BMW M2 (2016 to 2021)


The BMW M2 was a compact sports coupé and the entry-level model in the BMW ‘M’ division range, sitting below the larger M3 saloon and M4 coupé.

This is the original M2, which first arrived on UK roads in early 2016. This initial model was then replaced by the more powerful M2 Competition in 2018, before the range-topping M2 CS coupé joined the line-up in 2020. This range came to the end of its production cycle in 2021, and the brand-new second-generation M2 is set to arrive in 2023.

Described by Evo as “one of the most entertaining coupés money can buy”, the BMW M2 range received universal praise from the British motoring media during its time on sale – praised for retaining the practical sensibilities of the first-generation 2 Series Coupé it is based on, while offering the impressive pace and acceleration of an ‘M’ car.

“It’s probably the best sports coupé I have driven”, The Telegraph’s Andrew English explained, commending the M2 for its “thoroughly entertaining” driving dynamics and well-built interior.

That said, Carbuyer‘s Ben Custard pointed out that the M2’s interior was almost identical to the cabin design of the standard 2 Series, and thus concluded that the inside of the M2 is a bit bland by sports car standards as a result.

A few reviewers also noted the M2 is rather expensive, but as the cheapest model in the ‘M’ division family, Carwow‘s Mat Watson argued that the BMW is worth its high price tag. “The BMW M2 takes plenty of the M4’s high-tech components and squeezes them into a smaller yet still seriously rapid package to make one of the best driver’s cars you can buy.”

No longer on sale, the first-generation BMW M2 holds an outstanding Expert Rating of 87%, based on 16 reviews published by UK media sources.

    M2 highlights

    • Serious pace and acceleration
    • More practical than the average sports car
    • Entertaining on the road
    • Comfortable and well-built interior
    • Attractive exterior styling

    M2 lowlights

    • Expensive, base price and up
    • Interior is rather bland considering price
    • Manual gearbox could be smoother
    • Not very spacious in the rear

    Key specifications

    Body style: Coupé
    Engines: petrol
    Price when new: From £51,425 on-road

    Launched: Spring 2016Last updated: Summer 2020
    Replacement due: Spring 2023

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    M2 CS

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    M2 CS

    Media reviews

    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

    Auto Express


    Model reviewed: M2 CompetitionScore: 8 / 10“The BMW M2 Competition is the entry point to high-performance BMW ownership, but some would argue it’s the best.”
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    Auto Trader


    Model reviewed: M2 CS“As soon as you get in the cockpit, you feel like you’re in a driver’s car. The driving position is perfect, the thick steering wheel gives a solid sense of ownership when driving, and the seats support you in a way that makes you feel fully integrated into the driving experience.”
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    Model reviewed: 2021Score: 9 / 10“As a flagship, the BMW M2 fits the billing.”
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    Model reviewed: M2 CompetitionScore: 9 / 10“Vastly more composed and better-controlled on a challenging road than a regular M2, with a markedly improved power delivery, the M2 Competition is a huge leap forward for BMW M’s affordable coupé.”
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    Model reviewed: CompetitionScore: 10 / 10“The BMW M2 Competition is faster, sportier and purer.”
    Read review

    Car Keys


    Score: 9 / 10“With the rear-wheel drive setup combined with ample power, an excellent chassis and plenty of equipment, the M2 is more than deserving of your consideration.”
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    Model reviewed: Range overviewScore: 7.8 / 10“The BMW M2 has all the virtues of the 2 Series coupe, but with added performance from a fantastic 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and pumped-up looks.”
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    Score: 9 / 10“The BMW M2 is a hard-core version of the 2 Series but it’s still a very approachable sports car.”
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    Model reviewed: Range overviewScore: 9 / 10“The last of its generation, the BMW M2 is a throwback to a golden age of small, rear-wheel-drive performance models from Munich.”
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    Model reviewed: M2 CompetitionScore: 9 / 10“Competition upgrades unlock the latent potential of the BMW M2, making it one of the most entertaining coupes money can buy.”
    Read review

    Model reviewed: M2 M PerformanceScore: 9 / 10“Despite a new, louder exhaust and adjustable suspension BMW’s smallest M-car retains its loveable character.”
    Read review

    Honest John


    Model reviewed: Score: 10 / 10“Blue touchpaper version of already quick M235i.”
    Read review

    The Sunday Times


    Model reviewed: Score: 8 / 10“Yes, it is as good as everyone says.” (Jeremy Clarkson)
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    The Telegraph


    Score: 10 / 10“The BMW M2 Competition is probably the best sports coupé I have driven”
    Read review

    Top Gear


    Model reviewed: M2 CompetitionScore: 9 / 10“It really does tick a whole lot of boxes. You know you want one.”
    Read review

    What Car?


    Model reviewed: CS 2021Score: 8 / 10“The BMW M2 CS feels greater than the sum of its parts – it’s a proper little road racer that works well both on road and track.”
    Read review

    Safety rating

    Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

    No safety rating

    The BMW 2 Series coupé family was not crash tested by Euro NCAP during its production life. Although it was based on the 1 Series hatchback, there were enough structural alterations to the 2 Series that it did not inherit the 1 Series rating.

    Eco rating

    Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

    No eco rating

    The BMW M2 was not lab tested by Green NCAP during its production life.

    Reliability rating

    Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by

    No reliability rating

    As of October 2022, we don’t have enough reliability data on the BMW M2 to generate a reliability rating.

    The Car Expert’s reliability information is provided exclusively to us using extended warranty data from our partner, MotorEasy. As soon as MotorEasy has sufficient data on the M2, we’ll publish the score here.


    Trophies, prizes and awards that the BMW M2 has received.


    • Evo Awards – Car of the Year (M2 CS)


    • Autocar Awards – Game Changer Award
    • iF Design Award
    • Top Gear Awards – Best Coupé

    Similar cars

    If you’re looking at the BMW M2, you might also be interested in these alternatives.

    Alpine A110 | Audi TT RS | BMW M4 | Jaguar F-Type | Lotus Elise | Mercedes-AMG A 45 | Porsche 718 Cayman | Toyota GR Supra

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