In Las Vegas, BMWBLOG test drives and reviews the new 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible.
BMW gave us a gorgeous Mineral White Metallic 435i Convertible with the Luxury Line to drive in the desert just north of Las Vegas. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible makes for a very luxurious and relaxed ride. Step one – put the top down. A single button on the middle of the console and the three-piece top jumps up in the air while the trunk deck lid rises up to swallow the pieces of the roof.
The top is now able to retract while moving at speeds up to 11mph and take just 20 seconds. This is a huge change from the previous generation which had to be stationary to retract.
Now that top was stowed, we blasted up on ramp. Pin the pedal to the floor and man does this 4095 lbs thing scoot. The combination of the twin-scroll N55 inline 3.0 liter six-cylinder putting out 300 hp and 300 ft-lbs of torque which is available at a very low 1300 rpm, and the eight-speed automatic, make overtaking others cars a piece of cake. 0-60 is reached in a mere 5.4 seconds.
You are not going to mistake the 4 Series Convertible for an outright sports car but you do get the BMW driving experience with solid chassis and firm dampers that soak up the road but don’t let you float down it. The Dynamic Driving Control feature allows the 435i with the touch of a button to change the chassis with Comfort, Sport and Sport +.
I liked the Sport mode best for just cursing around.
With The Top Down
As far as topless driving goes, we tried multiple combinations: windows up, down and then with and without the wind deflector. At highway speeds we liked all the windows up and the wind deflector deployed. In this BMW 4 Series Convertible, the engineers made the wind deflector a much simpler device to operate. With this configuration, I really think you could have the top down in below freezing weather.
As the evening sun was setting in the desert, the weather turned cool a bit so we activated the three stage seat heaters. To keep you toasty with the top down, BMW also offers in the 4 Series Convertible a neck warmer. It also comes with three settings.
Starting with the E92 3 Series Convertible, BMW started using a folding three piece hardtop. When I test drove a wonderful 2012 M Sport 335i Convertible, I was stunned by two things: how much stiffer the car was than the E46 convertible and how quiet it was with the top up. It makes the 2012 3 Series Convertible feel and drive like a coupe. The 4 Series Convertible even further refines this NVH level by dropping the sound that penetrates the cabin by 2dB at highway speeds.
The BMW 4 Series Convertible has grown in size when compared to the previous model. It’s longer, lower and wider. The most impressive thing is that despite the increased size, the 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible shed up to 44 lbs to a comparibly configured 3 Series Convertible model. Even with the top up, it’s a stunning looking vehicle.
With the hardtop folded away, BMW even managed to engineer more trunk space – 220 to 370 liters capacity.
Overall, BMW has made a gorgeous convertible, that should sell well, especially in those sunny states.
The 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible goes on sale in the first quarter of this year and will have an MSRP of $49,675 for the 428i Convertible and $55,825 for the 435i Convertible.