Hot air: BMW M4 Convertible vs Jaguar F-Type

BMW's M4 Convertible aims to make an impact on the open-top performance car market. We test it against Jaguar's exhilarating F-Type S

The market for high-performance, open-top sports cars has been given a shot in the arm in the shape of the BMW M4 Convertible. While it shares its running gear with the M4 Coupe – including a cutting-edge twin-turbo straight-six engine – it adds the folding roof mechanism already seen in the standard 4 Series Convertible.

Although the new M4 Convertible delivers a tantalising combination of open-top motoring and performance, it doesn’t have the high-speed cabrio market all to itself, as this is also the domain of one of our favourite cars.

The Jaguar F-Type doesn’t have four seats, but it’s a close match to the M4 on price and it has the power and handling to give the newcomer a run for its money. 

So, can BMW impress like its Coupe cousin, or has removing the roof stunted its driver appeal? We hit road and track to give these two a thorough workout to find out.

BMW M4 Convertible review

Jaguar F-Type review

Click the links above for individual reviews, and scroll down to find out the verdict! 

Head-to-head

Opening roofs

You get fully electric tops in both of these cars, and they can be operated while on the move – the BMW at speeds up to 11mph, and the Jag up to 30mph. We timed the M4’s roof at 23.8 seconds to open and 26.9 seconds to close, while the Jag took 10.8 and 12.1 seconds to do the same. With the tops up, the BMW was quieter at 70mph, registering 69dB. The F-Type’s fabric roof let in more noise – we recorded 72dB.

Practicality

Both cars are simple enough to get in and out of, although the Jaguar is lower and access is a bit trickier with the roof up. Meanwhile, the BMW’s rear is easy to climb into. Both front seats slide forward electronically at the push of a button, and the doors open wide to boost accessibility.

Engines

The M4 and the F-Type boast 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines, but the straight-six in the BMW is twin turbocharged, while the Jag uses a supercharger. BMW has bolstered the M4’s engine note with a sound synthesiser, and the F-Type employs a mechanical valve in the exhaust to pump up the volume.

Verdict

1st place: Jaguar F-Type

If you want a luxury convertible that makes you feel special every time you get behind the wheel, then nothing can match the Jaguar F-Type. From the way the exhaust barks into life when you start it, to the savage acceleration and tail-happy handling, the F-Type simply feels alive. This talent to entertain means you soon forget about its lack of practicality, and means the Jag is still one of the best cabrios you can buy.

2nd place: BMW M4 Convertible

The M4 Convertible delivers the same punchy performance and straight-six soundtrack as its coupé cousin, but losing the roof has compromised its performance. While it has the pace to outgun the F-Type, the extra weight of the M4’s complex roof system takes the edge off its cornering ability. It’s a great-performing four-seat convertible, but lacks the crucial feelgood factor of the Jaguar.

Key specs

 Jaguar F-Type SBMW M4 Convertible DCT
On the road price/total as tested£67,535/£70,690£63,390/£71,470
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£35,321/52.3%£32,963/52.0%
Depreciation£32,214£30,427
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£4,412/£ 8,824£4,138/£8,276
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£3,147/£5,245£2,546/£4,244
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost50/£887/K/£28545/£559/K/£285
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£993 (3yrs)£1,000 (5yrs/50k)
   
Length/wheelbase4,470/2,622mm4,671/2,812mm
Height/width1,308/1,923mm1,386/1,870mm
EngineV6/2,995cc6cyl in-line/2,979cc
Peak power/revs375/6,500 bhp/rpm425/5,500 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs460/3,500 Nm/rpm550/1,850 Nm/rpm
Transmission8-spd auto/rwd7-spd auto/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel70 litres/£25560 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity196 litres370 litres
Kerbweight/payload1,614/436kg1,865/500kg
Roof time (open/close)10.8/12.1 seconds23.8/26.9 seconds
Turning circle10.7 metres12.2 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers16,000 miles (1yr)/97Variable/153
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos2nd/8th10th/22nd
   
0-60/30-70mph4.6/3.8 seconds4.1/3.4 seconds
30-50mph in 3rd/4th2.2/2.9 seconds2.2/3.3 seconds
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th3.7/5.4/7.5/12.3 secs3.9/4.8/6.9/N/A secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph171mph/2,000rpm156mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph49.6/35.1/9.6m45.5/32.8/8.4m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph60/46/63/72dB63/49/61/69dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range21.2/4.7/326 miles26.2/5.8/346 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined23.5/42.8/32.9mpg24.6/39.8/32.5mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined5.2/9.4/7.2mpl5.4/8.8/7.1mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket308/203g/km/33%249/203g/km/33%
   
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraFour/yes/rear/£255Six/yes/yes/£330
Ceramic brakes/stability/cruise ctrl£8,900/yes/yes£6,250/yes/yes
Climate ctrl/leather/heated seatsYes/yes/£350Yes/yes/yes
Met paint/xenons/wind deflector£700/yes/yesYes/yes/£265
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes

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