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2020 BMW 2-Series Review

The 2020 BMW 2 Series finishes in the top third of our luxury small car rankings. It's a well-rounded car with powerful engines, adept handling, a well-built interior, and a solid safety score.

Pros & Cons

  • Exceptionally nimble
  • Quick and powerful
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Well-built cabin with comfortable front seats
  • Small rear seats
  • Lacks some common infotainment technology

Rankings & Research

The 2020 BMW 2-Series's #2 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Small Cars category. Currently the BMW 2-Series has a score of 8.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 40 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.1
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the BMW 2 Series a Good Car?

Yes, the BMW 2 Series is a good car. It offers a half-dozen powertrains, one for each trim, and all of them deliver more-than-adequate punch for most driving needs. This BMW handles curves well and rides smoothly, making it enjoyable to drive. The 2 Series looks great inside, with comfortable front seats and a lot of technology, including an intuitive infotainment system. There are some flaws, such as cramped rear seats, but overall this BMW is an excellent vehicle.

Should I Buy the BMW 2 Series?

The 2 Series will appeal to anyone who wants a fun-to-drive car. It will also attract those interested in a car that's more than just thrilling to drive. The 2 Series has no major shortcomings, and it touts a lower starting price than many competitors. Still, it never hurts to cross-shop, so be sure to check out alternatives like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A3.

Compare the 2 Series, C-Class, and A3 »

Should I Buy a New or Used BMW 2 Series?

BMW has updated the 2-Series almost every model year since its debut for 2014. There’s a good chance you can find a used 2 Series that fits your needs and still costs less than a new one.

BMW added the convertible body style and available all-wheel drive for 2015, and the high-performance M2 joined the lineup for 2016. The engines in the lower two trim levels gained extra horsepower for 2017 (along with new trim names). For 2019, a comprehensive suite of advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking, became standard. A four-door Gran Coupe body style and a new M2 CS coupe model are newly available for 2020.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 2 series, 2018 2 Series and 2019 2 Series reviews to help inform your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 2 Series »

We Did the Research for You: 40 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current 2 Series generation, which runs from 2014 to 2020.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the BMW 2 Series Cost?

The BMW 2 Series coupe has a base MSRP of $35,300, which is less than the starting price of most class rivals. The all-new sedan body style, which BMW calls the 2 Series Gran Coupe, starts at $37,500. Convertible models start at $41,100.

There are several high-performance 2 Series models, all part of BMW's prestigious M Series. The least expensive of the bunch is the BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe, which starts at $45,500. The M2 Competition starts at $58,900, while the range-topping M2 CS – another all-new trim for 2020 – has a base price of $83,600. Few rivals' top trims cost anywhere near as much as the M2 CS.

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 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a more opulent vehicle than the 2 Series, the BMW is a better choice if you enjoy a spirited driving experience. The C-Class has a lavishly appointed interior, with cushy seats and plenty of technology. The 2 Series is a more athletic car than the C-Class, though, with superior handling and powerful engines. That said, the C-Class also has some pretty powerful engines in the high-priced Mercedes-AMG models.

Which Is Better: BMW 2 Series or Audi A3?

Though it's a great car, the Audi A3 doesn't quite live up to the BMW's all-around excellence. The 2 Series is more athletic than the front-wheel-drive A3, and the Bimmer has a history of better safety and predicted reliability ratings. However, the A3 comes with more standard features (including leather upholstery and heated front seats), a roomier backseat, and a lower starting price, so you could argue that it's a better value than the 2 Series. Unless price and rear-seat legroom are high priorities, we recommend going with the BMW.

Compare the 2 Series, C-Class, and A3 »

2 Series Interior

How Many People Does the 2 Series Seat?

The 2 Series seats four people in coupe and convertible body styles. In sedan models, it seats five. Nobody will complain about the front seats. They're comfortable and well-bolstered, keeping you in place around turns. It's also easy to find a suitable driving position.

The rear seats, on the other hand, don't provide much legroom, and most adults will be pretty uncomfortable in the back.

2 Series and Child Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child safety seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2 Series' LATCH system the highest rating of good for ease of use.

2 Series Interior Quality

The 2 Series features plenty of soft-touch materials throughout its cabin, and the interior looks great, making it an inviting place for your daily commute.

2 Series Cargo Space

Cargo space in this BMW depends on the body style. Coupe models have the largest trunk, with 13.8 cubic feet of space. Sedan (Gran Coupe) and convertible models both check in around 12 cubic feet, though the convertible's available space drops to 9.9 cubic feet with the top down.

2 Series Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display, seven speakers, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Available features include a moonroof, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, an 8.8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, and navigation.

The 2 Series may not have some features that you'll find in rivals, such as Android Auto and a touch screen, but the iDrive infotainment system is still fairly easy to use. The controller knob is simple to manipulate, and the well-organized menu layouts make it easy to find and adjust settings.

Read more about interior »

2 Series Performance

2 Series Engine: Plenty of Choices

Every 2 Series model features either a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine or a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six. However, the horsepower ratings vary widely, ranging from 228 horses in the brand new 228i xDrive Gran Coupe up to 444 horsepower in the all-new performance-oriented M2 CS.

Regardless of what's under the hood, the 2 Series doesn't lack for power. Each engine has plenty of juice for driving around town or on the highway, and all of them deliver quick acceleration. The M models are the ones you want for track days, however, as they sprint from zero to 60 mph in under 4.5 seconds. The M2 CS models is the fastest, clocking in at 3.8 seconds.

Most trims can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, and all trims are available with either an eight-speed automatic or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, depending on the trim. Both automatic transmissions deliver silky performance.

BMW 2 Series Powertrain/Performance Options:
  • Base engine: turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque; starts at $35,300 (230i)
  • Available engines:
    • turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque; starts at $37,500 (228i Gran Coupe)
    • turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 301 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque; starts at $45,500 (M235i Gran Coupe)
    • turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder with 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque; starts at $46,350 (M240i)
    • turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 405 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque; starts at $58,900 (M2 Competition)
    • twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 444 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque; starts at $83,600 (M2 CS)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard eight-speed automatic; available six-speed manual; available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
BMW 2 Series Appearance Packages:
  • M Sport package (prices start at $4,200 depending on body style; available in 230i, 230i xDrive): 18-inch bi-color wheels and shadowline exterior trim
  • Shadowline (prices start at $500; available in M235i): black mirror caps and extended shadowline trim
BMW 2 Series Performance Packages:
  • M Driver’s package (prices start at $2,500; available in M2 Competition): raises top speed and includes one high-performance driving class on a track
  • Dynamic Handling package (prices start at $700; available in 228i): M Sport brakes with blue calipers; 19-inch wheels; extended Shadowline trim
BMW 2 Series Individual Performance Options:
  • Seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with launch control (prices start at $2,900; available in M2 Competition)
2 Series Gas Mileage: Solid Ratings

With the automatic transmission, the 230i coupe gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those aren't the best ratings in the class, but they're better than what you get with many rivals.

The M240i isn't quite as fuel-efficient, earning ratings of 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The M2 Competition gets just 17/23 mpg city/highway.

2 Series Ride and Handling: The Best of Both Worlds

The 2 Series is enjoyable to drive. It handles winding roads with finesse, and its maneuverability is a blessing on city streets. While you're sure to notice severe bumps in the road, the suspension soaks up most pavement imperfections nicely.

How Fast Is the BMW 2 Series?

BMW estimates that the 230i coupe accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 or 5.3 seconds, depending on whether it comes with all-wheel drive. The 230i convertible does it in 5.6 seconds. The M240i coupe has a zero-to-60 time of 4.2 or 4.4 seconds, with the M240i convertible taking 4.4 or 4.5 seconds. Each of these models have a top speed of 155 mph (149 with all-wheel drive).

The coupe-only M2 Competition has a zero-to-60 time of four seconds, and properly equipped models have a top speed of 174 mph.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe 228i has a zero-to-60 time of six seconds. That's reduced to 4.7 seconds in the M235i. Both have a top speed of 130 mph. Finally, the high-performance M2 CS coupe sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 174 mph.

Does the BMW 2 Series Have All-Wheel Drive?

Yes, all-wheel drive (called xDrive by BMW) is standard or available in every 2 Series trim.

Read more about performance »

2 Series Reliability

Is the BMW 2 Series Reliable?

The 2020 BMW 2 Series has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

BMW 2 Series Warranty

The BMW 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 2020 BMW 2 Series received the highest rating of Good in each crash test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. When properly equipped, the 2 Series' headlights receive either an Acceptable (the second-highest rating) or Marginal (second-lowest rating) for forward visibility, depending on trim level.

2 Series Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, driver drowsiness monitoring, daytime pedestrian monitoring, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. Some of these features are part of BMW's Active Driving Assistant.

Available active safety features include a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, parallel park assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Read more about safety »

2 Series Dimensions and Weight

The 2 Series is 14.6 to 14.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,380 to 3,944 pounds.

Where Is the BMW 2 Series Built?

BMW builds the 2020 2 Series in Germany.

When Did the BMW 2 Series First Come Out?

BMW launched the 2 Series as an all-new vehicle for the 2014 model year, replacing the 1 Series. It was initially offered as a coupe or convertible and featured four- and six-cylinder powertrains. The performance-oriented BMW M2 joined the lineup for 2016. A four-door sedan, called Gran Coupe, was introduced for 2020. You can read more about other updates to the 2 Series lineup above.

Which BMW 2 Series Model Is Right for Me?

You certainly have options when picking out a 2 Series. There are six trims: 228i xDrive, 230i, M235i xDrive, M240i, M2 Competition, and M2 CS. There are also three body styles: coupe, Gran Coupe (which is BMW's fancy term for sedan), and convertible. Also, keep in mind that not every trim is available in every body style.

The all-new 228i xDrive – one of the two Gran Coupe trims – is the best bet for most buyers. Though it has the weakest engine in the lineup, it still delivers ample driving enjoyment. It seats five people instead of four, as the coupe and convertible models do. Additionally, the 228i has a lower price by about $2,200 and many more standard features than the base 230i coupe model, including all-wheel drive.

BMW 2 Series 230i

The BMW 230i coupe sports a base price of $35,300. Convertible models start at $41,100. The 230i has a 248-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, and your choice of a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic.

Standard features include automatic climate control and the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display, seven speakers, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, driver drowsiness monitoring, daytime pedestrian monitoring, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. Some of these features are part of BMW's Active Driving Assistant.

You can add all-wheel drive for $2,000. The Convenience package ($2,050) gives you a moonroof and satellite radio. The Premium package ($2,500) adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an 8.8-inch display, navigation, and Apple CarPlay. You can add many more features individually, including adaptive cruise control, parallel park assist, leather upholstery, and wireless device charging.

BMW 2 Series 228i xDrive Gran Coupe

The all-new BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe starts at $37,500. It features the same turbo-four engine as the base 230i, though the Gran Coupe only has 228 horsepower. The 228i also comes standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, but unlike the base trim, it isn't available with a manual transmission.

In addition to the base trim's features, the 228i comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, front sport seats, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, and an upgraded version of the iDrive infotainment system with an 8.8-inch display, Apple CarPlay, a 10-speaker audio system, additional USB ports, and navigation.

The Convenience package ($1,700) adds satellite radio and a panoramic moonroof. The Premium package ($4,750) adds the features in the Convenience package plus a head-up display, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. Several features can also be added individually.

BMW 2 Series M235i xDrive Gran Coupe

The BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe starts at $45,500. It comes with a 301-horsepower turbo-four engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. As with the 228i, BMW does not offer a manual transmission with this Gran Coupe model.

In addition to the 228i's features, the M235i comes with M Sport brakes, a sport suspension, a sport steering wheel, Dakota leather upholstery, and satellite radio.

The Premium package is available in this trim, but it costs $2,650. You can also add several features individually.

BMW 2 Series M240i

The BMW M240i starts at $45,800 for the coupe model. Convertible models start at $50,400. The 240i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six that produces 335 horsepower. In addition to the base 230i trim's features, the M240i comes with an adaptive suspension, M Sport brakes, satellite radio, and a moonroof.

You can add the Premium package ($2,500), all-wheel drive ($2,000), and several individual features.

BMW 2 Series M2 Competition

The M2 Competition starts at $58,900 and is only available as a coupe. It comes with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder that puts out 405 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission also comes standard, as do several performance features such as an M-tuned exhaust with quad tailpipes, an M rear spoiler, and a track-ready cooling system.

The M2 Competition also comes standard with leather seats, heated front seats, an 8.8-inch display, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Apple CarPlay, and navigation.

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available for $2,900. You can add a moonroof for $1,050. The Executive package ($1,200) includes a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, and a heated steering wheel. The M Driver's package ($2,500) ups the top speed of your vehicle and includes a one-day high-performance driving class.

BMW 2 Series M2 CS

The M2 CS is brand new for 2020, and it starts at $83,600. This trim delivers the best performance of any 2 Series. It features a 444-horsepower version of the M2 Competition's engine, and there are other performance upgrades as well, such as a locking differential and carbon fiber components to reduce weight. Features-wise, this trim is similar to the M2 Competition.

This is another trim that only comes in the coupe body style.

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 2020 BMW 2 Series specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 BMW 2 Series does almost everything well. It's quick and agile, and it offers supportive front seats, an attractive cabin, and easy-to-use tech features. The 2 Series deserves its high ranking in our competitive luxury small car rankings.

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

  • "It's easy to love the 2018 BMW 2 Series. Especially if your tastes run to cars that are compact, agile, balanced and quick. This is one of BMW's most engaging creations, whether powered by an eager turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a sweet inline 6-cylinder, and in coupe or convertible form. Yet it's also comfortable and upscale." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "The 2018 BMW 2 Series hearkens back to a time when BMWs were small, sporty cars that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Unlike those early cars, however, the 2 Series is a thoroughly modern design loaded with BMW's best technology and performance features." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "… the BMW 2 Series … 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." -- Edmunds (2018)
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