Roadshow Video Reviews
Drop the top and relax in the 2018 BMW 4 Series ConvertibleAdding a convertible top to the 4 Series somewhat softens the performance, but the open-air driving experience is relaxed and sporty.
[MUSIC] This is the 2018 BMW 4 Series Convertible. It's actually everything that's great about the 4 Series Coupe. The sporty performance, the luxury amenities, and these windswept good looks. Especially, in this Very cool 1980s blue. But then it adds a retractable hard top. Of course adding that convertible top comes with a couple of compromises including increased weight and reduced trunk space. But we'll talk about that after we hit the road and see how it drives. [MUSIC] [SOUND] Now this BMW 430I that we're in right now is powered by a two liter, twin turbo-charged four cylinder engine that makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque That's a decent amount of power whether you're talking about commuting or hustling up a country road like we are now. And that power's going to make it to the rear wheels by an eight feed automatic transmission. That's the only gearbox available to the four series convertible and that's pretty good but if you're the kind of person who likes to roll your own gears you're going to be stuck dealing with either pedal shifters or stepping down to the coupe. Of course if you're the kind of person that wants the male transmission, you're probably an enthusiast which means that the Coupe offers a number of other advantages over the convertible. For starter, this is around 460 pounds lighter. All of the mechanics of the convertible top and the extra chassis deepening to keep this car from feeling from a wet noodle compared to the Coupe which has a structural roof Mean that you get a whole lot more weight added to the package. And you can really feel that weight whether you're accelerating from a stop or tossing this thing into a corner. There's even a little bit of difference between top up when the weight is more upright and further forward in the car and when the top is down and the weight gets further back and lower to the ground which you get A little bit of what feels like aerodynamic lift compared to the coupe. Basically, either way you feist it the convertible feels maybe less responsive and less planted than the coupe does specially at high speeds. There's nothing you can really do about that, it's just the laws of physics. You can kind of mitigate some of the extra weight by sort of stepping up to the 440i, which has a more powerful 6-cylinder engine that outputs 320 horsepower, and around 330 pound feet of torque. But there's not whole lot that you can do to deal with the handling compromises that you have to make. Short of stepping up to an all wheel drive system or BMWs' adaptive suspension. But either way you're gonna be adding weight to the package, which kinda defeats the purpose. [SOUND] So if you're gonna go convertible, I recommend that you just sort of relax into its more laid back driving character. A convertible is a lifestyle vehicle, it's more about enjoying the open air And sign on in your faith in the open road and less about shaving seconds off of your lap time. Then again, the BMW builds an M4 version of the convertible. So what do I know? I guess, there's no performance issue that can't be solved by throwing Money at the problem. That said this is still based on BMW's 4 Series, it's one of BMW's best performance platforms in recent history and even with the compromises we're still talking about a really fun to drive car that has very responsive performance, very nice handling. I'm just kind of nit picking for the Coop crowd. [MUSIC] Now in the cabin, we've got the same sweet of drivery tech that's available to the Coupe that not necessarily equipped on this example. And in the dashboard, we've got the latest generation of BMW's iDrive dashboard tech. We talked about it extensively in other videos, but short is that we really like the system, it's good. But it's a really great system if you have an iPhone and you can gain access to the optional Apple car play Some of the iPhone-specific options for this vehicle. If you're an Android user don't hold your breath for Android Auto, BMW has no plans to support it. The rest of their cabin is luxuriously appointed as the 4 series line. I really like this tan-on-teal color scheme we've got going on here, it goes great with my 80s dash. One feature that I really like that is specific to the convertible is the neck warmer The feature is similar to something we first saw in Mercedes' Benz's convertibles their air scarf system and it's basically a heater in the seat that blows warm air over your neck while you're driving. That combined with conventional heated seating surfaces makes for a really nice open air driving on a clear but perhaps brisk morning. And speaking of feature that are specific to the convertibles, let's talk about that top. BMW said that will go from up to down in around 20 seconds but the las time I brought it from down to up, I clocked it at around 27 seconds from the moment I grabbed the toggle until the moment that. Then windows that come back up. Still, that's pretty quick, and pretty convenient, especially considering you can do it while the car's moving at speeds of up to around 11 miles per hour. Basically at parking lot speeds. Now the advantage of a hardtop is that this is basically a four season car. Spring, summer, or fall, you can drop the top on a nice day. But even when the weather's not nice, you don't really get a lot of the tradeoffs that you get from a ragtop convertible. So when it's raining, you don't get whole lot of extra noise. When it's cold outside, it's still nice and warm here in the cabin. And at highway speeds with the top up, this car is as quite as the coupe. There's almost no comfort trade off for going with a convertible, almost. One question that you kind of have to ask is where do you put all of this metal and glass when you put the top down? In a four seater convertible like the 4 Series it has to go in the trunk and that means that you're gonna be left with not a whole lot of cargo space underneath all of the mechanisms. You've got about room for maybe two carry-on bags back there and even then it's a pain in the **** to get access to when the top's down. And it requires a bit more sort of mechanical gymnastics to move those panels up and out of the way so you can get access to your cubby hole. Of course, when you put the top up, you gain a lot of that space back. And the four series boasts around 13 cubic feet of storage when its divider is up and out of the way. Of course, you gonna wanna make sure you put that divider down when you're not using it. Because of course, the convertible top doesn't worked when it's up. And there's nothing more annoying than having to get out of your car and go back then put it down when you wanna drop the top. And you gonna wanna make very sparing use of the space outside of that divider, because anything you leave out there is gonna get squeeze when you drop the top. Of course, another compromise that comes with choosing the convertible is that all of this extra complexity cost more to engineer manufacturer, so the 4 Series convertible's gonna cost you a bit more. So let's talk about the price. [MUSIC] The 2018 BMW 4 Series convertible starts with around $52,000. Now that's like a ten grand premium over the coupe version. It's gonna get you a lot more weight, which is gonna cost you in performance, and a lot less trunk space when you have the top down. And again, a convertible is more of an experience car, not a performance car. If you've got the dough to spend, it's not a terrible way to go. Now the Fanta convertible I think an open road and open air is the best combination so I'm just going to enjoy it for a little while. [MUSIC]