- The BMW M2 is very much worth buying and is generally a reliable vehicle.
- You’ll want to keep an eye on oil levels in general as the M2 can burn oil quickly
- The M2 is overall a pleasure to drive - and is seriously fast
- Complaints about a harsh city ride might actually be complaints about city streets.
- Get a pre-purchase inspection of your BMW M2 before buying one.
The BMW M2 is a high-performance sedan. Does the BMW M2 have any problems that keep it from being worth buying?
Yes, the BMW M2 is worth buying. This powerful sedan with sporty handling is a fun car to drive, though it does have some issues. These include heavy oil consumption, some electrical issues, and potential minor transmission issues. The vehicle is otherwise fairly reliable and reputable.
We’ll discuss what makes the BMW M2 a vehicle worth buying while also discussing some maintenance items that could be bad, as well as how to handle buying a higher end vehicle like the M2.
Table of Contents
BMW M2 Details
The BMW M2 is one of BMW’s more powerful sedans - and that is saying a lot since BMW is dedicated to building performance vehicles. The M2 tends to feature a twin turbo inline 6 cylinder engine capable of reaching 170 or more miles per hour, paired to a suspension capable of sporty tight turns. The BMW M2 is powered by the rear wheels with the option of adding all wheel drive, making it a good vehicle year round depending on what climate you live in. A six speed manual transmission is also available - which is relatively rare even for sports cars today.
As you can tell, this is the average car - and starts at around $63,000 though the MSRP can easily go up with some serious upgrades. With all of that said, the BMW M2 has the potential for some problems.
BMW M2 Problems
Oil issues are a common theme for performance vehicles. The simple reason is that the engine has many gaskets and rings that are meant to keep the seals between parts like pistons and almost everything else. These parts, like the rubber oil pan gasket and the oil filter housing gaskets, can gradually become loose and leak or burn oil. The valve cover can be a problem in itself. Add to this, that the M2 and other BMW vehicles do tend to run hot, and you’ve got a vehicle that can burn or leak oil faster than the average everyday sedan.
While there are few to no specific complaints on places like CarComplaints.com about the issue, you might like to know that performance vehicles like the M2 are often sold with an engine oil travel bag so that you at least have something nice to put an extra quart or two of oil in.
Although we present this as a problem - oil leaks and burning are nothing new to Mercedes-Benz or BMW owners. A performance vehicle that runs hot just needs to be checked more often. Thankfully, the vehicle is also armed with a low oil warning light and other functions to keep you from wrecking the engine.
Our recommendation here is to have a technician look at the oil filter housing, valve cover and the oil pan gasket as the BMW starts to have oil problems - then replace them all at once to save some time and money on the disassembly of the vehicle and potential labor costs on all of the above.
Water Pump Failure
While BMW’s run hot - one of the unfortunate results is that the very heat they produce can help ruin the parts that keep it cool. The BMW M2 can have water pump issues that cause a gradual failure. Not good for a vehicle that gets hot.
In addition to having the potential for water pump failure, the hoses that carry coolant around could leak. Thankfully, unlike the water pump, these are easier to access for most technicians and can be replaced or repaired with relative ease.
Electric and lights
The lights on the BMW M2 have the potential to do some strange things. Some drivers have reported that some lights turn on, then blink rapidly while others can turn on and stay on for no reason - for example, turning signals or brake lights staying active when not engaged. The turn signal malfunction isn’t common - but it can be annoying when you are simply trying to communicate where you are turning.
These problems can be looked at by a BMW specialist to understand what is happening with electrical circuits and the lightbulbs.
So admittedly this complaint is more a matter of opinion: In order to make a vehicle that can accelerate to over 150 miles per hour (don’t do that unless you are participating in track day) and take tight turns, the suspension doesn’t quite feel like a cloud from a luxury manufacturer. Some users complained that the BMW M2 feels harsh and stiff. This kind of makes sense, as most car manufacturers like BMW have to compromise somewhere between having a vehicle that can take tight turns, go fast, and absorb bumps without completely knocking out your wallet.
The ride comfort is still there at lower speeds. Most complained about the issue of bumpiness when on city streets - where the streets are in fact bumpy sometimes.
BMW does a good job making vehicles. We found few major complaints about issues found when driving the BMW M2 for an extended period. BMW has a good quality control process within BMW factories that helps keep major problems away for a long time. Most of the problems we mentioned only become problems because parts like the water pump and coolant pump aren’t exactly easy to get to - making the labor to fix them more expensive because it can take the better part of a day to fix simple issues.
What to do when buying a BMW M2
We’ll start this by saying that yes, the BMW M2 is worth buying. We could further rave about the vehicle itself and call out the fast twin turbo setup, the smooth dual clutch transmission and many other things, but you might already know about that.
When buying a BMW M2, let’s look past the history of problems and look at each individual car. If you are buying from a dealer, look at the vehicle history report and ask if they have service records for the vehicle. While synthetic oil can be good for around 10,000 miles, it also does need changing when driven hard - and given that the BMW M2 has a history of having oil leaks, the oil might also be added or changed by the owner frequently.
If you can, get a thorough inspection of the BMW M2 - especially the engine. See if a technician can spot any signs of extra wear within because that would be a sign that the vehicle is a bit abused, and potentially not cared for properly. Have them check the valve cover if possible. This could mean extra work for you down the line, and probably a lot of extra money.
Checking small things like the engine air filter is also a good sign of how far the previous owner went to baby their car. A driver who is paying attention, or at least listening to a technician won’t be cheap and refuse to change the intake filter on a vehicle - and should just go with it. Same with the cabin air filter - a small, cheap part that you could replace yourself should be nice and clean!
Test all the little things
Testing the vehicle goes beyond the inspection - and also involves learning how to use the car. For example, test the steering wheel. Does the heated steering wheel still work? Accelerate hard (you were going to anyway) and see if there is any delayed response to your push of the pedal - a sign that the spark plugs might be fouled. Check for little things like a rough idle that you can hear too well.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding