We signed off our recent G87 BMW M2 review by noting just what good value it is. At £62,420 it costs far less than a Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 and is near enough half the price of the M3 CS we had on loan immediately after, yet it’s certainly not half the fun.
The thing is, you can get the previous-generation F87 M2 for even less, and it also doesn't look quite as...challenging. The cheapest ones aren’t much more than £20,000 these days, which might just make the F87 the best-value M car around right now.
The one we’ve picked is a 2016 example, thus an early car. It’s £23,995 and has 75,000 miles on the clock, but if that’s too leggy for you, abundance choice on the used market means you’ll have plenty of lower mileage M2s to pick from by spending closer to £30,000.
You could, of course, spend more still to get the later M2 Competition with its F80 M3-borrowed S55 twin-turbo engine, rather than the single-turbo N55 straight-six in this one. The latter isn’t, after all, a ‘proper’ M unit, instead being a lightly hopped-up version of what was fitted to the M135i and M235i of the time.
There’s still plenty to like about the N55, though. It offers up a decent amount of power at 365bhp, and while not quite as fierce as the S55, it arguably makes a better noise than the contemporary S58 in the modern M2 plus the G80/G82 M3 and M4.
Our chosen car combines the 3.0-litre engine with an automatic gearbox, which might cause some ire, but stick with us - the seven-speed dual-clutch jobby is a good fit for the car, and the manual M2 doesn’t exactly provide the sweetest of shifts.
It’s still too early to get a proper picture of the M2’s reliability, but so far, it’s looking like a reasonably safe bet, especially compared to something like an E90/E92 M3 with its wonderful but flakey V8.