Some mid-cycle facelifts are easy to spot, while others require a serious eye for detail. If you’re not a Bimmerphile, the 2018 BMW 2 Series likely falls into the latter category.
In terms of aesthetic updates, the main feature is a new set of peepers. Now, the 2 Series gains bi-LED headlights as standard equipment across the entire range, although an adaptive LED setup remains optional. The new headlights feature more hexagonal running lights, which is the easiest way to spot the new 2 Series.
The front end also receives slightly larger kidney grilles, and the air intakes are also a bit wider. LED taillights remain standard, but they’ve been massaged a bit and look ever so slightly different. Otherwise, exterior adjustments are limited to new paint colors (one shade of orange, and two of blue) and some new wheels.
BMW says the interior is new, but I’m not seeing it. There’s some new trim scattered about, and BMW expanded its use of gloss-black material. The glove compartment has changed, and the air vents look a little different, too.
Tech-wise, the changes are light. Both the standard 6.0-inch and the optional 8.8-inch infotainment systems gain touch capability, but they still have the physical iDrive knob near the shifter. No matter the system or trim level, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are along for the ride. Wireless phone charging is now available, as well. There’s also a Wi-Fi hotspot that can handle up to 10 devices.
Two engines are available. The base 230i wields a 248-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged I4, whereas the sportier M240i packs a 335-horsepower, 3.0-liter I6. Rear-wheel drive is standard for both models, but all-wheel drive is available. An eight-speed automatic is also standard, but if you want to kick it old school, a six-speed manual is on offer.
If neither of those cars are enough for you, perhaps the M2 will scratch that itch. Its 3.0-liter I6 puts out a pleasing 365 horsepower. Instead of an eight-speed automatic, it’s offered with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It uses the same axles as the M3 and M4, and it receives sportier steering, suspension and brakes versus the pedestrian 2 Series variants.
The 2 Series is available as either a coupe or convertible. Aside from the roof transforming into not-a-roof, there are no major differences between these two variants. They get the same engines, trim levels and equipment.
The 2018 BMW 2 Series hits dealerships in July, and pricing will be announced closer to that date.