New Car Review

2019 BMW 2 Series: New Car Review

RELATED READING
  • New Car Review

    The 2018 BMW 2 Series coupe and convertible display revised looks outside and in, but every positive aspect remains present and correct.
  • New Car Review

    The 2017 BMW 2 Series coupe and convertible receive power upgrades and subtle name changes while remaining drivers' favorites.
  • Car Deals

    We've listed November's best new car deals for those interested in getting a great new vehicle with a great deal.
  • Car Deals

    If you're looking for a good deal on a new vehicle, you'll find one in our list of September's top new car deals and incentives.
See all BMW 230i articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by AutoTrader September 2018

The 2019 BMW 2 Series follows the company's logic of the smaller the number, the smaller the car. But this is no less of a driver's machine because of its diminutive dimensions. On the contrary, there are fewer pounds to haul around compared with bigger cars, making the 2 Series responsive and agile. It's also well-balanced.

Available in coupe or convertible form, this is one of BMW's most engaging creations, whether powered by an eager turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a sweet inline 6-cylinder engine. Yet it's also comfortable and upscale -- in the front seats, at least. Keep an eye on the options, though, as they can easily push the bottom line up into 4 Series or pristine used M3 territory.

A higher-performance M2 Competition coupe is reviewed separately.

What's New for 2019?

Some driver aids -- like forward-collision mitigation, lane-keeping assistance and parking sensors at both ends -- are now standard.

What We Like

Forceful acceleration; modest fuel consumption; fiercely capable handling; refined ride; premium interior; optional all-wheel drive; top safety scores

What We Don't

Costly options; not much rear space

How Much?

$36,295–$51,395

Fuel Economy

All 2 Series variants start with rear-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission. A 6-speed manual transmission is a no-cost option in the coupes. All-wheel drive (known as xDrive) is available in all versions with the automatic transmission.

The 230i coupe has a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine making 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. Paired with the automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel economy at 24 miles per gallon city, 35 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined. The manual transmission results in 21 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined. The automatic/xDrive combination yields 24 mpg city/33 mpg hwy/27 mpg combined.

Naturally, it's the same engine in the automatic-only 230i convertible, but fuel consumption differs slightly: 23 mpg city/33 mpg hwy/27 mpg combined regardless of how many driven wheels.

The M240i enjoys a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine rated at 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Both the rear-drive/automatic coupe and convertible return a still-respectable 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined. The manual transmission adjusts those figures to 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

Both M240i body styles with xDrive return 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 BMW 2 Series is offered as a subcompact coupe or soft-top convertible in either 230i or M240i trim. The xDrive all-wheel drive system is a $2,000 option on all models.

The 230i coupe ($36,295) comes with the turbo 4-cylinder engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting (including fog lights), push-button ignition, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a rearview camera, parking sensors front and rear, lane-departure warning, forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, Bluetooth, iPod/USB connectivity and the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-in screen.

The 230i convertible ($42,095) has a power-retractable soft-top in black, brown or Anthracite with silver accents.

The M240i coupe ($46,795) adds more features, including the turbo 6-cylinder engine, 18-in M-designed wheels, adaptive M Sport suspension, sport exhaust, upgraded brakes, variable-ratio steering, adaptive headlights, a sunroof, a rear spoiler, front sport seats with 4-way lumbar support and driver's-side memory settings, sport instrument cluster, a satellite radio and dynamic cruise control.

The M240i convertible ($51,395) has a soft-top like the 230i convertible.

The 230i offers several features as options that are standard features in its higher-performance sibling. But specific to this humbler model is the M Sport package with a lowered suspension, 18-in M-specific wheels, aerodynamic kit and M steering wheel. The Track Handling package brings an adaptive suspension, variable-ratio steering and upgraded brakes.

A Convenience package brings self-dimming mirrors, a moonroof, lumbar support, ambient cabin lighting, keyless entry/ignition and satellite radio. A Premium package includes all of the content from the Convenience bundle and adds Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, navigation with real-time traffic updates, heated front seats/steering wheel and a universal garage door opener.

Other extras include a standalone 12-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, Wi-Fi, wireless device charging, active cruise control, self-parking and a limited-slip differential for the M240i.

Trunk space is a 2 Series strength, measuring 13.8 cu ft. in the coupe -- generous for such a compact car. The convertible offers about 9 cu ft., which BMW says is enough to accommodate a pair of golf bags.

Safety

The 2 Series comes standard with stability control and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The coupe gets eight airbags (front, front side, front knee and full-length side curtain), while the convertible comes with six (all except the side curtain airbags). BMW Assist eCall, adding automatic crash notification and roadside assistance, is also standard.

In independent crash testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2 Series its top score of Good in every major category. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to put the 2 Series through its paces.

Behind the Wheel

The 2 Series feels thrillingly taut from the driver's seat, which is a welcome departure from BMW's increasing tendency for luxury these days. It's tight in the back seat, which is generally a kids-only arrangement.

Despite high-class cabin materials, the 2 Series leaves no doubt that it's here to entertain. The ride is supple and refined, yet the main focus is clearly on sharp responses -- which makes it special, especially in light of its comparatively reasonable pricing.

The entry level 4-cylinder engine seems like it's punching above its declared output numbers, per BMW's norm. As awesome as the M240i's engine feels (and sounds) at full throttle, it carries a premium of $10,500 in coupe form and may not be worth the few tenths of a second shaved from acceleration runs.

The manual transmission's shift action is superb, but the ultra-smooth automatic achieves better fuel economy, which is something to keep in mind.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Audi TT -- It starts out with a higher price than the 230i coupe and offers even less room for rear passengers, but it's compact, sporty and German. Updated for this model year.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro -- This is the closest any mainstream American sports machine has come to a European-style driving experience, especially with the 2.0-liter turbo engine.

2019 Mini Cooper -- Not endowed with rear-wheel drive or generous amounts of power, but still combines compact dimensions with a high fun factor.

Used BMW M3/M4 -- In sedan, coupe or convertible body styles, there are driving thrills by the ton.

Autotrader's Advice

Only the buyer can make the decision between the soft-top or the coupe. The 230i is appreciably less expensive, but still has the ability to thrill, so that might be our choice unless we really wanted to spend another $10,500 or thereabouts. When resale time rolls around, it will probably be easier to sell versions with the automatic transmission.

Find a BMW 2 Series for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 BMW 2 Series: New Car Review - Autotrader