2016 BMW M2 Test Drive

Jerry Reynolds | December 6, 2016
2016 BMW M2 Test Drive

This week I am behind the wheel of one of the hottest sports cars on the market, the M2 coupe.  I’ve driven the M3, M4, and M6 and admit I had doubts the M2 would stack up to its larger siblings.  I was wrong, and if fact the driving dynamics of this M2 are actually better in many ways.

The M designation stands for  and takes most of the BMW lineup of cars and some SUVs to a whole new level of power and handling.  This is much like what Mercedes does with AMG, and on a lesser scale, what Lexus does with its F-Sport packages.

Let’s start with the exterior looks of the M2. It has the signature BMW dual grill, but look at the huge front air intakes and bulging front and rear fenders. The 19” double-spoke wheels look fantastic, and behind them sit some enormous brakes.  The M2 has a low, wide stance with a long hood and a short trunk.  From behind there is a spoiler and classic BMW quad exhaust.  This Long Beach Blue coupe commands a lot of attention for sure.

As with all M-Series BMWs, the big story is under the hood.  M2 has a 3-liter inline six cylinder with twin-turbos putting out 365-heart pounding horses sending power confidently to the rear wheels.  My review coupe thankfully has a 6-speed manual transmission, you can get a 7-speed automatic, but I don’t recommend it if you want to get the most out of this car.

Let me just say this car is an absolute blast to drive. In three different 0-to-60 tests I performed, the highest time was 4.5 seconds, the lowest was 4.3 seconds.  The M2 has the same suspension as the M4 and the handling is superb.  The word that comes to mind with this car is balanced. 

If I have any complaint about the driving dynamics of the car, it’s the steering.  It feels soft to me and you get very little feedback.  I prefer steering that gives you more of a feel of the road, especially in hard turns, but it’s livable.

You can change the feel of the car from a switch on the center console by going from comfort, to sport, to sport .  For running the M2 through the paces, sport is the way to go, but the ride is pretty harsh.  For normal driving, comfort mode gives you a much smoother ride, but still have strong acceleration.

The M2 exhaust sounds fantastic from outside the car, and it is even better inside, but know that when you go to the sport modes, the exhaust sound is piped inside the car through the stereo speakers.  This bothers some car reviewers, but I enjoy this feature, especially on a hard downshift.

The interior of the M2 is nice. The cabin comes with standard leather seating, carbon fiber accents and the blue offset stitching adds a touch of class. The seats are comfortable and I love the fact M2 has power adjustable seat bolsters to hold you tight in hard turns.

The driver has a clear line of sight to the gauges, and there is a small driver info center you activate from the end of the blinker stalk. 

From the center console, you operate the BMW iDrive from a round dial surrounded by buttons.  Everything is shown on a fixed, high-resolution screen.  This is the latest version of the iDrive, and it is improved, but I still find it cumbersome.  I’ll have this car a week and still won’t have the system down.  There is no doubt you will eventually learn it, but it will take some patience. 

The M2 coupe has more back seat room than you would think looking at the exterior.  Adults up to about 5’10 can sit in the back seat, but it is no picnic getting in and out of it.  Trunk space is OK, especially considering the overall size of this car.  Being a coupe, there are some blind spots to the right, which is why I think the NHTSA should requite blind spot detection on all 2-door cars, but I digress.

All 2-series BMWs come nicely equipped with a lot of standard features. Standard features include dual power seats in front that are heated, a Harmon Kardin stereo system, navigation system, voice command, Bluetooth, voice activation, and real-time traffic.

This particular car has only one option group, the Executive Package, which runs $1250 and gives you a heated steering wheel, rear camera, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, and Active Driving Assistant-which is essentially lane departure warning and low-speed pedestrian braking.

Nice features that come for free on the M2 include keyless entry, Xenon headlights, climate controlled air conditioning, the 19” wheels, and a lot more.

Fuel economy is rated at 18 city and 26 highway, but I am not quite getting there. It could be my driving habits, I can’t drive this car gingerly.

I don’t always make definitive statements about whether a car is a great buy or not, it is somewhat subjective.  However, I will flat out say that the MSRP of this M2 is $54,500 and the car is actually worth more than that considering the performance and the fact that you get 4-years or 50,000 miles of free maintenance.

Whether you’re heading for the track or to church, this Bimmer is sure to put a smile on your face.

  • What I liked most:  Performance and handling.
  • What I would change:  Every coupe needs blind spot monitoring as standard.
  • MSRP: Base price $51,700, as equipped $54,495.
  • Fuel Economy:  Rated at 18 City/29 highway/21 Combined.
  • Official Color: Long Beach Blue Metallic Odometer reading when tested: 5600
  • Weight: 3411 pounds. Length-Width-Height: 176.2” long/73” wide555” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.7 gallons with the filler on the passenger side.
  • Towing Capacity: N/A 2016 M2 in a few words:  A beastly coupe that is a ton of fun to drive!
  • Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance and free maintenance including brakes.
  • Final Assembly Location:  Leipzig, Germany.
  • Manufacturer’s website: 
Tags: BMW, car, m2, review, sports car, test drive
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