Rumours have been swirling recently that BMW's entry-level car model would make a switch to a front-wheel drive platform shared with Mini, following the trend set by the X1 and X2 small crossovers. If that's actually in the cards for the 2 Series, though, it hasn't happened yet: these little coupe and convertible models carry over into 2019 with minor changes.
Those updates include a dark taillight treatment for both coupe and droptop variants. Meanwhile, cars optioned with the Sport Line and M Sport packages will get a black grille surround, and there are new wheel designs for those cars, plus the M240i.
The 2 Series is one of the last "old school" BMW models left in the company's showrooms, and among the few German sporty cars that still offer a stickshift. Competitors include the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. As a vehicle segment, we're not sure how much longer subcompact upscale cars will be around: buyers are gravitating more readily to vehicles like those BMW X1 and X2 models, the Audi Q3 and Volvo's brand new XC40.
The 2 Series still comes as the 230i, powered by a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder making 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and the M240i, which uses a turbo 3.0L six-cylinder good for 335 hp and 369 lb-ft. Both engines come standard with rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, but stick with RWD and you can opt for a six-speed manual instead. Add BMW's xDrive AWD setup, though, and the automatic is all there is.
BMW claims 0-100 km/h acceleration times of 5.6 seconds for the 230i and 4.4 in the M240i. The 2 Series range also includes the quicker M2, but that performance model is covered in a separate buyer's guide entry.
In convertible form, the entry-level 230i and its sub-$40,000 price could almost be considered a competitor to posher versions of the Mazda MX-5. That roadster can certainly keep up with the 2 Series in the twisties, but even the four-cylinder 230i offers more straight-line power.
BMW's fuel consumption ratings for the 2 Series are 9.9/7.1 L/100 km (city/highway) for the 230i xDrive coupe with the automatic transmission; the convertible is nominally less frugal. M240i coupe and convertible models with RWD are rated 11.2/7.8 L/100 km; adding AWD ups those figures to 11.3/8.0. Estimates for the RWD M240i with the six-speed stick are 12.8/8.8 L/100 km.