The BMW M2 Competition is the most desirable M car of the moment if you ask any purist. That’s because it’s the most analogue, if you will, keeping in close contact to what the M badge used to represent. In terms of size, the Competition M2 is roughly the same figure as the E46 M3, an icon in the history of the M division. It offers a great balance between space and performance, with a good power to weight ratio and it is soon to become a crowd favorite, as Edmunds found out in the review below.

Jonathan Elfalan flew to Spain earlier this year to put the M2 Competition to the test alongside a new model, the M5 Competition and while there were some similarities between them, there were quite a few notable differences. Starting with the price tag, the M2 Competition is by far the more affordable car. Even if you add every possible option, you’ll tap out at some $68,000 while the M5 starts at over $100,000.

Is the price difference worth it? After all, you do get 600 HP in the M5, right? Well, the M2 may have only 405 HP (410 PS) but it is a lot lighter and can be had with a manual gearbox, still. That makes it a lot more fun in almost every situation, alas not as fast. This last point doesn’t really matter though, as the M2 will provide plenty of adrenaline shots without having to reach eye-watering speeds.

The sound is the biggest differentiator though. The M2 Competition uses the S55 engine which hasn’t been getting glowing reviews for its aural feeling. On the other hand, the M5 uses a 4.4-liter V8 and it has the upper hand, no doubt about it. A straight six can sound good but nowhere close to the roar a V8 can deliver.