The idea of the entry-level M2 being more than £12k cheaper than the most affordable M4 is enticing.

Like the RS3 and A45 before it, a sizeable part of the model’s brief is to offer (younger) buyers access to a desirable niche brand at a lower level.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The M2 is rated only just ahead of the TTS’s residuals after three years, based on the car generating healthy sales

The fact that BMW’s effort comes wrapped in the garb of a coupé – as opposed to a five-door hatch – makes it all the more appealing, as does the presence of the six-cylinder engine.

The powerplant handily separates the BMW from its notable two-door rivals, too, and, on paper at least, opting for the luxury of larger displacement doesn’t mean exorbitantly higher running costs.

At 167g/km and 159g/km of CO2 respectively for the dual-clutch auto-equipped 718 Cayman S and TTS, VED savings are modest over the 185g/km M2 - although it's better off than the Audi TT RS, while the BMW’s True MPG average of 31.2mpg suggests that decent fuel economy is available if you wish to pursue it.

It’s also worth reiterating that the coupé demonstrates real-world practicality more convincingly than most small sports cars (its boot is comfortably larger and its back seats more habitable), and while the DCT ’box is a £2500 option, the list of standard kit – cruise control, rear parking sensors, two-zone climate control and a fully-loaded iDrive infotainment system – is not wanting for the essentials.

Find an Autocar car review

That said, we would still feel inclined to spec the M2 with heated seats (£295) and steering wheel (£160), and keyless access (£350).

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review