AutoGuide.com gathered six of the most significant new cars for the 2017 model year for our annual Car of the Year evaluations. This year, our contenders are the Hyundai Elantra, BMW M2, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, Kia Optima, Ford Focus RS and Chevrolet Cruze. There was no hard price cap on this year’s entrants, but we tried to make sure none of them were extravagantly priced. We will release a new video on each contender every day leading up to Dec. 13, when we announce our winner. Stay tuned for our Crossover/SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year series, which is also coming soon!
The 2017 BMW M2 was one of the most highly anticipated debuts this year, and it completely lived up to all the hype. Signifying a return to the German automaker’s roots, this M2 is everything a BMW, particularly an M car, should be like. In a world where BMW sells more crossovers and SUVs than sports cars and where drivers can’t even get a manual transmission in an M5, the M2 is a refreshing change of pace.
Engine: 3.0L turbo inline 6-cylinder
Power: 365 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual clutch automatic
EPA Fuel Economy (MPG): 18 city, 26 hwy (manual)
CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km): 12.7 city, 9.2 hwy (manual)
US Price: Starts at $51,700
CAN Price: Starts at $61,000
During our Car of the Year evaluations, our editors were calling dibs on the M2 at every opportunity, just adoring the playful coupe for its engaging driving dynamics, easy driftability, and smooth, abundant power. The chassis is fantastic, and although the car could be lighter, it performs admirably whether on a track or during the commute to work. The setup feels so intuitive no matter how you’re driving, and the relationship between the all the car’s components just works so well.
ALSO SEE: 2017 BMW M2 Review
And the jewel of the M2 is its engine, a 3.0-liter turbo inline six that outputs 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. The engine is smooth, abundantly powerful, and seems to provide limitless acceleration. The coupe is faster than anyone realistically needs and the noises it makes are enough to make even the grumpiest driver crack a smile.
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If the BMW M2 has downsides, it would be that the coupe is still too heavy and that the steering, although responsive and well-weighted, could definitely provide more feedback. The coupe’s price also climbs quickly the moment you start to add any options to the list, but its starting price of $51,700 in the U.S. makes it quite the performance bargain.
In the end, we loved the 2017 BMW M2 for its everyday usability and the fact that it looks and sounds amazing, but drives even better.