2020 BMW M2
2020 BMW M2 Review
- Big power from the turbocharged straight-six
- Loads of fun to drive thanks to precision handling and steering
- Practical enough for daily use
- Low sales numbers ensures exclusivity
- Overly choppy ride quality gets tiresome on bumpy roads
- Few interior and exterior customization options
- No significant changes for 2020
- Part of the first M2 generation introduced for 2016
Let's run through a hypothetical car shopping requirement list. You want: 1) more than 400 horsepower; 2) a nimble-handling coupe with a decent-size back seat; 3) an available manual transmission; 4) rarity, so you know you got something special; and 5) a starting MSRP that's no more than $60,000 when new. Now, a decent number of cars will match most of these criteria. But all of them? Your search will pretty much start and end at the 2020 BMW M2 Competition.
Admittedly, our listed requirements are quite specific, akin perhaps to trying to qualify for the Olympics. (Oh, what, you were 0.0002 second slower than the last athlete? Sorry, you're off the team.) But we're just glad the M2 Competition exists at all. BMW's lineup, which is simply a reflection of market desires, is jam-packed with X-brand SUVs and four-door Gran Coupe derivatives. A small two-door coupe, however close it might come to providing classic BMW handling magic, just isn't a big draw anymore.
But that's part of the niche appeal, right? BMW definitely helped out when it made a variety of updates to last year's M2 and renamed it the M2 Competition. These included a new engine, stronger brakes, sportier front seats, and subtle exterior styling changes that go along with the preexisting M mods for the 2 Series. This year's M2 is pretty much unchanged. Supposedly, the taillights are a little darker. Exciting, yeah?
Yes, there are some downsides here. The ride quality is quite firm, and BMW doesn't offer an adaptive suspension (as it does on, say, the M3 and M4) to make it more livable. Nor does BMW give you much in the way of customization, whether it be paint choices or interior upholstery and trim. Relax some of our listed requirements and you might end up with an Audi RS 3, Ford Shelby GT350 or even the new 3 Series in M340i guise. Overall, though, we think you're going to love the 2020 M2.
The BMW M2 Competition provides a visceral driving experience yet has four seats, a secure trunk and just-tough-enough styling. It doesn't lavish the driver with the latest technology, but it does impart a feeling of exhilaration that's nearly unmatched for the price. This little German muscle car is sure to be a future classic.
How does the M2 drive?
When something this size is packing 405 horsepower, you know it's going to be fast. With the six-speed manual, we saw 60 go by in 4.6 seconds. The quarter-mile was dispatched in a thrilling 12.7 seconds at 110.9 mph. The power from this engine is broad and muscular, making it easy to attack a good road with just a couple of gears.
Handling limits are high, but this is where the M2 gets tricky. It requires an advanced hand to get the most out of it since the chassis is eager to turn but can be twitchy over less than perfect roads. The brakes are a bit on the noisy side but provide consistently strong stopping power. In our testing, our M2 test car came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet. The M2 can also do the daily slog thanks to its easy clutch takeup and precise rev-matching feature. Only a wide turning radius earns a demerit.
How comfortable is the M2?
If you weren't clued in to the M2's capabilities before you hit the road, the relentlessly firm ride will quickly make it apparent. While it's not punishing, it can get tiresome on a choppy freeway. It'll make you think twice about charging down a road with a less than perfect surface.
The seats are impressively comfortable and supportive. You can adjust the bolsters to fit many body types. Should you live in a cold climate, the seat heaters will quickly ward off the chills. The climate control is very effective, and any BMW owner will find it instantly familiar to use.
How’s the interior?
We applaud the straightforward layout and general lack of complexity, but the M2 might come across to some buyers as a little dated. Nearly everyone should find it easy to get into the M2 thanks to its more standard sedan-like ride height (no low-slung sports car here). Visibility is also excellent. The M2 is one of last sport coupes you can park without relying on electronic aids.
It might take you a bit fiddling with the adjustments for the driver's seat and steering wheel to get comfortable, but once ensconced, you'll likely end up with an ideal driving position. And unless you're exceptionally tall, your rear passengers will have an acceptable amount of legroom even if headroom is a bit tight.
How’s the tech?
This version of iDrive is easy to read and remains one of our favorites. It offers good phone integration provided you're using an Apple device. Android Auto isn't supported, though it's pretty easy to get up and running using a standard Bluetooth connection. The M2's system also has above-average voice controls that recognize natural speech pretty well. Some deep menus can take a while to learn, but most everyday functions are readily accessible.
The navigation system is fast-acting and accurate, but the audio system left us wanting a bit more punch. The M2's driver aids work pretty well, but adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert are not offered. Wireless charging is part of the optional Executive package.
How’s the storage?
It should come as no surprise that the sedan-like M2 Competition makes a real case for itself in this category since many of the cars in this class are hatchbacks or have only two seats. There's a decent amount of interior storage space. And with a fairly generous 13.8-cubic-foot trunk, the M2 offers considerably more room than rival coupes.
Add to that the 60/40-split rear seats and you've got yourself quite the practical sport coupe. Slim child safety seats should fit without much issue, but getting them in or out could cause some frustration.
How economical is the M2?
With speed as its main selling point, the M2 Competition could be expected to get less than stellar fuel economy. But the EPA rates it at a respectable 20 mpg in combined city/highway driving (with the manual transmission). We didn't have much of a problem meeting the combined rating in mixed driving and on our 115-mile evaluation route.
Is the M2 a good value?
The cool part about the M2 is that you can order a base model (around $60,000) and not lose a thing. The power, braking and handling capabilities are all baked in from the start. Only the optional dual-clutch automatic transmission adds any real expense and performance benefit.
Build quality is what you'd expect from a BMW even if the M2 Competition is a bit simple on the inside. The materials quality is above par, as is the fit and finish. Warranties are average for the class but you can prepay for service appointments, which can include replacement of wear items such as tires and brake pads.
Which M2 does Edmunds recommend?
BMW M2 models
The 2020 BMW M2 Competition is a high-performance rear-wheel-drive coupe that's available in one trim level: the Competition. Most of the features you'd want come standard, and there are only a few packages and options to choose from. Under the hood is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder (405 horsepower, 406 lb-ft of torque) that's connected to a six-speed manual. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional.
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Our experts’ favorite M2 safety features:
- Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation
- Alerts the driver about an imminent front collision and can automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn't react in time.
- Lane Departure Warning
- Monitors lane markings and alerts the driver when the M2 starts to drift out of its lane if the turn signal isn't applied.
- Speed Limit Info
- Displays the posted speed limit of the road you're driving on in the gauge cluster.
BMW M2 vs. the competition
2020 BMW M2
2019 Audi RS 3
BMW M2 vs. Audi RS 3
Audi's A3-based performance sedan, the RS 3, is a natural competitor for the BMW M2 even though it has two additional doors. The extra doors and slightly roomier back seat make the Audi a little more practical. You also get standard all-wheel drive, which helps with traction in wet-weather conditions. But from a driving perspective and having run on a racetrack or favorite back road, we recommend the BMW.
BMW M2 vs. Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche's mid-engine coupe, the 718 Cayman, is one of the best-handling cars on the market. It gets the driver involved primarily through its communicative steering, which is superior to the M2's. It's a lighter car, too. Porsche also offers a lot more customization options on the Cayman. For everyday driving, however, the BMW could be the better choice because of its back seat and bigger trunk. It's also more affordable.
BMW M2 vs. Tesla Model 3
You might not normally cross-shop an electric sedan with an M-branded performance car, but the Model 3 is good enough to make this possible. In its Performance guise, the Model 3 can easily out-accelerate the M2. The Model 3's handling is surprisingly sporty, too. Pricing is similar for the two cars. Go with the Tesla for practicality, all-wheel drive and reduced emissions. The M2 wins out on attitude and driver involvement.
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Is the BMW M2 a good car?
What's new in the 2020 BMW M2?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 BMW M2:
- No significant changes for 2020
- Part of the first M2 generation introduced for 2016
Is the BMW M2 reliable?
Is the 2020 BMW M2 a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2020 BMW M2?
The least-expensive 2020 BMW M2 is the 2020 BMW M2 Competition 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $58,900.
Other versions include:
- Competition 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $58,900