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2019 BMW M2 Review

  • Incredible performance
  • Excellent fit and finish
  • Relative value among sports cars
  • Standard automatic emergency braking
  • Sharp 6-speed manual
  • Cramped back seat
  • Apple CarPlay costs extra after first year
  • Not particularly fuel-efficient
  • It’s not in our driveway now
The 2019 BMW M2 Competition is a generational sports car and a tribute to enthusiasts.

The 2019 BMW M2 gets even more serious this year. It’s now called the BMW M2 Competition and commands even more attention with more power, better cooling, and active safety features.

We like it even more now. It gets a 6.2 on our overall scale thanks to its power and precision on a track. Our colleagues at Motor Authority named it their Best Car To Buy 2017.

The M2 Competition costs about $60,000 and few can match its performance at that price—or even double that price.

The new turbocharged inline-6 summons up 405 horsepower (up from 365 hp last year) and 406 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed manual (ideally) transfers power to the rear wheels, although a 7-speed automatic is available as an option.

Aside from prodigious power, the M2’s secret is its handling and rear differential that metes perfect power to the best wheel—or too much power, if you’re into that kind of fun. (Eds note: We are.)

Aside from more power, the M2 Competition adds bigger brakes and automatic emergency braking that can help prevent crashes.

The 2019 M2 Competition is a fine steak dining: bring a date and don’t send it back to the kitchen.

The front seats are spacious but snug, perfect for a small sports car. The rear seats are cramped however, and not suitable for adults.

The M2 Competition is equipped with an impressive amount of standard features: 14-way power-adjustable front seats, 12-speaker audio from Harman Kardon, 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, an 8.8-inch screen for infotainment, navigation, automatic emergency braking, LED headlights, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Unlike many other BMWs, the M2 Competition doesn’t offer many options and fewer customization opportunities. The standard leather seats are available in black, or black. (The choice is between orange or blue contrast stitching).

The lack of choice is fine with us: the 2019 M2 is good from the factory already.

The 2019 M2 doesn’t spoil the 2-Series already-good looks with beefier bits.

The 2019 BMW M2 Competition was slightly updated this year for better aerodynamics and cooling.

Its bigger front bumper and grille offer better airflow and the redesigned exhaust now prominently displays the quad-tipped exhausts at the back. We give it a 7 for its butch treatment of the already handsome 2-Series coupe.

The M2 adds flared fenders to deal with the wider tires and axles.

To read more about the 2-Series styling, check out our full review here.

Few cars exceed the 2019 BMW M2 Competition’s performance, even fewer cost less than $100,000.

If the 2019 BMW M2 Competition isn’t a 9 for performance, we don’t know what is.

(Why not 10? Because there are six-figure supercars in the world still.)

For mortals like us, the $60,000 2019 BMW M2 Competition is the mountaintop and we’ll gladly take the ride.

This year, all M2s are equipped with a twin-turbo inline-6 that makes more power. It’s impressive in its speed and handling; so nice we’ll say it twice. The M2 gets a 9 for performance.

Our rating comes with an asterisk: We haven’t yet driven the Competition version. We know, we know. The standard M2 received a 9 last year, and it’s hard to imagine that a more powerful car with better brakes and more efficient cooling would do worse, but we’ll update this space if anything changes after our time behind the wheel.

The numbers sound promising. The M2 Competition’s turbo-6 churns 405 hp this year, up from 365 hp last year, and transmutes tires into smoke and smiles. The torque is up too, 406 pound-feet vs. 369 lb-ft last year.

Turbochargers help deliver that power in flat, broad strokes that don’t require deep stabs at the accelerator, but the busy 3.0-liter turbo-6 happily spins up to 7,000 rpm and rockets up to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds this year, down from 4.2 seconds last year.

Putting all the power to pavement is no easy task, but BMW’s active rear differential and reprogrammed traction control systems do their best. The front suspension is beefier too, with a bigger strut brace borrowed from the M3 to stiffen the M2’s already tight front end. The chain from the computer-controlled systems is longer for increased slip on the track and more rear wheel spin when the M2’s dynamic driving modes are turned on. (Who doesn’t love a drift button?)

Aluminum struts up front and a five-link rear axle are stiffer this year. The M2 doesn’t offer adaptive dampers, and it doesn’t really need them: the ride is stiff but not jarring and better suited for performance driving.

For the M2 Competition, BMW says it borrowed the cooling system from the bigger M4 Competition. The M2’s grille is bigger this year for better cooling, and a new front bumper help direct air to busy parts.

All four corners get Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires wrapped around 19-inch wheels with a staggered setup: 245/35s in front and 265/35s at the rear, which was the same as the M2. This year’s brake setup is bigger, however. The M2 Competition sports 15.7-inch front rotors with six-piston fixed calipers, and 15-inch rear rotors with four-piston fixed calipers.

Comfort & Quality
The 2019 BMW M2 Competition is best suited for doubles play—don’t bring the whole starting lineup, please.

Consider the 2019 BMW M2 is Tom and Jerry, Bert and Ernie, peanut butter and jelly, or macaroni and cheese: best when there’s just two.

The front seats are 14-way adjustable, comfortable and supportive. The back seats are vestigial and only suitable for small children, maybe.

Starting from an average score, the M2 gets a point for great front seats that gets taken back for rear posts that make for better cargo shelves. It gets a 5 for comfort.
The M2 Competition’s interior leather upholstery comes in any color you’d like, so long as that color is black. Blue or orange contrast stitching are the only options there.

We’ll take the keys first, but settle for the passenger’s seat if we must. Both chairs are comfortable and spacious, with plenty of stretch out room for long legs.

The rear seats offer just 33 inches of leg room, shorter once adults fit into the front seats. The rear seats in the M2 are marginally more functional than, say, a Porsche 911—admittedly, a low bar.

The fit and finish in the M2 is up to BMW’s usual standard, which is to say it’s very good. We’d stop short of calling the M2 luxurious, though. There’s enough racy stuff and loud colors to say that it’s attractive, but not extravagant.

The M2’s trunk offers 13.8 cubic feet of cargo room, which is more than we’d expect from a small sports car.

Federal and independent testers haven’t rated the 2019 M2.

The 2019 BMW M2 presumably runs around the walls that federal testers and independent safety experts have thrown at it—no official crash-test data is available.

We’ll withhold our score until more data shows up, but it’s unlikely that it will.

This year, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection is standard on M2 models along with lane departure warnings. Speed limit information and adaptive LED headlights are spend-up extras.

The M2 is related to the BMW 2-Series, which earned top “Good” scores on all crash tests performed by the IIHS.

It’s simple: Pick your exterior color on the 2019 M2 and drive away. Easy peasy.

Power is the 2019 BMW M2 Competition’s call, but we’ll listen to the impressive standard features, too.

The mighty mini coupe is a throwback: it comes in one spec, take it or leave it.

Thankfully, the M2 Competition is well-equipped for nearly $60,000 to start. All models are equipped with 14-way power-adjustable front seats, 12-speaker audio from Harman Kardon, 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, an 8.8-inch screen for infotainment, navigation, automatic emergency braking, LED headlights, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay compatibility that’s free for one year.

That’s good enough for a point above average, and we give another point for its generously sized infotainment screen. We take one point back for two reasons: BMW charges more for Apple CarPlay after the first year and because the M2 is mostly mono-spec. Frankly, we’re frustrated with the former but a little delighted at the latter (we’ll explain later). It gets a 6 for features.

There’s one option package for the M2 and we’d opt for it: a $1,200 package can add a heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charger, adaptive LED headlights, and speed limit info (which may pay for itself in tickets, especially in the M2).

A la carte items such as a moonroof, automatic transmission, and higher top speed are available.

One word about Apple CarPlay: BMW charges $80 per year after the first year for the privilege. They’re alone in the auto industry in doing so, and we don’t know why either. We’d skip it—it’s an inelegant solution and BMW’s infotainment system is more capable.

Unlike nearly every other BMW sold in the U.S., the M2 doesn’t offer myriad customization options that bleed even more money from buyers. In a way, the M2 is done well from the factory and delivered to your door. That’s refreshing, and we can attest that the M2 is done very well from the factory.

Fuel Economy
The 2019 BMW M2 manages nearly 20 mpg combined. We’re fine with that.

Fuel economy isn’t the 2019 BMW M2 Competition’s forte and we couldn’t care less.

The coupe is rated by the EPA this year at 18 mpg city, 25 highway, 20 combined. That gets a 4 out of 10 on our fuel economy scale.

The 7-speed automatic isn’t a fun crusher, but it’s not more frugal either. The EPA rates it at 17/23/19 mpg.

Granted, that’s where the EPA starts. If driven hard, the little M2 can have a big thirst.



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