BMW's entry-level coupe and convertible model gets a refresh for 2018, its first significant update since being introduced as the 2014 model that replaced the 1 Series in the North American market.
This mid-cycle tweak brings the expected cosmetic changes that include standard LED headlights with LED accent lighting, and larger air intakes. Inside, BMW calls out a revised, driver-focused dashboard that contributes to a roomier cabin.
The 2018 2 Series follows on last year's change in naming convention that saw the 228i and 235i become the 230i and 240i. Those models are powered by the same turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines that make 248 hp/258 lb-ft of torque and 340 hp/369 lb-ft respectively.
Rumours had been suggesting the 2 Series would lose its manual transmission option, and while that selection has been slimmed to six-cylinder models only, driving enthusiasts can certainly still shift those models for themselves. Four-cylinder cars get as standard an eight-speed automatic that can optioned into six-cylinder cars. The xDrive AWD system is also available with both engines.
BMW doesn't face a lot of direct competition for this little two-door. Mercedes-Benz and Audi both have subcompact models of their own, but the Benz CLA-Class and Audi A3 both start as sedans, and only the Audi can be had as a convertible, which lines up nicely against the 2 Series.
Performance is brisk with either powertrain, as BMW claims 0-100 km/h acceleration of 4.4 seconds for the 240i coupe and 5.6 for the 230i; if you want anything more extreme than that, look to the M2 performance variant that we've covered in a separate buyer's guide entry.
As is the case with many BMW models, the 2 Series boasts nearly 50:50 weight distribution front-to-rear, which works with front strut and rear five-link suspension to lend the smallest BMW model sharp handling.
There's a new Sunset Orange paint colour to go with the 2 Series' updated styling, and a larger selection of wheels that start with 18-inch light alloys standard on all models. As well, all 2 Series variants come with an M Sport package.
Interior changes are not dramatic, but constitute an evolution of the current car's cabin. There's a slick new black-panel gauge cluster; the latest iDrive 6.0 interface, which includes a larger touchscreen with tablet-like pinch/swipe functionality and more sophisticated voice controls; more brightwork and gloss black trim; a new glovebox cover and cupholders with a new sliding cover.
Incremental as the changes are, they lend the 2 Series a bit of the upscale feel found in the brand's new 5 Series and help elevate this entry-level model.
Tech options include active safety features like lane departure warning and city collision mitigation, and a parking assistant that works for both parallel and perpendicular spots.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed