“HOW MUCH do you love this car, man?” A cyclist pulls up next to me at a red light. He’s practically hugging the BMW. I tell him that I’m test-driving it without getting the chance to say much more. But no need, lie’s telling me about the M2, lie’s read about it. “Zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds. But that’s probably an underestimate,” he says. “It’s got a cult following.” Isn’t that the truth. As the light turns green, he says, ‘Well, I hope you get to add it to your quiver!” If you want to be the kind of guy who has a phalanx of performance cars—#lifegoals, right?—this is the car to start with.
It’s a somewhat-affordable, mean-looking-yet-sort-of-cute-in-a-bulldog-way, insanely fun sedan with the raw soul of a sports car that will have you saying when you pull up to the driveway, “Honey, it was only $52,695 and has legendary resale value” with a degree of confidence that implies you didn’t need to discuss pulling the trigger on the purchase.
If it’s your second car, definitely opt for the brilliant six-speed manual, which you will rarely need to move past fourth gear—the 365-horsepower engine just zooms as if it were on telepathic command.
The whole package is so balanced that you feel like someone threading a needle in super-slow-mo, and overtaking cars in light traffic seems possible—if you’re going to be that kind of guy.
The M2 as a first car? Still consider the manual over the automatic paddle-shifted version. Its short throws are the easiest you’ll encounter. Besides, no one says that the next car in your quiver can’t be a Prius, right?