Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 5 years ago
Blog

6 Things I Learned After Driving A BMW M2 For A Month

We've been living with 'our' BMW M2 for just over a month now. Here's what we've discovered about the 'baby' M car in that time...

Remind me later

I'm in love with the way it looks

Our man @ctmatt201 will be living with this manual BMW M2 for the next three months! What do you want to know?

A photo posted by Car Throttle (@carthrottle) on

I’m calling it: the M2 is the best looking M car since the E46 M3 CSL. In my humble opinion, of course, but there’s something just right about the M2’s proportions, don’t you think?

Its predecessor - the 1M - looks brilliant, but under all the added muscle is still the slightly awkward shape of the old 1-series coupe. When it comes to the M2 on the other hand, I simply can’t find an angle its small but brawn shape doesn’t look right.

The more I look at it, the more I fall in love the way it looks. Good job BMW.

It's surprisingly kid friendly

BMW - 6 Things I Learned After Driving A BMW M2 For A Month - Blog

If you’ve not been daft enough to procreate, feel free to skip to the next point. Still here? Good - because I’d like to tell you that the M2 is actually surprisingly practical if you have kids.

The boot’s a decent size, and after living with the Honda Civic Type R‘s god-awful Isofix mounting points (they’re hidden behind infuriating fabric flaps) for six months, I’ve been amazed at how brilliant the M2’s are.

BMW - 6 Things I Learned After Driving A BMW M2 For A Month - Blog

Up back in the M2 (and many other BMWs, it’s worth pointing out), you get plastic access hatches and a clear line of sight to the mounting point. Much better.

What’s more, when you flop the seat forward, there’s a handy button at the top to electrically slide it back and give you better access to the back. One touch once the seat is locked in, and it returns to its original position.

It handles almost as well as a Porsche 718 Cayman S

‘Almost’ doesn’t sound like a compliment, but in this case it is. The Cayman is a sports car from the ground up, has a more optimal engine placement and is much more expensive. That there isn’t a bigger gap between the pair is a credit to the M2’s fine - and much more entertaining - chassis. Check out the review above for our full verdict.

I'm not sold on the manual

BMW - 6 Things I Learned After Driving A BMW M2 For A Month - Blog

If there were a way of whispering on the Internet, I’d be doing it right now. Since there isn’t, I’ll simply urge you to put your pitchforks down while I say I think I prefer the DCT M2.

There are two reasons for my favouring of the automatic M2. Firstly, the snappy, near-seamless changes of the seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box seem to suit the muscular 3.0-litre turbo six a little more, and secondly, the manual is just OK rather than a thing of mechanical magnificence.

It’s one of the better BMW manuals I’ve tried, but still doesn’t have quite the heft in its shift I’d like. The more satisfying ‘box in the 718 Cayman highlights its shortcomings.

Like the Cayman, the M2 also comes with an auto rev matching feature. It’s a nice touch, but I wouldn’t mind an off switch for when I fancy doing a little heel and toe myself. Unfortunately, it’s turned on in all driving modes including comfort - it’s only disabled when you turn all electronic aids off.

It's the re-incarnation of the E36 M3

At least, that’s according to Alex. ‘Colin’ - his beloved E36 M3 - wasn’t working long enough for me to drive both him and the M2 back-to-back on our shoot day, so I’ll hand over to my colleague in the video above for this one…

I'm not sure it's angry enough

'Our' M2 squares off with its big brother, the M4
'Our' M2 squares off with its big brother, the M4

There’s a word I’ve heard attributed to the M2 countless times: accessible. And by that, the world’s motoring press is essentially saying it doesn’t feel like it wants to hurl you in a hedge when you drive it fast.

The reason the M2 is particularly of note for this is because its big brothers - the M3 and M4 - are both tricky so-and-sos at the limit. This makes them entertaining, but also quite intimidating.

I prefer a car that’s on my side, but I can’t help but wonder if the M2 goes a little too far. Maybe it’s too easy to drive, or maybe I’m just too hard to please. Once we’ve done a little more M2 vs M4 back-to-back testing (stay tuned for the full feature) I’ll give you my answer…