Understanding the physiological response to water stress is a key component to identify tolerant cultivars on crops such as bean. The aim of this study was to determine the differential traits in the physiological response to drought among bean cultivars contrasting in their tolerance to water stress. The experiment was performed in greenhouse conditions using drought treatments as a source of experimental variation during two phenological stages with four cultivars. The physiological responses to drought were different between susceptible and tolerant cultivars. According to the results, Pinto Saltillo (PS) was the most tolerant cultivar. Photosynthesis rate, seed production, foliage and root biomass could be used as criteria to identify and select tolerant genotypes to water stress.