 2 Series hits the midway mark in its current generation, it remains a strong choice among entry-level luxury sport coupes and convertibles. Benefitting from elements pulled from more expensive models in the BMW lineup, the 2 Series boasts plenty of features for the money, strong performance regardless of which engine you choose, and all of the style and refinement expected of any BMW.

It's a joy to drive, whether for its exciting dynamics or just in your daily commute. Unlike some models in the class that sacrifice comfort for handling, the 2 Series delivers both at impressive levels. Quite simply, it's a must-see if you're in the market.



what's new

Aside from an available upgraded instrument panel, the BMW 2 Series is unchanged for 2018.

we recommend

For most drivers, the BMW 230i will have an abundance of power. It's well-equipped, but we suggest adding the optional Driving Assistance package that includes some advanced safety features for a very reasonable price.

trim levels & features

The 2018 BMW 2 Series is available as either a coupe or convertible in 230i or M240i trims that are mainly distinguished by engines. The 230i coupe is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (248 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque). The M240i gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder (335 hp, 369 lb-ft). Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is available as an option for all models while a six-speed manual is available at no additional cost on all rear-wheel-drive models except for the 230i convertible.

The 230i coupe's standard features include 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, LED foglights, automatic wipers, selectable drive modes, cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable front sport seats, driver memory settings, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen with iDrive control, BMW's ConnectedDrive telematics, Bluetooth, a USB input, and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player and HD radio. The 230i convertible comes with a power-folding fabric top and a mesh wind deflector.

Stepping up to the 240i coupe or convertible adds 18-inch wheels, an auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirror, a sunroof (coupe only), sporty exterior flourishes, a rear spoiler, a sport exhaust, an adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes, a universal garage door opener and satellite radio.

Many of the 240i's extra features are available as options on the 230i. Notable option packages include the Driving Assistance package (forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and a speed limit display) and the Premium package (a navigation system, an instrument panel with added information, remote control of some systems through a smartphone app, heated front seat and a heated steering wheel). Other add-ons include 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 BMW 228i Coupe (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | RWD)

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current 2 Series has received some revisions, including some added standard features in 2016, increased power output, new model names and an updated iDrive system in 2017. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's 2 Series, however.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.5 / 5.0

Acceleration4.5 / 5.0
Braking4.5 / 5.0
Steering4.0 / 5.0
Handling4.5 / 5.0
Drivability4.5 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use4.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5.0
Roominess3.5 / 5.0
Visibility4.0 / 5.0
Quality4.5 / 5.0

Utility

4.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage4.0 / 5.0
Cargo space4.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
Acceleration, braking and handling all combine to make the BMW 2 Series an inspiring performer. With the available M Sport adaptive suspension, the poised handling doesn't come at the expense of comfort. There's a great seat-of-the-pants feel, which instills confidence.

acceleration

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The 2.0-liter turbo engine gets the 2 Series up to 60 mph quicker than pretty much all of its rivals. Whether storming onto highways or just commuting, shifts from the eight-speed automatic transmission are quick and smooth.

braking

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With the optional M Sport brakes and summer tires, our test vehicle stopped from 60 mph in only 111 feet. During these panic stops, distances were consistent, and the car remained composed and controllable.

steering

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The 2 Series is very responsive. Effort is light at slow speeds and weights up appropriately when going faster. Feedback is a little lacking, but the M steering wheel feels great in your hands.

handling

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It's an absolute joy to toss the small 2 Series into a series of sharp bends. In Sport Plus mode, the stiffer suspension settings relay all vital information to the driver, and the stability control allows for some thrills.

drivability

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In Comfort or Eco Pro modes, the softer suspension settings and dialed-back throttle response make the 2 Series well-mannered for everyday driving. The engine stop-start feature is quick to respond and requires no forethought from the driver.

comfort

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Even though the BMW 2 Series is sport-focused, its ride quality can still be adjusted to a compliant level. And at least for the front passengers, the level of comfort is exactly what you'd expect from a luxury brand.

seat comfort

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The front sport seats offer adjustments for seat cushion angle and length, with power side bolsters. Tall and short drivers alike will find a perfect position. The rear seats are cramped and suitable for children only.

ride comfort

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The available M Sport adaptive suspension gives the 2 Series a wide range of comfort and performance. Comfort mode admirably smooths out the vast majority of ruts and bumps. But even in Sport mode, bumps are never intrusive.

noise & vibration

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Wind noise is essentially absent, and road noise never rises above barely detectable levels. The little engine noise heard at higher revs sounds slightly burly and pleasing. The amount of insulation is excellent for the class.

interior

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The 2 Series uses interior components from larger and more expensive models in the BMW lineup. The design and quality of materials are close to identical, and as a result the car exceeds entry-level expectations.

ease of use

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Well-placed and clearly labeled controls simplify operation and are intuitive enough that you don't have to look away from the road to use them. The iDrive interface has a slight learning curve, but it's one of the better systems available.

getting in/getting out

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As small as the 2 Series is, getting in and out of the front seats is relatively pain-free, even in tight parking spaces. There is a long reach back to grab the seat belt, though. The rear seats are best left to smaller passengers.

roominess

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The front seats easily fit taller occupants, with a wealth of head- and legroom. The rear seats lack both, and the low seat cushions make them suitable for children only. In truth, this is expected from any compact coupe.

visibility

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The forward roof pillars are on the thick side, but overall visibility is commendable. Even without the parking sensors, the car is easy to maneuver into a tight parking spot.

quality

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Everything about the 2 Series has a solid and reassuring feel. Interior materials are top-notch, and all elements are precisely fitted. It is a true BMW from top to bottom.

utility

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There are plenty of pockets and bins in the cabin to hold your small items, and the trunk is bigger than those of most competitors. There are few sacrifices considering the car's small size.

small-item storage

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Numerous bins, pockets and cupholders adequately accommodate your personal items.

cargo space

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Trunk capacity is above average for the class. Remote latches in the trunk make folding the split rear seats effortless.

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.