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BMW 4 Series Convertible

The independent BMW 4 Series Convertible video review

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    OPEN FOUR BUSINESS (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    The BMW 4 Series Convertible continues to provide executive segment buyers with folding hard top option in the cabriolet class and offers smarter looks in this improved form. Jonathan Crouch reports.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 71

    BMW's improved 4 Series Convertible perseveres with a neat metal-folding roof that offers a different option to executive segment cabriolet buyers not already swayed by the competing charms of rival open-topped versions of the Audi A5 and Mercedes C-Class. You won't get the large boot and cutting-edge driving dynamics of the 4 Series Coupe, but compensations come in the form of refinement, security and drop-top desirability. In short, you'd like one.

    Backgroundword count: 173

    It's the thing that makes a BMW handle like a BMW should. I'm talking of the brand's famous 50:50 weight distribution. That's something the Munich marque makes possible by the almost unique rear wheel drive configuration it applies to most of its models but with this car, puts at risk than with any other design in its line-up. Welcome to the 4 Series Convertible. The reason for that is also the main reason why you might buy this car - its metal folding roof. Alone in the executive convertible segment, BMW continues with this arrangement, rather than the soft-top fabric roof mechanisms rivals Audi and Mercedes use. It's a unique touch that'll tempt people liking the security, refinement and pavement wow factor of a folding metal top. But the system weighs a quarter of a tonne and needs complex, heavy mechanicals that must be very carefully positioned to maintain that perfect weight distribution I mentioned at the beginning. Does it make sense in this smarter, lightly facelifted 4 Series Convertible? Let's find out.

    Driving Experienceword count: 330

    Is the average BMW 4 Series Convertible customer going to approach this car wanting to sling it around a bit? Provided the variant in question isn't the hot rod M4 version, I suspect not. Still, if you do like your driving, you'll be interested to hear that dynamic changes made across the range mean stiffer suspension and an upgraded steering set-up. These measures have resulted in a tangible improvement in both lateral and longitudinal handling properties, regardless of the load on board. The upshot is reduced roll, more neutral responses when driving at the limit, even greater straight-line stability and the wonderfully precise steering for which BMW is renowned. This applies to the standard suspension, as well as the M Sport suspension and Adaptive suspension. On to engines. Diesel-wise, this means a choice of three units, starting with the 190bhp unit found in the 420d. Above that come the six cylinder diesel models, the 258bhp 430d and the 435d diesel range-topper with a hefty 313bhp at its disposal. Petrol people get a 2.0-litre unit developing 184bhp in the 420i and 252bhp in the 430i. Above that sit two six cylinder derivatives, the 326bhp 440i and the 431bhp M4 performance model. The xDrive 4WD system is an option on 420i, 420d and 430d variants and standard on the 435d. But I haven't yet talked about the roof. If the sun comes out or the heavens open, it's nice that you don't now have to stop at the side of the road to either retract or erect it, though you do have to slow to a speed of below 8mph for the 20 seconds the three metal panels take to assume their necessary positions. When the top is up, the refinement you get is indistinguishable from that you'd expect to find in the 4 Series Coupe model, thanks to a number of design improvements made to this Convertible version. These include a sound-absorbing headliner that reduces wind noise by up to 2dB.

    To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-62mph (secs):

    5.2

    8.4

    [435d Convertible 2 Door 3.0 xDrive M Sport Auto]

    [420i Convertible 2 Door 2.0 M Sport Auto]

    Braked Tow Weight (kg):

    1500

    1800

    [420i Convertible 2 Door 2.0 M Sport Auto]

    [430d Convertible 2 Door 3.0 M Sport Auto]

    CO2 (g/km):

    124

    167

    [420d Convertible 2 Door 2.0 M Sport Auto]

    [440i Convertible 2 Door 3.0 M Sport Auto]

    Cylinders:

    4

    6

    [420d Convertible 2 Door 2.0 M Sport]

    [430d Convertible 2 Door 3.0 M Sport Auto]

    Driven Wheels:

    4

    Emissions:

    6

    ... and 19 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Convertibles

    Performance
    80%
    Handling
    80%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    80%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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