CarsMotormouth Reviews

If you want exhilarating, wind-in-the-hair driving there’s no match for the 2-series

The stylish 2-series
The stylish 2-series

They weren’t the best conditions in which to be let loose in a rear-wheel-drive coupe with the top down – but boy what a blast it was.

BMW has just launched the convertible version of its very popular new baby coupe, the 2-series, and we went to London to try it out.

BMW have re-organisied their fleet so that the even-numbered models have now become the more sporty coupe versions – and  the 2-series really got our attention when it was launched late last year.

It is a stunning machine to look at and delivers on the Bavarian promise of producing some of the best driving machines in the world. 

So, to look at the 2-series waiting there without a top made us go weak at the knees.

The 2-Series is one of BMW’s unsung heroes. Many will opt for  a three or five-series to fit in with their lifestyles and golf club car parks, but BMW’s small coupe is  not only desirable to look at, it’s brilliant to drive.

Forget about the harsh weather and our unpredictable summers, the 2-Series convertible will have the neighbours twitching the  blinds and other road users nodding with approval.

There isn’t much that comes close to the new 2-series convertible in terms of looks – maybe the A3 saloon in convertible form, but the BMW behaves better on the road, and with the wind blowing through what’s left of my hair, I found it hard not to smile from ear to ear.

The four-seat convertible caters for all, with four engines being offered, starting with the frugal 2.0-litre diesel, right up to the  blistering M235i model with its very potent 3.0-litre petrol  engine (326bhp).

As well as the engine choice, BMW is offering the 2-Series in three specs – Sport, Luxury and M Sport. They all come well equipped as standard – however, the usual list of options will push it beyond the €50k mark. 

We tested both the diesel and M235i model and it goes without saying that the big petrol lump makes this convertible an unbelievable combination of looks and power.

You can drop the top in just 19 seconds – and now you can do it at speeds of up to 50kph, so no more getting drenched with a sudden burst of rain as you stop to raise the roof. 

The convertible handles very much like the coupe and it really is a driver’s car. It has a sporty nature and there won’t be many that can live with it. 

The diesel has plenty of torque but the M235i is clearly the star of the show.

We actually preferred the M235i coupe over its bigger brothers the new M3 and M4. They are all quality offerings, but there is something about the M235i that screams awesome. And that sense is only heightened in the soft-top version. Plant your foot on the floor and the noise becomes intense in a kind of Mr Grey kind of way. It’s glorious and you will just want more. 

The 2-Series convertible is available now and prices start from €44,630, but you’re looking  at around €66k for the full-fat M235i version. 

The replacement for the 1-series – which sold a whopping 130,000 models worldwide – is 18 per cent more fuel efficient and  CO2 emissions for the most  popular model, the manual  220d, are only 116g/km (tax band A4 €200). 

We prefer the auto version which is only 124g/km and only slightly worse off in the economy stakes.  

There’s no point in saying BMW is going to get a flood of orders for the new 2-Series  convertible, especially the M235i version, we just don’t get the weather to warrant the hefty outlay. 

But there will be some in this newly confident age of buying  cars who will treat themselves to some wind-in-the-hair driving, and they would be foolish not to consider the 2-Series in convertible form.

Paul Keown