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2018 BMW 2-Series: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 6/29/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked on the side of a road: 2018 BMW 2-Series© BMW of North America, LLC 2018 BMW 2-Series

Few cars can match the performance chops of the 2018 BMW 2 Series. Featuring athletic handling and a well-tuned ride, this sleek and sporty coupe is among our top-ranked luxury small cars.

The 2018 BMW 2-Series is ranked:

Is the BMW 2 Series a Good Car?

The BMW 2 Series is a great car. Not only is it one of the most athletic cars in the class, but it also provides a comfortable ride. The base four-cylinder engine delivers quick acceleration, though spirited drivers will most likely prefer one of the more powerful six-cylinders. The 2 Series has a refined, well-built cabin, and it’s available in both coupe and convertible versions. The 2 Series also has a good reputation for safety and reliability.

Should I Buy the BMW 2 Series?

If you don't plan on carrying passengers in the back row often and you want the prestige of owning a BMW, you should consider purchasing the 2 Series. That said, you’ll want to be careful when adding options to your 2 Series, since the cost for upgrades tends to add up quickly. For a more accommodating rear seat, consider the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A3. The Alfa Romeo Giulia is another thrilling sports sedan that performance-minded shoppers should take a spin in.

Compare the 2 Series, A3, and Giulia »

Should I Buy a New or Used BMW 2 Series?

The 2018 2 Series is a part of a generation that started in 2014, and there have been few changes since then. That means you could opt for an older model and get a similar car for less money. All-wheel drive and a convertible body style became available in the 2015 model year. The performance-oriented M2 was introduced in the 2016 model year. Increased horsepower, reshuffled standard and available features, and enhanced exterior styling are notable changes to the 2017 2 Series. If you're interested in a used model, check out our reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 BMW 2 Series. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for savings and incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 BMW 2 Series »

We Did the Research for You: 31 Reviews Analyzed

Our BMW 2 Series review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 31 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision. This 2018 BMW 2 Series overview includes applicable data and reviews from the 2014 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team—a division of U.S. News & World Report—has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the BMW 2 Series Cost?

The 2018 2 Series costs less than most new cars in its class. Prices for the BMW 2 Series coupe range from $34,950 for the 230i to $45,450 for the M240i. Both models also come in convertible form (sticker prices start at $40,750 and $50,050, respectively), and you can add all-wheel drive to any model for $2,000. The performance-oriented 2018 M2 costs $54,500.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

BMW 2 Series Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: BMW 2 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

While the BMW 2 Series leans more towards performance, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is more of a touring car. Choosing between these two cars comes down to what type of driving you favor. Though the 2 Series is the winner when it comes to performance, the Mercedes still holds its own with a powerful lineup of engines. In terms of interior opulence, the C-Class takes the cake. The Mercedes also offers more rear-seat passenger space, but it costs $5,300 more than the BMW.

Which Is Better: BMW 2 Series or Audi TT?

Available as either a four-seat coupe or a two-seat convertible, the Audi TT is a luxury sports car with sleek exterior styling and cutting-edge technology. However, its midrange performance can't match the power and handling of the BMW 2 Series. The TT also costs roughly $9,000 more than the 2 Series and offers less passenger and cargo space. Go with the BMW.

Which Is Better: BMW 2 Series or Audi A3?

The Audi A3  doesn't fare as well as the BMW 2 Series in our rankings, but it offers its own set of strengths. As a sedan, the A3 offers easier access to the rear seats and more legroom than the 2 Series. In addition, the A3 has more standard features than the Bimmer—including heated front seats and leather upholstery—and lively performance. That said, the 2 Series delivers sportier performance and rates higher for predicted reliability. For additional space and features, go for the A3. Otherwise, the BMW 2 Series is a better all-around vehicle.

Compare the 2 Series, C-Class, and TT »

2 Series Interior

How Many People Does the 2 Series Seat?

Both coupe and convertible 2 Series models are four-seaters, with standard synthetic leather upholstery and a split-folding back seat. The front seats have 10 power adjustments, making it easy for a variety of body shapes to set a cozy driving position. Like many small luxury cars, the 2 Series has cramped back seats that are best left for kids.

2 Series and Car Seats

Caregivers will appreciate how easy it is to find and use this BMW's LATCH hardware, which includes two full sets of lower and upper anchors on each rear seat.

2 Series Interior Quality

The 2 Series' cabin is exquisite. Lots of top-notch materials are on hand, creating an atmosphere that wouldn't be out of place in a much pricier vehicle.

2 Series Cargo Space

The BMW 2 Series coupe has more trunk space than a Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A3, and Alfa Romeo Giulia. Plus, you can expand the 13.8-cubic-foot trunk (in coupe models) by folding down the rear seats. Convertible models have slightly less space.

2 Series Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The 2 Series comes with BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, Bluetooth, and HD Radio. The infotainment system is a bit cumbersome at first, but once you're familiar with it, you'll find the interface is intuitively laid out. Voice commands and a touchpad are available, but innovative features like BMW's gesture control are still reserved for the 5 Series and not offered in the 2018 2 Series. Upgrades worth considering include wireless Apple CarPlay, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, and an 8.8-inch touch screen.

Read more about interior »

2 Series Performance

2 Series Engine: A Potent Suite of Engines

For 2018, the 2 Series comes in three iterations, each with a distinct engine. The good news is that each is tuned to deliver exhilarating acceleration, even the base four-cylinder power plant of the 230i. Performance junkies will prefer the six-cylinder power of the M240i or M2, but be prepared to pay to play, as each adds a significant sum to your price tag. For spirited drivers, the extra cost will be worth it.

2 Series Gas Mileage: Base Model Is Above Average

The 2018 230i gets better fuel economy than most of its rivals in our luxury small car rankings. It gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. This drops to 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway for the M240i, and 20/26 mpg for the M2.

2 Series Ride and Handling: Thrilling

BMW's tuning on the 2 Series is where much of the magic lies. This car is one of the most athletic in its class, and elements like responsive steering and dynamic suspension make it a joy to drive. BMW’s available M Sport adaptive suspension gives you the ability to pick from a firm, sporty ride or a softer experience as well. Rear-wheel drive is standard (and the only setup for the M2), and BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system is available in the 230i and M240i models for $2,000.

Read more about performance »

2 Series Reliability

Is the BMW 2 Series Reliable?

The 2018 BMW 2 Series has a great predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

BMW 2 Series Warranty

The 2018 2 Series comes with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

2 Series Safety

2 Series Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the 2018 2 Series with the highest rating of Good in all crash tests performed and names it a Top Safety Pick.

2 Series Safety Features

The 2 Series comes standard with rain-sensing windshield wipers and a rearview camera. Additional safety features include front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, high-beam assist, automatic high beams, adaptive headlights, real-time speed limit information, and an active driving assistant that prompts you to slow down before a curve.

Read more about safety »

Which BMW 2 Series Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 2 Series comes in three trim levels (230i, M240i, and M2), with horsepower increasing as you move up in price and trim. If you're building a 230i, your first decision is between three design packages (Sport Line, Luxury, and M Sport), followed by the choice to add amenities via the Convenience Tier or Premium Tier. Additional 2 Series options include bundles like the Track Handling package, which adds high-performance brakes, steering, and suspension. You can also select between standalone options like Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, and wireless charging for enabled smartphones.

For Bimmer fans, there is no substitute for an M2, but you can get pretty close with the M240i and save yourself $9,050 in the process (the difference in starting price between the two). The M240i comes with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, performance-tuned components, and unique body panels.

BMW 2 Series 230i

The 230i is the entry-level edition. Prices start at $34,950 for the two-door coupe ($40,750 for the convertible) and include a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. A six-speed manual transmission is available for no extra charge, while adding all-wheel drive bumps up the price by $2,000.

Standard tech features include BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, a 6.5-inch touch screen, a seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, push-button start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a rearview camera. SensaTec upholstery (BMW's synthetic leather), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and automatic climate control are also included.

BMW 2 Series M240i

The M240i comes as a coupe ($45,450) or a convertible ($50,050). Its standard drivetrain consists of a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Like the 230i, a no-cost manual transmission and a $2,000 xDrive all-wheel-drive system is available. The M240i also comes with a model-specific body kit, a moonroof, ambient lighting, sport exhaust, M Sport brakes, and adaptive M suspension.

BMW 2 Series M2

The top-of-the-line M2 is only available as a rear-wheel-drive coupe. It's powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission; a $2,900 seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is on the options list. Standard features include an 8.8-inch touch screen, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, carbon fiber trim, leather upholstery, front seats with 14-way power adjustments and heat, and a proximity key. In addition to suspension and handling upgrades, the M2's performance enhancements include an M-tuned exhaust with quad tailpipes, a track-ready cooling system, and an M rear spoiler.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

See 2018 BMW 2 Series specs and trims »

The Final Call

Feisty drivers will thrill over the BMW 2 Series. Its potent engines and dynamic handling beg you to push the car to the limits, rewarding your requests by dialing up the grip and maintaining complete composure. Inside, the 2 Series is handsome and sophisticated. These two areas come together to create a car that is not only fun to drive but also easy to live with as a daily driver (so long as you primarily occupy only the front seats).

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2018 BMW 2-Series review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


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