First Drive: BMW 430i Convertible

The new BMW 430i Convertible has undergone some subtle aesthetic changes and has an update to its interior.

Does this make it a better car or are there no worthwhile differences. AOL Cars decided to see what's what.

What is it?

The premise behind the 430i Convertible is fairly self-explanatory – it's a 4-Series with a folding metal roof.

This new version has new LED headlights and taillights, two new exterior colours to choose from and revised styling at the front and rear ends. The refreshed interior builds on what BMW calls 'perceived quality'.

What's under the bonnet?

The 430i Convertible is equipped with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 248bhp and 350Nm, allowing for the 0-60mph dash to be achieved in 6.2 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph.

BMW claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 42.8mpg for the 430i and a CO2 emissions figure of 154g/km.

What's the spec like?

The 4 Series Convertible has a starting price of £37,630 for the basic Sport model. This includes 18-inch alloys, leather upholstery, satellite navigation and electronically adjustable seats.

At the other end of the scale, the top-spec M Sport model starts at £38,980 and adds M Sport suspension, sportier exterior styling and M Sport badges.

Any rivals?

Rival cars from the 430i Convertible's home country of Germany are the Audi A5 Cabriolet and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet. If you're after something more American and rough around the edges, there's also the Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible.

What's it like to drive?

Compared with its hardtop sibling, the 430i Convertible feels much more relaxed. The steering is too light and while there's plenty of grip, there's also a lot of lean.

The engine isn't great either. It's meant to offer a balance between performance and economy, but it's nowhere near as enjoyable as the 3.0-litre straight-six found in the 440i.

The 430i Convertible's main strength is its ability to cruise over long distances. The cabin is surprisingly quiet at all times, even when the roof is down.

AOL Cars Verdict

If it were our money on the line, we'd opt for the hardtop 430i Coupe every day of the week. Yes, the convertible does offer buyers the opportunity for top-down motoring, which will be fantastic for those couple of days in the summer where the sun is out, but most of the time the roof will be up. The option of having unlimited headroom isn't quite enough to justify the compromised looks and handling as far as we're concerned.

The Knowledge

Power (bhp: 248
Torque (Nm): 350
Max speed (mph): 155
0-60mph: 6.2 seconds
MPG: 42.8
Emissions (g/km): 154
Base price: £41,790

First Drive: BMW 430i Convertible

First Drive: BMW 430i Convertible