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Long-term review

BMW M2 - long-term review

£65,830 / as tested £70,295 / PCM £803
Published: 01 Mar 2024
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    BMW M2 G87

  • ENGINE

    2993cc

  • BHP

    453.3bhp

  • 0-62

    4.1s

Life with the BMW M2: what's it like as a daily driver?

Normally we save the big conclusions for later on in a car’s time with us. But I’m going big and going early with the M2. First time out, I got this car wrong.

Or more accurately, I got too hung up on the badge – on what I wanted from an M2, based on how loveable the last car was. I’m still unconvinced by several aspects of this one, which we’ll get to over the next few months, but overall, it’s a bloody good as a daily driver.

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That’s the key point: what BMW did to the M2 to answer common customer complaints has resulted in one of the most rounded M cars… ever.

Let me give you some examples. This time of year we really notice how dodgy our road surfaces are. Freeze-thaw opens up new potholes every day, but thanks to its new adaptive suspension (the old M2 only had a single factory setting, which was about as plush as falling over while ice-skating) this one is a triumph. It’s so unflustered. Assured. Controlled. It deals with stuff, without tapping you on the shoulder and bothering you with it.

My wonderfully tolerant better half rides shotgun in a wide variety of obnoxious cars. Sorry, comes with the territory. But she’s commented more than once since the M2’s arrived that she loves traveling in it. The (non-carbon) seats are easy to clamber in and out of. She appreciates the ride. If we’re taking a trip, she bashfully asks if we can go in the M2, instead of her Mini Cooper – because the big scary M car is actually the more cloudlike way to get there. Wouldn’t have happened in the old one.

Over Christmas the M2 got pressed into taxi duty. I don’t mind being the designated driver when the car’s getting showered with cooing compliments. No-one could quite believe how much space there is in the back.

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Again, the last thing you’d have on your checklist when shopping for a 450bhp coupe. But ‘nice to know it’s there’. Porsche sells a lot of 911s to people who might have otherwise bought Vantages or the old AMG GT because ‘it’s nice to know the seats are there if you need them'. Apparently cramped +2 quarters were a bugbear with the old M2. Hey presto, a longer wheelbase, and it’s solved.

None of that excited me when I first drove it. Neither did the more expensive cabin, inherited from the M4. Another request from people who actually buy these things with their own money, that. Job done, I reckoned – look at all that screen, all that carbon, those fillets of metal trim and dense carpets.

Ironically, a serial BMW M-buying neighbour told me they haven’t gone far enough. He’s had a couple of the previous-shape M4 and currently growls around in an M8 Competition Convertible. Smelling a slam-dunk sale, our local BMW dealer cannily lent him an M2 in the same Gender Reveal blue as Top Gear’s car, but he was put off by the cabin – specifically that ‘extended leather’ is a costly option. He's now perusing Porsches instead. Can’t say it offended me. But what do I know?

None of these abilities – this roundedness – is a surprise. I listened when BMW explained why they’d gone in this direction with the M2 Mk2. I just didn’t get excited by it. In the same way as when I was eleven, I wasn’t eager for a quiet afternoon in a pub. With a roast dinner.

But the M2 is proving itself stratospherically, sneeringly capable as a daily driver. Way more so than the old car. It uses a chunk of fuel and the keyless entry has packed up now the doors are varnished with winter grime, but otherwise, it’s mocking my pessimism.

Except for one thing. If the M2 is so fast, so spacious, so well-equipped and such a strong all-rounder… what’s the point of the M4?

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