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MSRP: $35,300 - 58,900

8.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 9.7
Reliability: TBD

2019 BMW 2-Series Review

The 2019 BMW 2 Series is a handsome, well-rounded sports coupe, and it finishes near the top of our luxury small car rankings. It’s also one of the most athletic cars in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Robust, refined selection of powertrains
  • Sophisticated interior styling with first-class materials
  • Spacious trunk
  • Athletic yet comfortable handling
  • Limited legroom in the back seat

New for 2019

  • Additional advanced safety features now standard
  • M2 Competition gains more horsepower

Is the BMW 2 Series a Good Car?

The 2019 BMW 2 Series is an excellent car with one of the highest performance scores in our rankings. While the taut suspension systems in some rival sporty cars can feel uncomfortably firm on rough pavement, the 2 Series has an athletic ride that still retains a measure of comfort. All engines in the 2 Series' lineup are lively (even the base four-cylinder). This BMW is more than just a fun-to-drive car, though. The 2 Series is elegant and comfortable inside, and it has a history of above-average safety and reliability ratings.

Should I Buy the BMW 2 Series?

You should consider a 2 Series if you want a performance-oriented car and don't need a sizable back seat. Keep an eye on your final price as you build your 2 Series, though, as options can quickly push up your total cost. Alternatively, shoppers in search of a sporty car that's a little more family friendly may want to look at the BMW 3 Series, Alfa Romeo Giulia, or Kia Stinger. All three have more room to spread out in the back seat (and the hatchback Stinger has nearly twice the cargo space).

Compare the 2 Series, 3 Series, and Giulia »

Should I Buy a New or Used BMW 2 Series?

The 2 Series has carried over largely unchanged since its debut for 2014. That means you can buy a used model – which likely costs less – and still drive a vehicle that is by and large the same as a new BMW. That said, there are a few revisions to be aware of. The convertible body style and available all-wheel drive were added 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 the 2019 model year, a comprehensive suite of advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking, became standard.

You can learn more about recent model years by reading our reviews of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 BMW 2 Series. If you decide a used model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 BMW 2 Series »

We Did the Research for You: 28 Reviews Analyzed

Our BMW 2 Series review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 28 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Does the BMW 2 Series Cost?

Prices for a new BMW 2 Series start at around $35,000 and go as high as about $60,000, which is a typical range for a luxury small car. The core trim levels include the 230i (starting MSRP: $35,300) and the M240i (starting at $45,800). Both are available with all-wheel drive for a $2,000 upcharge and can be ordered as a convertible for an extra $4,600 to $5,800. The M2 Competition, available only as a coupe, starts at $58,900.

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?

Choosing between the entry-level Mercedes-Benz C-Class and 2 Series models depends mostly on whether you prioritize dynamic handling or a lavish cabin. The Mercedes has a cushier interior, while the BMW is the sportier of the two. Move up in trim levels, and the C-Class catches up on the performance front with models such as the 503-horsepower AMG C 63 S. Keep in mind that you'll pay several thousand dollars more for the Mercedes models, though.

Which Is Better: BMW 2 Series or Audi A3?

Compared to the Audi A3, the BMW 2 Series is better in almost every way. It’s more athletic than the front-wheel-drive A3, and it has a history of higher safety and predicted reliability ratings. That said, the A3's combination of a lower base price and more standard features (including leather upholstery and heated front seats) makes it a better value. It also has a little more room in the back seat. 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 comes with seating for four people in both coupe and convertible body styles. The front seats are heavenly. An abundance of adjustments, artful bolstering, and an agreeable amount of room means travelers of all sizes can get comfortable. There isn't much space in the back seat, however, which is common for a vehicle this size.

2 Series and Car Seats

Both of the 2 Series’ rear seats have a set of lower anchors and an upper tether anchor. The hardware is remarkably easy to find and use. You may have a hard time fitting in a rearward-facing car seat, however, because of the limited legroom.

2 Series Interior Quality

The 2 Series has a sophisticated, modern, and well-built cabin. An abundance of top-shelf materials are present, and you'll feel like you are riding around in a much pricier sports coupe.

2 Series Cargo Space

You'll be able to carry two sets of golf clubs in the BMW 2 Series coupe, which has a spacious 13.8-cubic-foot trunk. That's more cargo room than the Audi A3 offers. The 2 Series convertible isn't quite as roomy. It has an 11.8-cubic-foot trunk when the top is up and 9.9 cubic feet of available space when the top is down.

2 Series Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

It takes some time to find your way around BMW's iDrive infotainment interface. After a few days, though, navigating through the system will seem almost second nature thanks to the intuitive layout. It comes standard with a 6.5-inch display, Bluetooth, a USB port, and HD Radio. Several appealing upgrades are available, such as a Harman Kardon 12-speaker surround-sound system, Apple CarPlay (annual subscription required), and navigation with real-time speed limit info.

Read more about interior »

2 Series Performance

2 Series Engine: An Even Meatier M2

There is no wrong choice when deciding among the 2 Series' powertrains. The trio of turbocharged engines starts with a 248-horsepower four-cylinder that feels much more powerful than its specs suggest. The M240i employs an inline six-cylinder engine that's rated at 335 horsepower. It shaves nearly a second off the 2 Series’ sprint time, reaching 60 mph in 4.4 seconds versus the 230i's 5.3 seconds. For the ultimate in 2 Series performance, go for the M2 Competition. Its inline six-cylinder engine is rated at 405 horsepower, up from last year's rating of 365, and it can reach 60 mph in four seconds flat.

Gearboxes in the 2 Series are just as polished and satisfying as the engines. Choices include a six-speed manual, an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (only available in the M2).

2 Series Gas Mileage: A Win-Win

In addition to providing smile-inducing takeoffs, the 230i has one of the most fuel-efficient engines in our luxury small car rankings. It earns 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. As expected, fuel economy decreases with the six-cylinder models. The M240i earns 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway, and the M2 gets about 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway.

2 Series Ride and Handling: Athletic and Refined

The 2 Series achieves one of the hardest tasks required of a sporty daily driver: It manages to be both engaging and comfortable. Spirited drivers will delight in the responsive handling of this sports coupe. Four drive modes let you tame it down from Sport or Sport+ to Comfort or Eco, smoothing out the ride for a comfortable cruise. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available in all but the M2 Competition.

2 Series Dimensions and Weight

The 2019 2 Series measures between 14.6 and 14.7 feet in length, depending on the trim level. Curb weight can be as low as 3,411 pounds or as high as 3,994 pounds.

Read more about performance »

2 Series Reliability

Is the BMW 2 Series Reliable?

Though no ratings are available yet for the 2019 model, this 2 Series generation usually receives above-average predicted reliability ratings from J.D. Power.

BMW 2 Series Warranty

BMW covers the 2019 2 Series with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

2 Series Safety

2 Series Crash Test Results

Crash test analysis on the 2019 2 Series is not yet available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The IIHS evaluated the nearly identical 2018 model and awarded the car a Top Safety Pick designation – the organization's second highest safety designation – after the 2 Series passed all essential tests with top scores.

2 Series Safety Features

The 2 Series now comes standard with the Active Driving Assistant suite of advanced safety technology. These features include daytime pedestrian monitoring, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. Front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a rearview camera are also standard. Available safety features include active park assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and adaptive headlights.

Read more about safety »

Which BMW 2 Series Model Is Right for Me?

The 2 Series comes in three trim levels – 230i, M240i, and M2 Competition – and the fundamental difference between them is the engine. Horsepower increases along with the price tag, starting with the 248-horsepower 230i and topping out with the 405-horsepower M2. Two body types are available: the 2 Series coupe and the 2 Series convertible. For the two lower trims, BMW offers all-wheel drive as a $2,000 upgrade. The M2 only exists as a rear-wheel-drive coupe.

We recommend starting with the 230i. It has the lowest price in the lineup, an engine that's both gratifying and fuel-efficient, and a multitude of options for customization. You can modify its exterior styling by selecting one of the three available design packages (Sport Line, Luxury, and M Sport). Interior upgrades are bundled in the Convenience Tier and Premium Tier, and BMW offers several standalone enhancements, such as a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless charging, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system. Given this level of personalization, the 230i is an excellent way to blend modest power with your personal preferences.

If you're yearning for more power than the 230i's four-cylinder engine can provide, the M240i is an ideal option. It isn't as exorbitant as the M2 Competition (which rings up at nearly $60,000), but the midlevel M240i still provides a thrilling drive.

BMW 2 Series 230i

Powering the 230i is a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. You can switch to a six-speed manual transmission at no charge and add all-wheel drive for $2,000. Prices start at $35,300 for the coupe body type, and $41,100 for the convertible.

SensaTec upholstery (BMW's synthetic leather), power-adjustable front seats, and automatic climate control are included. Additional standard features include a 6.5-inch infotainment display, a seven-speaker audio system, push-button start, and a proximity key. Standard safety technology for 2019 includes Active Driving Assistant, a suite containing daytime pedestrian monitoring, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning.

BMW 2 Series M240i

The performance-oriented M240i starts at $45,800 for the coupe and $50,400 for the convertible. Under its hood is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Like the 230i, this trim offers a choice between an eight-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission for no charge, as well as a $2,000 all-wheel-drive option. Exterior enhancements include a rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sport exhaust system. Also standard is a moonroof, ambient lighting, satellite radio, sport steering, M Sport brakes, and adaptive M suspension.

BMW 2 Series M2 Competition

A 405-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine comes with the range-topping M2. Gearbox choices include a standard six-speed manual and a $2,900 seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. BMW boosts performance of the M2 Competition by adding aerodynamic features, an M-tuned exhaust with quad tailpipes, an M rear spoiler, and a track-ready cooling system. In addition to leather seats, the driver and front passenger are treated to 14-way power-adjustable and heated seats. Carbon fiber trim, an 8.8-inch infotainment display, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, Apple CarPlay, and navigation are also included. The M2 Competition comes only as a rear-wheel-drive coupe, and it starts at $58,900.

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 2019 BMW 2 Series specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 BMW 2 Series is a sublime sports coupe. The balanced suspension system yields both athletic handling and a comfortable ride. Even the entry-level engine provides a satisfying drive, and higher horsepower options are included with the higher trim levels. The 2 Series has plenty of trunk space and front-seat legroom, and it earns above-average fuel economy estimates with the base engine, all of which add a dose of practicality for those intending to make this BMW their daily driver. This two-door is not an optimal choice for carpooling, however, and adults will have a hard time getting comfortable in its snug back seat.

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. Keep an eye on the options, though, as they can easily push the bottom line up into 4 Series or pristine used M3 territory." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "The 2018 BMW 2 Series hearkens (sic) 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)
  • "Even as the BMW 2 Series hits the midway mark in its current generation, it 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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