Expert Reviews

First Drive: BMW 4 Series Convertible

Friday 05 May 2017

First Drive: BMW 4 Series Convertible

This is a mid-life refresh for the 4 Series Convertible, but the changes are so subtle that you probably wouldn’t notice much difference.

BMW has given the latest version of its two-door convertible to some fancy new LED headlights and taillights, a couple of new exterior colours and a few minor styling tweaks inside and out.

Looks & Image

Despite the coupe version of this car being incredibly pretty, that doesn’t translate well to the convertible. With the metal roof folded away, the car looks oddly proportioned – it actually looks better with the roof up. Still, you can’t quite shake the feeling than BMW has ruined the 4 Series’ good looks by chopping the roof off.

Thankfully, though, the interior is BMW business as usual. The controls are logically laid out, the build quality is solid and reassuring and the materials used feel quality to the touch.

Space & Practicality

With the roof up, headroom is decent, but those in the back might feel a little claustrophobic on longer journeys. Children will be fine, and when the roof’s down the back seats can offer no complaints even for taller adults.

Boot capacity takes a hit on account of the folding metal roof, dropping to 370 litres as opposed to the 425 litres on offer in the regular Coupe model.

Behind the Wheel

The 4 Series Convertible is a bit of a let-down after the taught Coupe version. This roadster version feels far more laid back and relaxed in its approach.

The steering is very light so there’s almost no communication through the wheel. There’s also a bit too much lean when cornering hard, which doesn’t inspire much confidence.

The engine is also fairly uninspiring – the four-cylinder unit is supposed to offer a compromise between performance and economy, but compared to the 3.0-litre straight-six further up the range it can’t compete.

However, use the 4 Series Convertible as a long-distance cruiser it’s a joy – especially in the summer months.

Value for Money

The entry level model is the £37,630 Sport trim. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery and satellite navigation. Pay a little extra for the £38,980 M Sport model to get sportier suspension and styling tweaks, as well as M Sport badging.

Who would buy one ?

BMW says that its target audience is older, middle-aged buyers who’ve been successful in life and want a relaxing car for weekends away. However, it’s easy to see how younger buyers could be attracted to the BMW badge and top-down motoring.

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Model: BMW 430i Luxury Convertible
Base price: £41,790
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power: 248bhp
Torque: 350Nm
Max speed: 155mph
0-60mph: 6.2 seconds
MPG: 42.8
Emissions: 154g/km

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