BMW 2 Series Convertible review
BMW 2 Series convertible replaced the old 1 Series soft-top with more pace, efficiency and style
If you're after a small four-seater convertible, you can't go far wrong with the BMW 2 Series. It looks good, has a strong range of engines and is nearly as fun to drive as the coupe model it's based on. It's pricey, but so are all of its rivals – this is a class of car where buyers are happy to shell out that bit extra to get that luxury of the folding roof.
Style is a very important factor in the compact cabriolet sector, and the BMW 2 Series Convertible is among the most desirable models on sale. A selection of mid-life updates in 2017 made it a stronger rival than ever for the Audi A3 Cabriolet, too.
This new-found sense of style doesn’t detract from the driving experience, though, as the 2 Series Convertible is still great fun to drive. There’s bags of grip on offer, plenty of feedback from the chassis and a reasonably comfortable ride that makes it an impressive all-rounder.
Petrol engines range from the basic three-cylinder 218i, through the four-cylinder 220i and 230i, up to the flagship M240i. The diesel line-up is almost as extensive, with a 218d and 220d on offer. All offer reasonable running costs (aside from the M240i), while most of the higher-spec engines get a slick-shifting auto box as standard. While xDrive all-wheel drive is available on the Coupe, it's not even an option on the Convertible.
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To improve the 2 Series Convertible’s handling over its 1 Series predecessor, BMW added extra strengthening. As a result, the body shell is around 20 per cent stiffer than before, meaning body wobble is kept to a minimum, again aiding performance and refinement.
Practicality isn’t too bad for a small convertible, with a good sized boot and two small rear seats to offer extra space. Most of the interior is carried over from the 2 Series Coupe, in fact, meaning the Convertible is a comfortable cruiser, helped by a new triple-layer insulated roof that keeps road noise to a minimum.
There are six engines to choose from, ranging from a entry-level three-cylinder to the range topping diesels and hot M240i. The mid-spec 220d is an excellent choice though, offering plenty of pace (matching the similarly-priced 220i petrol), but returning up to 47.1mpg.
Beware the quick-sounding 230i, however, as it actually uses the same turbocharged 2.0-litre engine (albeit with more power) as the 220i, yet is barely any faster. There are SE, Sport and M-Sport trim levels available, with the most expensive models adding even more style with bigger wheels and a sporty body kit.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingBMW 2 Series convertible replaced the old 1 Series soft-top with more pace, efficiency and style
- 2Engines, performance and driveFun to drive and with a strong engine range
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsWide engine range means you'll likely find something that suits - there's even a three-cylinder petrol
- 4Interior, design and technologyBMW's styling is handsome, if not very adventurous, while interior is well built and full of tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceFolding roof means boot space is limited, while rear seats are very small
- 6Reliability and SafetyCustomer survey shows it'll be decent, if not better