CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Essex Life today CLICK HERE

Top class fun

PUBLISHED: 12:21 16 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:21 16 September 2014

EXG OCT 14 MOTORS

EXG OCT 14 MOTORS

BMW

BMW’s new 4 Series Convertible is a real stunner whatever the weather, according to motoring editor Andy Russell

When it comes to convertibles I have always been a bit of a softie. I like people to know I am driving a soft-top, even when snugly cocooned inside in the warm in the middle of winter.Despite BMW offering a soft-top in the smaller 2 Series, maybe I have just been converted myself with the new BMW 4 Series Convertible — the Coupe-spawned sun-seeker.

Replacing the 3 Series — which now comprises the more practical mainstream saloon, Touring and Gran Turismo — the 4 Series Convertible is longer and wider than its predecessor which makes it sleeker and gives it a more dynamic character. It’s a stunner whether you have the roof up or down. So, alongside the new Coupe, the new numbering brings exclusivity to the ‘4’ so to speak.

Bigger on the outside means bigger inside too and that helped sway me towards this hard-top convertible with its three-panel roof that concertinas into and out off the boot in 20 seconds at speeds up to 8mph. It really does give the best of both worlds. Roof up, it is easy to mistake it for the Coupe, unless you spot the tight shut lines and hinge points between the roof panels, and with more cabin space, particularly in the back, there is no sense of being hemmed in as there tends to be in soft-tops with chunky fabric roofs and small windows. Roof down — it’s just a bright ray of sunshine.

With the low roof you’re not going to get your arthritic aunt in the back but it’s not an issue if you are reasonably supple — my biggest gripe was how slowly the electric front seats moved forward to open up the access to the back. You can seat four adults in the 4 Series if those up front aren’t greedy when it comes to legroom and some family saloon cars have less headroom in the back. The two rear seats are shapely and supportive but have very upright backs.

The bigger boot has a useful 370-litre capacity with the roof up but is awkwardly shaped due to the roof mechanism. With the roof stowed there are still 220 litres but it is shallow so limited to soft, squidgy bags. For larger loads the rear bench seat backrest folds down.

With the roof up it is quiet and refined, even cruising on the motorway, and noise levels are not unduly tiring in convertible mode. A clever touch is the wind deflector, part of the £695 convertible comfort package along with a heated steering wheel and warm air collar in the front seat, which folds up and clips upright on to the rear seat back.

For a convertible the ride is impressive — more so given that my test car was fitted with bigger 19in alloy wheels and the £750 adaptive M Sport suspension. The ride was on the firm side and tyre noise was noticeable on rough surfaces, but there were no jarring thumps over bumps and no telltale squeaks and creaks that the body is flexing.

Unfortunately, the extra body bracing, needed with no fixed roof, and the electric roof mechanism means the Convertible weighs 235kg more than the Coupe — that’s like carrying three adults — which slightly blunts the sharp handling.

Available in SE, Sport, Modern, Luxury and M Sport trims, all have their own individual character. BMW’s 4 Series Convertible may have a hard roof but it’s hard not to be swayed by its classy charm.

More from Motoring

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The new DBS Superleggera is the fastest and most powerful car that Aston Martin have ever produced

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Historic farm buildings in Essendon have undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment to host a different kind of animal – heritage Aston Martin cars. Richard Burton visits the state-of-the-art showroom and workshops

Read more
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Classic cars come to Cheshire

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Gamekeepers and the ‘ton up’ boys learned to live in harmony – and for a time they somehow made it work!

Read more
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Bolesworth Castle was once again home to Carfest North, hosted by Warrington-born Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans.

Read more
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Swansway Garages compares two of the hottest electric cars on the market.

Read more
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Camper vans are fast becoming the preferred way to get away from it all... and Suffolk’s a perfect place to try it | Words: Nick Cottam

Read more
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dick Lovett Aston Martin Bristol is perfectly placed just up the M5 from Devon so you can easily take an incredible DB11 on a test drive through the beautiful scenery of Dartmoor

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search