The BMW M2 has been making many friends since its debut. It’s often considered to be the best BMW currently on the market and many enthusiasts feel that it’s a return to form for the brand. But, as with most press drives and tests, we only get to see what cars are like during brief periods of time under relatively specific circumstances. It isn’t until you can live with a car, take it to get groceries, run errands and just have it accompany you through everyday life that you can truly appreciate it for what it is. So that’s what Motor Trend has decided to do with the M2.

Thanks to a ridiculously high demand for manual M2s, and the fact that MT weren’t huge fans of the M2’s row-your-own ‘box, they took delivery of a DCT model. And, because of the absurdly high demand for Long Beach Blue M2s, MT was stuck with Alpine White. No matter, though, as it still looks good and the DCT makes it faster. Their BMW M2 is also equipped with the Executive Package, which brings a heated steering wheel (necessary for California?), a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, automatic high-beams, wireless phone charging and a Wi-Fi hot spot, as well as some advanced safety features. So it’s pretty loaded, for an M2.

MT just took delivery of their BMW M2 so they don’t have an update yet. However, the two are off to a good start, as the M2 finished fifth in their Best Driver’s Car competition. While you might think that fifth place is kind of low, that’s not too shabby considering its competition and that it’s fifth among all new sports cars on the market. Not bad. Plus, the main complaints they had about the M2 during that competition stemmed from the manual transmission. That’s gone in their long-termer and replaced with the DCT. So, it’s possible that their feelings for the little Bimmer will grow stronger.

The BMW M2 isn’t a perfect car but it might be the perfect sports car package at the price. Its 3.0 liter I6 engine, which makes 365 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque, is delightful and more charismatic than anything else at the price. Its rear-wheel drive chassis is incredibly balanced and, while it may not be Porsche Cayman-precise, it’s very playful. Pair that with 0-60 mph in about 4.2 seconds, a usable trunk and back seats and it’s hard to find a sports car that’s better than the M2, all around, for the money. We’ll see how MT feels about it as the year goes on.

[Source: Motor Trend]