BMW M2 Review & Prices
BMW's smallest M car is an absolute joy to drive, but it's very expensive and rather heavy, too
Find out more about the BMW M2
If the BMW M240i is an iPhone 14, the M2 is the full-fat iPhone 14 Pro Max. You’ll probably be considering the M2 if you’re also looking at hardcore performance cars such as the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S and Audi RS3, or even premium-badged sports cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman.
You won’t be mistaking the M2 for a standard 2 Series Coupe in a hurry. It has a much more aggressive-looking front bumper, huge flared wheel arches and a deeper rear bumper with quad tailpipes, as well as 19-inch alloys up front and 20-inch wheels at the rear.
Under the bonnet you’ll find the same 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine as the BMW M3 and M4 but with less power. It puts out 460hp and 550Nm of torque, enough for a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.1 seconds. We managed to beat that with an impressive 3.9 seconds, though.
If you’re looking at an M2 you’ll probably appreciate some nerdy details. It gets M4/M3 axles to increase its width and a limited-slip differential to help it put the power down out of a corner. It has stiffer suspension springs, adaptive dampers as standard and anti-roll bars to improve handling.
Right, enough nerding out. What else do you need to know? Well, one way the M2 separates itself from the cheaper M240i is that it’s available with a six-speed manual gearbox, making it one of the only hardcore performance cars left with three pedals. Unlike the M240i, the M2 is only available with rear-wheel-drive rather than all-wheel power delivery.
While we admire BMW for keeping the manual alive, we actually prefer the eight-speed automatic here. It shifts quickly and makes the M2 easier to drive in traffic, while the manual has a rubbery shift action that’s not particularly satisfying to use. Still, it gives the M2 a unique selling point next to the auto- and all-wheel drive-only Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S and Audi RS3.
Although the M2 gets slightly firmer suspension than other 2 Series models, it deals with bumps in the road really well, so you don’t have to sacrifice too much comfort in day to day driving. Visibility in the 2 Series Coupe is decent too, and the M2 gets a reversing camera as standard to make parking manoeuvres that bit easier.
It’s great that BMW is offering a rear-wheel drive sports car with a manual gearbox, but I actually prefer the auto
What about the practical stuff? After all, a car like this needs to work on the weekly shopping trip and boring commute, too. Up front the M2 is plenty spacious enough, with the standard seats offering loads of adjustability to get comfortable.
If you want to up the sportiness, the M2 is available with some lovely-looking carbon fibre bucket seats. These are the same as those offered in the BMW M3, which hold you in place really well. You might find they’re rather snug if you have a larger build, while the ridge between your legs can be annoying if you indulge in some heel-and-toe action in the manual.
Space in the rear is pretty good for a sporty coupe, with a couple of adults able to sit comfortably, though they might feel a bit cramped for longer journeys. Those looking to carry people in the back regularly will be much better off with a four-door Audi RS3, which has both Sportback (i.e. hatchback) and Saloon body styles.
As for boot space, there’s 390 litres on offer in the M2. That’s 70 litres less than the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S, however it is 59 litres more than you get in an Audi RS3 saloon. Interior storage is also decent, with a useful centre console cubby, a decent-sized glovebox and some usable cup holders.
The cabin itself is more or less identical to the M240i, with the exception of a manual gear stick poking out of the centre console, if you go for that option. This means everything feels really solid, with plenty of soft-touch materials around the place and a modern design. That said, a Porsche Cayman feels a bit more special.
The new BMW M2 gets a huge, curved display that dominates the dash. It consists of a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a 14.9-inch central touchscreen, the same as you’ll find in most new BMW models these days.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both come as standard, and the system is really easy to use. You have the option to use it as a touchscreen, which is better while you're stationary, or there’s a choice of voice commands or a swivel wheel in the centre console, which work better while driving.
The BMW M2 is a fantastic sports car, and although its price (and weight) have swelled, it goes a long way to justify that with a fantastic driving experience. Want one? Check out the latest BMW M2 deals. You can also browse a range of used BMWs through carwow, or take a look at used examples of the outgoing M2. If you’re looking to sell your car first, carwow can help with that, too.
The BMW M2 has a RRP range of £65,830 to £67,030. However, with carwow you can save on average £636. Prices start at £65,197 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £706. The price of a used BMW M2 on carwow starts at £58,950.
Our most popular versions of the BMW M2 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|M2 2dr DCT||£65,197||Compare offers|
Everything is getting more expensive and the BMW M2 is no different. Starting at a snip below £65,000 means it’s the most expensive car among its premium performance competition, with the AMG A45 S the closest at around £63,000.
The Audi RS3 and TT RS both hover around £60,000 and you can get into a Porsche Cayman for considerably less. The sportier Cayman GTS will set you back around £69,000, but even though it has a bit less power than the BMW, it will feel more special.
You do get some good kit for your cash, with all the clever mechanical stuff that makes the M2 so fun to drive, as well as a fancy Harman Kardon sound system, adaptive LED headlights and an M steering wheel.
You don’t get adaptive cruise control as standard (and not at all on manual models), which is surprising for such a pricey, premium car. And if you want the cool carbon bucket seats you’ll have to pay an extra £7,000 for an option pack that also adds a carbon roof and carbon fibre trim pieces inside.
The BMW M2 is an absolute joy to drive fast and does the relaxing stuff well too, but tyre noise can be a bit loud at higher speeds
With its stiffer suspension and body bracing, you might expect the M2 to hop, skip and jump its way across town. But with adaptive dampers as standard you can select ‘comfort’ mode to soften things up a bit. Do this, and the car deals with bumps really well.
If comfort is your priority you’d be better off with a regular 2 Series, but if you want The Fast One and were concerned that your back would give out on the way to the shops, may your fears be allayed.
It’s in town that the auto gearbox is the better bet, too. In its least aggressive settings it switches between gears with little fuss, and helps you relax in traffic.
On the motorway
Being a relatively small car with a sporty suspension setup, the M2 is not built for long motorway drives. However, put it in its comfiest drive mode and, again, it’s perfectly acceptable for your daily duties.
Perhaps the only complaint we have here is that the grippy tyres and large alloy wheels mean you get quite a bit of road noise in the cabin. It’s not unbearable, though. What’s more annoying is the lack of adaptive cruise control as standard. Especially when you notice it costs more than £1,000 as part of a package of extra driver assistance tech.
On a twisty road
When the road starts winding the M2 really comes alive. Where the M3 and M4 can be a bit lairy when you put your foot down, the M2 is much more composed, with lots of grip so you have confidence to press on out of a corner.
Despite this it feels a bit more playful and fun than its larger siblings. Again, much of this is down to its lower, less intimidating power output, but also its smaller footprint, which will be particularly noticeable on tight country roads in the English countryside.
The steering has a nice weight to it and feels really precise, so you’re confident in putting the front end of the car where you want it.
Put the auto gearbox into its most aggressive setting and you’ll feel a noticeable jolt in your back when you shift up. But turn this down and it still changes gear rapidly so you can concentrate on the job of going fast. It does lose a few marks on downshifts though, with these being a bit slower to engage.
Opt for the manual and you can ask the car to automatically blip the revs when you change down a gear to keep the engine speed at its optimal level. However, we still prefer the quick-shifting auto over the extra involvement that comes from the manual. BMW’s system isn’t as slick and enjoyable as that found in a Porsche.
The BMW M2 has a bigger boot than most others you might consider, but rear seat space is merely average
Space in the front is pretty good, with decent adjustability of the seats making it easy to find a comfortable driving position. You sit fairly low but still have a good view of the road ahead and can raise the seat up pretty high if you need to.
Regardless of seating position, all you’ll see and feel are high quality materials – even if the design is a bit reserved – with squishy plastics the order of the day. There are also all the usual cubby holes and door bins you would expect, though because of the M2’s smaller dimensions, don’t expect any cavernous, Tardis-like areas to hide all of your belongings.
Space in the back seats
Those in the back seats don’t have it quite so good. The seats are comfortable and there’s some M stitching in the belts to remind you this ain’t no regular 2 Series, but it’s not hugely spacious. Your knees won’t be up around your ears, though.
Taller passengers might find their quiff bothers the roof, but generally speaking a couple of adults should be comfortable enough for shorter journeys. Just expect there to be requests for seat rotation on longer road trips, because knee room isn’t fantastic. An Audi RS3 would be a better option if you regularly carry passengers, because it’s a bit more spacious and you can access through the rear doors, which the M2 doesn’t have.
Open the boot and you’re presented with 390 litres of storage space, which is exactly the same as the rest of the 2 Series range. There’s no practicality penalty for performance here.
What’s more, that actually makes it one of the most practical performance cars amongst its competitors. The Audi RS3 Sportback has a paltry 281 litres because its all-wheel drive system eats into storage space, but even the Saloon only gets 320 litres. The Mercedes-AMG A45 S is closer at 370 litres, but the BMW is only beaten by the CLA 45, which gets 460 litres.
The M2's twin-screen set-up is high-tech and easy to use, but the interior design isn't as special as you'd find in a Porsche
Jump inside the M2 and you’ll be hit by understated quality. In contrast to the brash and boxy exterior, it’s not a particularly shouty interior, more closely aligned with what you’d expect to find in comfy, motorway-mile-friendly BMWs rather than the tyre shredder of the family.
Despite this there are plenty of little reminders that this is an M car, with various badges and splashes of the M tricolour all over the place, including on the thick-rimmed steering wheel. There are only quality materials to be found, so even though it looks a bit unexciting, it feels suitably premium.
One thing that does jump out at you, though, is the ultra-wide, twin-screen set-up on the dashboard. It’s made up of a 12.3-inch driver’s display and a 14.9-inch infotainment system running the latest BMW tech.
That means you get super quick responses and pin-sharp graphics with one of the better voice control systems in the business. You also get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard to stream your music and take advantage of your maps apps.
Back to the task of driving fast, and there are a bunch of M-specific apps, such as a lap timer and a drift analyser that will rate your attempts to recreate the Stig’s Top Gear highlight reel. Though obviously you should only engage this when it’s safe to do so…
BMW has taken the engine from the bigger M3 and M4 – that’s the one codenamed ‘S58,’ if you want to get geeky again – but with about 50hp and 100Nm of torque less. That means 460hp and 550Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-60mph time of 4.1 seconds (or 4.3 in the manual).
You can bump the top speed from its 155mph limit to 180mph with the M Driver’s Pack. That’s a whopping £2,305 option but it does come with some driver training. Still, it’s probably more useful for those whose commute takes in derestricted sections of German autobahn.
Enough of the fun stuff, you want to know how much the M2 will cost to run, don’t you? Official figures suggest 27.7mpg in mixed driving, which is almost identical to the M240i’s numbers, so it shouldn’t be ruinous to run if you can resist the urge to enjoy the engine’s talents too often.
It also has the same 231g/km CO2 emissions figure, but don’t get too excited – that still puts it in the second-highest tax band for your first year of vehicle excise duty. You’ll also be subject to the premium on top of the regular tax payment in years two to six because the list price is above £40,000.
Although the M2 has not specifically undergone safety testing, the regular 2 Series scored four-out-of-five stars from Euro NCAP. It scored just over 80% for adult and child occupant protection, but its 64% rating for safety assist systems was slightly disappointing.
As standard, you get a parking assistant with a rear-view camera and sensors front and rear, a speed limiter and non-adaptive cruise control. The adaptive version, which can adjust your speed to maintain your position in traffic, comes as part of the £1,100 Driving Assistant pack. This adds some extra assistance kit that uses cameras and radars to help prevent crashes, or mitigate the outcomes, including lane departure warning, front collision warning and rear collision prevention. The adaptive cruise isn’t included if you buy a manual.
As it stands, there are no concerns about M2 reliability because it’s too new for owners to have found any issues. However, the regular 2 Series models appear to be pretty reliable, with no recurring problems cropping up.
Despite this, BMW has a mixed reputation for long-term reliability and its parts can be pretty expensive if repairs are needed. For peace of mind you get a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty as standard, which includes roadside assistance.
For about £1,600 you can also get BMW Service Inclusive, which covers routine servicing for the first four years after the car is registered.
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