For 2018, BMW updates the 4 Series Convertible and BMWBLOG had the pleasure of driving in from Munich to Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps on a recent cool spring day. We detailed many of the changes to the new 4 Series in our coupe review here. The 4 Series Convertible get all of the cosmetic changes and interior changes, but the chassis remains unchanged as it was calibrated for the increased weight of the convertible mechanism an is aimed at a more touring car audience.
Highlights of the changes to the 4 Series convertible are new LED lights for front and rear. All-new front and rear aprons, wheels, digital instrument cluster, interior trim options and two new colors. The 4 Series Convertible we drove was a 430i in one of the new colors, Sunset Orange. It looks great in the sun and sparkles with the sun reflecting in the paint.
When we left Munich, the weather was in the 40s Fahrenheit and provided a great time to highlight just how well the three-stage heated seats work. Back when the 2014 4 Series Convertible debuted, it had optional neck warmers that help keep you toasty with the top down. The neck warmer are no mere gimmick as they blow hot air on the back of your neck and comes with three fan speed settings. On the highest setting the neck warmer does make a little noise from its fan. Given the BMW 4 Series Convertible has heated seats, heated steering wheel and neck warmer, you can easily have the top down in below freezing weather.
To drop the hard metal top in the 4 Series convertible, simply press a single button on the middle of the console. The three-piece top jumps up in the air while the trunk deck lid rises up to swallow the pieces of the roof. The convertible top is able to retract while moving at speeds up to 11mph and takes about 20 seconds. We put ours down at a stop light which ended up turning green, so we merely rolled of the line and kept it under 11 mph until its stowing process was complete.
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 reasonably firm dampers that soak up the road but don’t let you float down it. The Dynamic Driving Control feature allows the 430i with the touch of a button to change the chassis with Comfort, Sport and Sport +.
I found the Sport mode best for just cruising around.
The 430i Convertible is powered by a remarkable 2.0 liter in-line turbocharged four cylinder which puts out 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a rapid shifting 8-Speed Automatic. You will not mistake this engine for a M car, but it does pull hard and always seemed to be in the torque band. This was true on the open Autobahn and tight switch back going up a mountain.
With the top up, even at speeds on the Autobahn, there was very little road noise. As far as topless driving goes, we tried multiple combinations: windows up, down and then with and without the wind deflector. At higher speeds I liked all the windows up and the wind deflector deployed best. Seating position is great, the view out the convertible is extremely good. Even with the hardtop folded away, BMW even managed to engineer some trunk space between 220 to 370 liters capacity.
In the US, the 2018 BMW 430i Convertible starts at $50,550 and the 440i Convertible is priced at $57,500. For an extra $2,000, both cars can be configured with the all-wheel drive system.