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      01-29-2017, 04:26 PM   #1
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M2 vs. E92 M3

Hi Guys,

I picked my LBB M2 up Friday and wanted to state my initial contrasts I've noticed, in the hopes of helping anyone unsure to make the switch.

Looks:

As the most subjective topic here my inferences are the least worth mentioning. That being said the car is terribly beautiful. I'm not the biggest fan of Long Beach Blue, in fact on my mother's X6M I hate it. But it goes great with the smaller real estate of the M2. I always find watching my car as I clean it strikes the most emotion, and there is something to be said of its petite size. Small, classy, and gorgeous is a trio I'd regard it with. It may not be as sophisticated as the M4 but if you're going for that, you might as well aim for an S63 or M6. The things I do miss about my E92 are the headlights (the new ones are still superb), the eye catching power dome, and lastly the carbon fiber roof.

Interior:

The biggest flaw. The materials are simply not up to snuff. That being said it is a two series. I am going to deeply miss the merino leather of my M3 and its amazingly soft feel. The dakota leather is worse than my 2015 STi's. Also the dash plastic doesn't necessarily feel cheaper, however it looks the part of cost cutting. The buttons are far better in quality and heated steering is divine.

Engine:

People always rave about the S65 motor, and although it is an amazing piece of engineering, I find the claims rather over zealous. A bit of special snow flake syndrome. The throttle response in the M2 is by no means bad, fractional worse than the NA M3. The torque is pure ecstasy and comes on similar to the S65 (both lacking bottom ends), but at multitudes of a greater level. That all in mind, you can be damn sure i'm gonna miss winding the thing up to 8250 on a nice sunny day.

Exhaust:

Yes the M3 sounds better, in fact I think it even sounds better than the V10 M5 people on YouTube comments go bonkers for. But on that same topic, I've come to the conclusion that turbo cars only sound bad on YouTube (and other means of video sharing). This was the biggest thing holding me back, but I am not disappointed at all. A downgrade yes, but by no means bad. The turbo spool noise is grin inducing. The M3 was near mute out of the box, while the M2 factory setup is incredible.

Steering:

The third thing holding me back. Electric steering? Gross. But... the more I drive it, the more I'm realizing its actually pretty damn good. Depending who you ask, you usually get E46 or E36 M3s as the titled kings of feeling, but I've driven both and for a modern car, I don't think its wrong to say its far off. The biggest thing missing is vibration feel from the road. But that is something I can certainly live without. The steering wheel its self I slightly prefer on the E92, but the F87 wheel is still great. Oh and heated steering... Its divine!

Handling:

The previous stated praise for its small dimension I believe are going to yield its biggest improvement: nimbleness. I can feeling the promising potential budding through my hands and I cannot wait to take this machine on the track. The E92 M3 'feels' light, but there is weight and it does a good job of hiding it. This M2 just feels genuinely light.

Suspension:

It rides slightly stiffer and it would be nice if this was adjustable. The E92 was my favorite car to take on road trips (12 hour drives to Vancouver) and I'm curious if the M2 will live up to expectations.

Transmission:

The shifting is much more supple, but if that bothers you enough, I'm sure there is bushings or whatever out there to change it. I'm indifferent to the auto rev matching of the 6MT. To an extent its better than me, but sometimes doing it yourself is fun. Like washing dishes with someone whose company you enjoy.

Breaking:

No argument here the M2 kills the M3.

Overall:

If its between one or the other, don't worry, make the leap. It's worth the peace of mind. Warranty is a good thing. It's not worth loosing the sleep at night over a $25'000 engine going. I, like most people in North America live in the land of straight long roads. Freeways and the grid system. And this is where the car truly shines. Torque. If I lived in Tuscany or Wales and could run a car through twisty well paved B roads all day, the case would be harder to make. But that is the circumstances I live in. You bet I will return and purchase a nice E92 M3 when I'm older, I can afford to do so, and NA motors are a relic. But for now, and for $52000 USD, I'm pretty damn happy.
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      01-30-2017, 07:05 AM   #2
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Great, honest comparison.

Loved the dish washing analogy lol.
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      01-30-2017, 11:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mWHO View Post
Hi Guys,

I picked my LBB M2 up Friday and wanted to state my initial contrasts I've noticed, in the hopes of helping anyone unsure to make the switch.

Looks:

As the most subjective topic here my inferences are the least worth mentioning. That being said the car is terribly beautiful. I'm not the biggest fan of Long Beach Blue, in fact on my mother's X6M I hate it. But it goes great with the smaller real estate of the M2. I always find watching my car as I clean it strikes the most emotion, and there is something to be said of its petite size. Small, classy, and gorgeous is a trio I'd regard it with. It may not be as sophisticated as the M4 but if you're going for that, you might as well aim for an S63 or M6. The things I do miss about my E92 are the headlights (the new ones are still superb), the eye catching power dome, and lastly the carbon fiber roof.

Interior:

The biggest flaw. The materials are simply not up to snuff. That being said it is a two series. I am going to deeply miss the merino leather of my M3 and its amazingly soft feel. The dakota leather is worse than my 2015 STi's. Also the dash plastic doesn't necessarily feel cheaper, however it looks the part of cost cutting. The buttons are far better in quality and heated steering is divine.

Engine:

People always rave about the S65 motor, and although it is an amazing piece of engineering, I find the claims rather over zealous. A bit of special snow flake syndrome. The throttle response in the M2 is by no means bad, fractional worse than the NA M3. The torque is pure ecstasy and comes on similar to the S65 (both lacking bottom ends), but at multitudes of a greater level. That all in mind, you can be damn sure i'm gonna miss winding the thing up to 8250 on a nice sunny day.

Exhaust:

Yes the M3 sounds better, in fact I think it even sounds better than the V10 M5 people on YouTube comments go bonkers for. But on that same topic, I've come to the conclusion that turbo cars only sound bad on YouTube (and other means of video sharing). This was the biggest thing holding me back, but I am not disappointed at all. A downgrade yes, but by no means bad. The turbo spool noise is grin inducing. The M3 was near mute out of the box, while the M2 factory setup is incredible.

Steering:

The third thing holding me back. Electric steering? Gross. But... the more I drive it, the more I'm realizing its actually pretty damn good. Depending who you ask, you usually get E46 or E36 M3s as the titled kings of feeling, but I've driven both and for a modern car, I don't think its wrong to say its far off. The biggest thing missing is vibration feel from the road. But that is something I can certainly live without. The steering wheel its self I slightly prefer on the E92, but the F87 wheel is still great. Oh and heated steering... Its divine!

Handling:

The previous stated praise for its small dimension I believe are going to yield its biggest improvement: nimbleness. I can feeling the promising potential budding through my hands and I cannot wait to take this machine on the track. The E92 M3 'feels' light, but there is weight and it does a good job of hiding it. This M2 just feels genuinely light.

Suspension:

It rides slightly stiffer and it would be nice if this was adjustable. The E92 was my favorite car to take on road trips (12 hour drives to Vancouver) and I'm curious if the M2 will live up to expectations.

Transmission:

The shifting is much more supple, but if that bothers you enough, I'm sure there is bushings or whatever out there to change it. I'm indifferent to the auto rev matching of the 6MT. To an extent its better than me, but sometimes doing it yourself is fun. Like washing dishes with someone whose company you enjoy.

Breaking:

No argument here the M2 kills the M3.

Overall:

If its between one or the other, don't worry, make the leap. It's worth the peace of mind. Warranty is a good thing. It's not worth loosing the sleep at night over a $25'000 engine going. I, like most people in North America live in the land of straight long roads. Freeways and the grid system. And this is where the car truly shines. Torque. If I lived in Tuscany or Wales and could run a car through twisty well paved B roads all day, the case would be harder to make. But that is the circumstances I live in. You bet I will return and purchase a nice E92 M3 when I'm older, I can afford to do so, and NA motors are a relic. But for now, and for $52000 USD, I'm pretty damn happy.
You really think the M2 will break more than the M3?
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      01-30-2017, 04:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mWHO View Post
If I lived in Tuscany or Wales and could run a car through twisty well paved B roads all day, the case would be harder to make. But that is the circumstances I live in..
Click on this link - I think the M2 would do just as well on B-roads as on our boring Canadian highways...
http://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1345976

Excellent and honest review by the way! The dishwashing analogy made me smile as well.
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      01-31-2017, 04:22 PM   #5
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Nice review. I haven't been able to bring myself to switching, maybe one day.
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      02-01-2017, 11:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mWHO View Post
Hi Guys,

I picked my LBB M2 up Friday and wanted to state my initial contrasts I've noticed, in the hopes of helping anyone unsure to make the switch.

Looks:

As the most subjective topic here my inferences are the least worth mentioning. That being said the car is terribly beautiful. I'm not the biggest fan of Long Beach Blue, in fact on my mother's X6M I hate it. But it goes great with the smaller real estate of the M2. I always find watching my car as I clean it strikes the most emotion, and there is something to be said of its petite size. Small, classy, and gorgeous is a trio I'd regard it with. It may not be as sophisticated as the M4 but if you're going for that, you might as well aim for an S63 or M6. The things I do miss about my E92 are the headlights (the new ones are still superb), the eye catching power dome, and lastly the carbon fiber roof.

Interior:

The biggest flaw. The materials are simply not up to snuff. That being said it is a two series. I am going to deeply miss the merino leather of my M3 and its amazingly soft feel. The dakota leather is worse than my 2015 STi's. Also the dash plastic doesn't necessarily feel cheaper, however it looks the part of cost cutting. The buttons are far better in quality and heated steering is divine.

Engine:

People always rave about the S65 motor, and although it is an amazing piece of engineering, I find the claims rather over zealous. A bit of special snow flake syndrome. The throttle response in the M2 is by no means bad, fractional worse than the NA M3. The torque is pure ecstasy and comes on similar to the S65 (both lacking bottom ends), but at multitudes of a greater level. That all in mind, you can be damn sure i'm gonna miss winding the thing up to 8250 on a nice sunny day.

Exhaust:

Yes the M3 sounds better, in fact I think it even sounds better than the V10 M5 people on YouTube comments go bonkers for. But on that same topic, I've come to the conclusion that turbo cars only sound bad on YouTube (and other means of video sharing). This was the biggest thing holding me back, but I am not disappointed at all. A downgrade yes, but by no means bad. The turbo spool noise is grin inducing. The M3 was near mute out of the box, while the M2 factory setup is incredible.

Steering:

The third thing holding me back. Electric steering? Gross. But... the more I drive it, the more I'm realizing its actually pretty damn good. Depending who you ask, you usually get E46 or E36 M3s as the titled kings of feeling, but I've driven both and for a modern car, I don't think its wrong to say its far off. The biggest thing missing is vibration feel from the road. But that is something I can certainly live without. The steering wheel its self I slightly prefer on the E92, but the F87 wheel is still great. Oh and heated steering... Its divine!

Handling:

The previous stated praise for its small dimension I believe are going to yield its biggest improvement: nimbleness. I can feeling the promising potential budding through my hands and I cannot wait to take this machine on the track. The E92 M3 'feels' light, but there is weight and it does a good job of hiding it. This M2 just feels genuinely light.

Suspension:

It rides slightly stiffer and it would be nice if this was adjustable. The E92 was my favorite car to take on road trips (12 hour drives to Vancouver) and I'm curious if the M2 will live up to expectations.

Transmission:

The shifting is much more supple, but if that bothers you enough, I'm sure there is bushings or whatever out there to change it. I'm indifferent to the auto rev matching of the 6MT. To an extent its better than me, but sometimes doing it yourself is fun. Like washing dishes with someone whose company you enjoy.

Breaking:

No argument here the M2 kills the M3.

Overall:

If its between one or the other, don't worry, make the leap. It's worth the peace of mind. Warranty is a good thing. It's not worth loosing the sleep at night over a $25'000 engine going. I, like most people in North America live in the land of straight long roads. Freeways and the grid system. And this is where the car truly shines. Torque. If I lived in Tuscany or Wales and could run a car through twisty well paved B roads all day, the case would be harder to make. But that is the circumstances I live in. You bet I will return and purchase a nice E92 M3 when I'm older, I can afford to do so, and NA motors are a relic. But for now, and for $52000 USD, I'm pretty damn happy.
Great review! Can you compare your 2015 STI to the M2/M3 as well?

I'm interested in picking up the new 2018 STI.
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      02-06-2017, 04:26 PM   #7
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Nice review, but to each their own as they say .
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      02-06-2017, 06:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
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You really think the M2 will break more than the M3?
ugh I must be a blind proof reader
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      02-06-2017, 06:21 PM   #9
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Nice review, but to each their own as they say .
well I would certainly rather have a Monte Carlo supercharged

I believe the hype but alas, not within my means.
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      02-06-2017, 06:48 PM   #10
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Great review! Can you compare your 2015 STI to the M2/M3 as well?

I'm interested in picking up the new 2018 STI.
This was another topic I was thinking about doing a write up on.

TL;DR if you're looking for performance, dont. For a year round DD that will not get stuck in any blizzard, its great. But I'll elaborate.

Being my first "performance" vehicle I was walking in blind and decided to get the highest trim one with the fancy wheels and nav. Wheels are nice, but have serious fitment issues, and the nav was junk. Cost me just under $50000 CAD.

For the price, and vs the market its seriously under powered. in 2005 it was keeping up with M3s FFS. I went to stage 2 (360ish crank hp) pretty quick and that helped a lot. Thing backfired catless gloriously. But the motor internals are pretty much maxed close to 400. Which leads to where the car is now; sitting in my garage without a heart for the past year. But on the bright side downshifting to second and going flat out is seriously fun, and cornering is confidence inspiring. The steering feel itself is just OK.

The car is by no means bad quality, but the BMW is better. The 2018 changes look promising, but I would wait for the FA20 platform. Like I said, if you're looking for serious performance, be prepared to fork out a lot of doe. And the included limit is pretty low.

I had the privelage of driving a Mustang GT through the tail of the dragon last week, and that car is better, and cheaper. The coyote engine is no fucking joke. It made me reconsider my M2. Seriously. But Mustangs have bad reputations? So do WRXs.

So really it comes down to what you're looking for. I made a mistake, but I was also looking at the wrong things. I wanted an STi since childhood, and the cars have always been beautiful to me. Which brought me in; I loved the spoiler and youthful energy of it. Seriously the thought of doing highway pulls at night (that seen in Tokyo drift with Hans RX7 and the speed trap) got my heart racing and still does. Call it childish but I'd rather have dreams then nothing. Did I ever think I'd by a BMW then tho? No way. But co piloting my best friends E46 M3 made it apparent I made the wrong choice.

If both are within your means, or the M2 is but a bit of financial stretch away... listen closely to me: BUY THE GERMAN ONE
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      02-06-2017, 10:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mWHO View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw-nj View Post
Great review! Can you compare your 2015 STI to the M2/M3 as well?

I'm interested in picking up the new 2018 STI.
This was another topic I was thinking about doing a write up on.

TL;DR if you're looking for performance, dont. For a year round DD that will not get stuck in any blizzard, its great. But I'll elaborate.

Being my first "performance" vehicle I was walking in blind and decided to get the highest trim one with the fancy wheels and nav. Wheels are nice, but have serious fitment issues, and the nav was junk. Cost me just under $50000 CAD.

For the price, and vs the market its seriously under powered. in 2005 it was keeping up with M3s FFS. I went to stage 2 (360ish crank hp) pretty quick and that helped a lot. Thing backfired catless gloriously. But the motor internals are pretty much maxed close to 400. Which leads to where the car is now; sitting in my garage without a heart for the past year. But on the bright side downshifting to second and going flat out is seriously fun, and cornering is confidence inspiring. The steering feel itself is just OK.

The car is by no means bad quality, but the BMW is better. The 2018 changes look promising, but I would wait for the FA20 platform. Like I said, if you're looking for serious performance, be prepared to fork out a lot of doe. And the included limit is pretty low.

I had the privelage of driving a Mustang GT through the tail of the dragon last week, and that car is better, and cheaper. The coyote engine is no fucking joke. It made me reconsider my M2. Seriously. But Mustangs have bad reputations? So do WRXs.

So really it comes down to what you're looking for. I made a mistake, but I was also looking at the wrong things. I wanted an STi since childhood, and the cars have always been beautiful to me. Which brought me in; I loved the spoiler and youthful energy of it. Seriously the thought of doing highway pulls at night (that seen in Tokyo drift with Hans RX7 and the speed trap) got my heart racing and still does. Call it childish but I'd rather have dreams then nothing. Did I ever think I'd by a BMW then tho? No way. But co piloting my best friends E46 M3 made it apparent I made the wrong choice.

If both are within your means, or the M2 is but a bit of financial stretch away... listen closely to me: BUY THE GERMAN ONE
Thanks for the solid write up. The AWD is a big plus for me living in NJ and wanting a daily driver. How would you say the road feel / driver connection is with the STI compared with the m2?

Is the m2 a lot more fun for weekend drives?
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      02-07-2017, 05:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw-nj View Post
Thanks for the solid write up. The AWD is a big plus for me living in NJ and wanting a daily driver. How would you say the road feel / driver connection is with the STI compared with the m2?

Is the m2 a lot more fun for weekend drives?
I live on the Canadian prairies and never had my E92 M3 get stuck. With a solid set of winter tires the M2 will fair totally fine in an Atlantic Climate. The STi steering is much heavier; but not better. It is a hydraulic system, but has no advantages over the BMW electric. Like I said before the M2 feels incredibly nimble. The STi does not feel like a boat by any means, however its not as good.

The STi is fun the M2 is exhilarating. The BMW has much more torque and speed, better handling, and it is a much more sophisticated & respectable car in my books, but that might not matter to you. Yes the M2 is bundles more enjoyable on the weekend.
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      02-13-2017, 04:50 PM   #13
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I disagree on the torque. The M2 has lots of torque from 2K on and the E92 felt like it had none, it just went from no torque or power to good power around 5K but who drives around on the street at 5K+ rpm?

The S65 is pretty darn good on a track if you keep it between 6 and 8,400 but besides that it's pretty meh in my opinion.

Lastly the Dakota leather isn't great but there's no way in hell it's worse than a Subaru. I had a 16 STI Limited (top of the line) and the Dakota leather was still better. My STI had some light creases in the leather in only 2,300 miles and I'm not a big dude. Yeah it was smoother leather but it didn't wear well and felt kind of plasticy not soft like supple like BMW Merino.
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      02-14-2017, 05:26 PM   #14
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OP I agree with all your points except power comparison. S65 feels really nothing at down low or even mid range. Mine was a DCT and the long and week 1st gear drove me mad. It honestly doesn't feel any faster than a G37 under 60mph. N55 is vastly superior everywhere.
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      02-15-2017, 03:01 PM   #15
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OP I agree with all your points except power comparison. S65 feels really nothing at down low or even mid range. Mine was a DCT and the long and week 1st gear drove me mad. It honestly doesn't feel any faster than a G37 under 60mph. N55 is vastly superior everywhere.
It's just a different feel and it works for some and not for others. When I had my DCT M3 I thought that first gear was a real rip. Smooth and fast. It did bother me that I couldn't really drive around town in 1st gear only though due to all the noise and hair trigger in the upper RPMs. God I miss that engine. The N55 is a torquey little guy but to compare the S65 to a G37 is a bit absurd and I personally don't think the N55 is better either. It's just different.
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      02-15-2017, 07:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmosMpower View Post
I disagree on the torque. The M2 has lots of torque from 2K on and the E92 felt like it had none, it just went from no torque or power to good power around 5K but who drives around on the street at 5K+ rpm?

The S65 is pretty darn good on a track if you keep it between 6 and 8,400 but besides that it's pretty meh in my opinion.

Lastly the Dakota leather isn't great but there's no way in hell it's worse than a Subaru. I had a 16 STI Limited (top of the line) and the Dakota leather was still better. My STI had some light creases in the leather in only 2,300 miles and I'm not a big dude. Yeah it was smoother leather but it didn't wear well and felt kind of plasticy not soft like supple like BMW Merino.
thats fair about the leather, I now agree the BMW Dakota leather is better quality, however less smooth
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      04-07-2017, 10:19 PM   #17
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thanks for sharing your opinion! would you say you'd regret it if you skipped a used e9x completely, and went directly for an m2?
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      04-08-2017, 09:33 AM   #18
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Its funny how we compare the M2 to many different cars. My last car was an E60 M5. After the warranty ran out, things started getting expensive. So I traded it in on a 235i while I waited for my M2.

While the 235/240 versus M2 has been beaten to death, my first thought was a comparison to my M5. The M5 was light years ahead in terms of quality. Alcantara everywhere, power everything. But for 100k+ I sure do hope it was nicer than a 55k car. The M5 was a 2008. The technology interface was really pretty rough. The new system in the 2017 is wonderful. So I don't totally lament the loss of the M5. That being said, I think there are a lot of similarities in the handling characteristics of these M's. My first real thought was that the M2 felt like a little M5 in terms of handling. More than any similarity it shared with my 235, which was surprising. Power delivery is not the same. Ironically the V10 performed more like a peaky turbo car that needed to be revved than the M2 does.

While I loved my STi, there really is no comparison.
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      04-09-2017, 04:02 PM   #19
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I found my E92 M3 utterly unusable in normal driving conditions. In order to fully enjoy it you really had to wring it out which is physically impossible anywhere but the autobahn or a track. So in general I drove it around town and on our regional highways and it never had the chance to come alive unless I got myself into license-revokation speeds. It's why I found myself looking for another E46 M3 and finding.. just about nothing clean under $40KCDN. Therefore, M2 order.
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      04-19-2017, 12:46 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by scope951 View Post
thanks for sharing your opinion! would you say you'd regret it if you skipped a used e9x completely, and went directly for an m2?
yes I very much regret looking for a more lightly used E92.
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      04-21-2017, 02:51 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by CosmosMpower View Post
I disagree on the torque. The M2 has lots of torque from 2K on and the E92 felt like it had none, it just went from no torque or power to good power around 5K but who drives around on the street at 5K+ rpm?
Well, I was driving my E92 M3 just like that on the street and never felt like missing torque or power. Very exciting compared to a turbo petrol.
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      05-13-2017, 11:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan View Post
I found my E92 M3 utterly unusable in normal driving conditions. In order to fully enjoy it you really had to wring it out which is physically impossible anywhere but the autobahn or a track. So in general I drove it around town and on our regional highways and it never had the chance to come alive unless I got myself into license-revokation speeds. It's why I found myself looking for another E46 M3 and finding.. just about nothing clean under $40KCDN. Therefore, M2 order.
Utterly unusable, yes I would fully agree. Not to mention the car sounded like crap until you add the M exhaust. Many other aspects were horrible as well. I sold mine in short order. I'll tell you the M2 is such a better, more fun car. All the BMW leather is pretty much garbage after you own a Porsche or other better car. I'm not that bothered by the leather in the M2
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