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Long Term Review

Living with a… BMW M2

Brutal in both looks and performance we hang on tight as we try living with BMW’s latest M2

Dan Trent

Words by: Dan Trent

Published on 2 February 2024 | 0 min read

You might have thought BMW didn’t make cars like the M2 any more. Thankfully for the fans it does, the recipe of a powerful six-cylinder petrol engine driving the rear wheels of a sporty coupe just as attractive as it always was. Just now more powerful, sophisticated and impressive than ever. True, the unapologetically angular styling has, shall we say, divided opinion. But it does a good job of visually representing the driving manners of a car putting a full 460 horsepower to the road and bristling with technology to help you enjoy it, up to and including variable traction control, a scoring system for your drifting talents and more besides. Perhaps slightly at odds with the prevailing winds of electrification, social responsibility and all the rest. But the chance for one last blast of a BMW of this type was too good to turn down!
Skip to: Month 1 – Split personality

What is it?

  • Model: BMW M2
  • Version: Coupe
  • Spec level: Automatic
  • Options fitted: M2 Comfort Package (‘Comfort access’, heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging tray) £730; M Brakes with red calipers £0; Driving Assistant (lane changing warning/intervention, rear cross traffic alert, rear collision prevention, speed limit info with ‘no overtake’ warning) £1,100; M Driver’s Pack (Raised 180mph speed limiter, track training session) £2,305
  • Price as tested: £66,610

We like

  • Gloriously bombastic engine
  • Traditional BMW M handling
  • Interior quality and tech

We don’t like

  • Feels big on the road
  • Looks are an acquired taste
  • Not very practical

Month 1 – Split personality

Dan says: “That awesome engine, fast-shifting automatic gearbox and classic rear-wheel drive BMW balance drown out any doubts about the looks”

Trips taken

A trip from Yorkshire to Somerset combining a long motorway haul followed by a cross-country blast to my destination was a perfect demonstration of the M2’s dual personality, combining as it did relaxed and (relatively) comfortable mile munching followed by a thrilling B-road run with the ‘M’ hot key switching from cruiser to bruiser in the blink of an eye.

We like

That ability to configure those two bright red M buttons to tailor the car to different driving situations effectively means three cars in one, each perfectly honed to the road you happen to find yourself on. And when the going gets twisty that awesome engine, fast-shifting automatic gearbox and classic rear-wheel drive BMW balance drown out any doubts about the looks.

We're not so keen on

The previous M2 felt gym fit and compact, making it perfect for back roads. Although still shorter than its M4 big brother with which it shares its engine it’s just as wide and nearly as heavy, so it feels like it’s taking up a lot of road and a bit of a lump on the kind of roads where it should really be in its element. It may be less powerful but we’d probably feel more confident in M240i on which it is based.


Rory asked in a recent video if the M2 is ‘Too damn heavy’, and going by the way it’s ground the paving slabs in my back hard into dust it would seem the answer is ‘absolutely!’ The snatchy throttle and grabby gearbox may be a delight at speed but they also make these slow-speed manoeuvres in tight spaces more stressful than they need to be.

Surprise and delight

No question, that magnificent engine is the absolute star of the show. From its angry snarl on start-up through to the thrilling swell of boost from the turbos as it works through the revs it’s a bittersweet evocation of what may turn out to be peak internal combustion engine thrills. Oh, and I also like the illuminated M flashes on the inside of the doors. Nice touch! Back to top