The 2017 BMW M2 two-door coupe is a good choice for shoppers hoping to get into the Bavarian automaker's legendary M performance line at a lower price. They won't be disappointed. The M2 might be the smallest and least expensive M model, but it is not lacking when it comes to style, features and, most of all, fun. On a winding road or at a track day, enthusiasts will enjoy the M2's unique combination of power, handling, tactile sensations and aural excitement.
New to the lineup last year ? a successor to the BMW 1M Coupe of 2011-'12 ? the M2 is largely unchanged for 2017. There's a new Executive Package that includes a rearview camera, Wi-Fi hotspot and updated Bluetooth and USB functionality. Apple CarPlay is now available as a separate option. Buyers choosing the new M Driver's package get both a software enhancement that increases top speed from 155 mph to 168 mph and a full-day driving session at a BMW Performance Center.
The rear-wheel-drive M2 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that generates 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available as an extra-cost option.
Lightweight components and a host of performance equipment contribute to the M2's lively on-road behavior. Drivers willing to sacrifice a bit of creature comfort in exchange for power and handling will be rewarded with a driving experience equal to that of many of the BMW's more pricey competitors. The sport suspension, though a bit stiff for potholed city streets, is perfectly set up for a smooth twisty road or the tight turns of a racetrack. The rev-matching feature of the manual gearbox helps make shifting a bit more fluid. Finally, BMW says the snarling six-cylinder engine will propel the M2 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.
All of this is not to say that the M2 is totally lacking in refinement. Inside, the driver and three passengers are treated to such appointments as leather seats, automatic climate control, ambient lighting and a premium audio system, as well as tech features such as the BMW iDrive infotainment system and adaptive cruise control. Up front, there's a good amount of legroom and seats that are well-bolstered for aggressive cornering. Anyone riding in the backseat might find the accommodations a bit cramped, which is not unusual for this class of performance coupe.
Fuel economy for the BMW M2 with the automatic transmission is EPA rated at 22 mpg combined (20 city/26 highway). The manual transmission drops the rating to 21 mpg (18 city/26 highway).
The M2 is available in only one very well-equipped trim level, although a number of add-on packages and standalone options are available to allow buyers to personalize the coupe to their taste. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 BMW M2 that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.