Review: BMW M2 – Performance, Specs, and Driving Experience

The BMW M2, a compact M performance model, is highlighted by What Car? as a promising investment for enthusiasts. It boasts rear-wheel drive, an optional manual gearbox, and a 454bhp 3.0-liter turbocharged engine. This model combines appealing features from previous BMW classics and comes equipped with adaptive suspension and a carbon fiber roof. Despite its smaller size, it performs impressively, although not as nimble as rivals like the Porsche 718 Cayman. The interior is well-crafted, with abundant tech features and a user-friendly infotainment system. Practicality-wise, it offers decent space but has a small boot opening. The M2 balances performance, luxury, and practicality reasonably well.


What Car? says…

Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke envisioned everything from communications satellites to remote work. He also said we’d have bio-engineered monkey servants. Predicting the future is difficult, but if we try, we’d suggest the BMW M2 is a safe bet for car enthusiasts.

Why? Well, for starters, the M2 is the most compact model in BMW’s current M performance car range. Historically, smaller models are the most revered. Think of classics like the original M3, BMW Z3 M Coupé, and BMW 1M Coupé.

In addition, the M2 has rear-wheel drive and comes standard with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, but also offers a manual option. This makes it appealing to driving enthusiasts. Plus, as the last purely combustion-powered car from the M division, it’s destined to be a historic landmark.

Under the hood, you find a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine. Although detuned for the M2 to produce "just" 454bhp, that’s still more than even the limited-run CS version of the previous generation.

Performance and Drive

Is the BMW M2 down on power compared to the BMW M4 or M240i? Technically, yes, but not by much. It can still achieve 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, or 4.3 seconds with a manual gearbox, ensuring you’ll never crave more performance.

The option for a manual gearbox offers an interactive driving experience you won’t get elsewhere. Though the shift can be clunky during quick gear changes and lacks the mechanical feel of the automatic Porsche 718 Cayman, it’s still smooth and enjoyable. The precise, light clutch pedal is another plus.

The M2 might not feel as nimble as lighter two-seater sports cars like the A110 or Cayman, but its relatively small size makes it more eager than the larger BMW M4. You quickly become confident enough to play with the car’s balance in corners using the accelerator pedal, thanks to the engine’s responsive power delivery.

Driving settings are highly customizable. Adjust the traction control, engine, steering, and suspension settings to match your driving style. For example, you can pair the sweet Sport steering mode with the furious throttle response of Sport Plus and the relaxed suspension setting, Comfort.

However, even in Comfort mode, you’ll feel a bit jostled over uneven surfaces. The A110 and Cayman isolate occupants from rough roads better. On a positive note, the M2 is one of the more refined performance cars on the highway. Wind noise and tire roar are minimal.

Driving Overview:


  • Punchy engines
  • Recreational use
  • Relatively quiet
  • Highly customizable driving modes


  • A bit of a bumpy ride
  • Not as nimble as the best sports cars

BMW M2 rear cornering


The interior of the BMW M2 isn’t drastically different from the regular 2 Series Coupé, but that’s not a bad thing. This generation car closely resembles the larger 4 Series, with a fabulous interior, tactile materials, and top-notch build quality.

Detailed adjustments make you feel like you’re behind something special. The steering wheel has contrasting stitching and two red drive mode buttons, while carbon fiber trim is sprinkled throughout. Heavily bolstered sports seats can be upgraded to even grippier carbon buckets.

However, the driving position isn’t ideal in the manual car. The pedals are too far to the right and the left foot rest is higher than preferred. With optional bucket seats, the side bolster can hinder leg movement, making sticking with standard seats more sensible.

The iDrive infotainment system is superb, easy to use, and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The 10.3-inch touchscreen is complemented by a rotary controller, which is less distracting to use while driving.

A standard display shows speed and speed limits, while the 12.3-inch digital driver display offers customizable settings. Despite the steering wheel obscuring parts of the screen in its lowest position, critical information remains visible.

Internal Supervision:


  • Tech-loaded interior
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system


  • Manual gearbox comes with offset pedals

BMW M2 interior panel

Passenger and Boot Space

Despite being the smallest M car, the BMW M2 provides ample headroom and sliding seats for the driver and front passenger. Handy cubbies are plenty, including wide door bins and large cup holders.

Compromises come at the back. A six-footer may need to hunch due to the sloping roof, and legroom is tight when sitting behind a similarly tall occupant. Six-footers will fare better in the larger BMW M4.

Rear seats are more comfortable than those in the Audi TT RS. Remember, the A110 or Porsche 718 Cayman can’t carry rear passengers at all.

The M2’s 390-liter boot can fit a set of golf clubs—something impossible in the A110 or Cayman. Alternatively, it fits seven suitcases, compared to the Cayman’s four. However, the boot opening is small, ruling out squeezing in a bike, something doable in the Audi TT hatch.

Practicality Overview:


  • Spacious and practical for four occupants


  • Small boot opening

BMW M2 interior rear seats

Buying and Owning

The BMW M2 is priced similarly to the Audi TT RS and Porsche 718 Cayman S but boasts more power and faster acceleration. It holds its residual value well and offers fuel economy comparable to its German rivals.

Standard equipment is lavish, featuring Harman Kardon sound, heated seats, leather upholstery, ambient lighting, and tri-zone climate control. BMW tempts further with an optional M Race Track Package, which includes carbon buckets and a voucher for M Intensive Driver Training.

The M2 wasn’t rated independently for safety, but the 2 Series Coupé settled for a four-star Euro NCAP rating.

BMW’s 16th place out of 32 car manufacturers in the 2022 Reliability Survey makes it the second-best performer among premium brands, behind Lexus.

Overview of Costs:


  • Lots of standard equipment
  • Many available options


  • Priced at a premium over some rivals

BMW M2 interior infotainment

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which is faster: the M2 or the M240i?

With 368bhp and four-wheel drive, the BMW M240i can officially go from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds. The rear-wheel drive M2 matches this time with a manual gearbox and undercuts it with an automatic.

How fuel-efficient is the BMW M2?

Officially, the BMW M2 averages up to 28.2mpg (manual) and 29.1mpg (automatic). Realistically, fuel efficiency will drop if you fully exploit its capabilities.

Is the BMW M2 single or twin turbo?

The 3.0-liter straight-six engine in the BMW M2 has two small turbochargers to minimize lag.

How much does the BMW M2 cost to insure?

Insurance cost varies based on age, claims history, and location but, given the model’s desirability, it’s generally expensive.

5/5 - (458 bình chọn)
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