Review: BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015)

Rating:

Nicely finished cabin. Great to drive yet comfortable. Wide engine selection.

Getting the correct specification can get expensive. Fabric roof less secure than a folding hard top.

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BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015): At A Glance

It’s difficult to deny the visual appeal of the sleek and stylish BMW 2 Series Convertible, but it has a lot more going for it than just exterior style. Indeed, factor in a nicely finished cabin, fun driving dynamics, a comfortable ride and a great selection of engines and you've got a classy, small soft-top that's hard to beat – though prices are high and practicality could be better.

The showpiece is a fabric roof that folds neatly into the boot in around 20 seconds at speeds up to 30mph. The rear two seats are small – adults will struggle for knee room and, if the roof is up, head room is restrictive too.

But for most, none of this will matter. The 2 Series Convertible is more about style and enjoyment for two. And it delivers the goods, with a classy, high quality finish and thoroughly enjoyable, yet still very comfortable driving experience. There is a lot of fun to be had through the corners, thanks to quick, precise steering which gives good feedback to the driver.

Buyers can choose from no less than seven models – 218i, 218d, 220i, 220d, 225d, 228i and the high-performance M235i. Even the basic 218i is surprisingly capable, but the 220d is probably the best bet, thanks to its impressive official economy of almost 70mpg. It’s a torquey, capable engine and it’s quiet on the move, though it doesn’t sound great at low speeds with the roof down.

Standard equipment includes alloy wheels, air conditioning and iDrive controlled infotainment. Most of the additional equipment on higher trim levels is cosmetic, but M Sport models get a lower, sportier suspension set up. You can delete this at no cost to get the M Sport styling with a more comfortable ride.

The fabric roof will put some buyers off, since it provides less security and poorer refinement than a metal roof. However, if you can get past that problem, as well as the fairly high price and the practical limitations, there is a lot to like about the BMW 2 Series convertible. If you want a neat and classy soft-top, it’s easy to recommend. 

What does a BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015) cost?

List Price from £25,600
Buy new from £19,038
Contract hire from £223.39 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4432–4454 mm
Width 1984 mm
Height 1403–1413 mm
Wheelbase 2690 mm

Full specifications

The cabin of the 2 Series Convertible is very neatly finished, with BMW’s typical driver-oriented centre console, high quality materials and user-friendly controls. The centre stack is topped with a colour infotainment system, controlled by a rotary iDrive controller. It’s among the most user-friendly systems available and easy to operate when on the go.

The front seats are comfortable and easy to adjust, but the rear row is very tight. Small children will be fine, but teenagers and adults will struggle to fit when there are tall occupants up front. Even with shorter front-seat occupants the rear row is only really suited to occasional use. This is particularly true with the roof in place, since headroom is tight. On the plus side there are two Isofix points for installing child seats for smaller children.

Boot space is 335 litres with the roof up, which is adequate for suitcases or shopping trips. It restricted compared to a hatchback when it comes to bulky items. This is even more of a problem with the roof down, which requires a flap in the boot to be folded out, reducing space to 280 litres.

The 2 Series Convertible follows BMW’s current trim level system. That means there is a basic SE model, joined by Sport, M Sport and Luxury trim levels. These offer differing styling, wheel designs and cabin finishes rather than major steps up in equipment – though BMW does throw in all the essentials as standard.

That means you get air conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth, iDrive, auto lights, auto wipers and rear parking sensors. However it is very easy to add a lot to the list price with options like the Professional package, which includes a larger infotainment screen, or leather upholstery. From September 2015 all BMW models come with navigation as standard.

Standard Equipment:

SE trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, 6.5-inch display with iDrive, automatic air conditioning, front arm rest, Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB connection, drive mode selector, satin silver interior trim, park distance control, auto lights, auto wipers and run flat tyres.

Sport trim adds alternative alloy wheel design, Sport+ drive mode, Sport interior and exterior details.

Luxury models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, Luxury interior and exterior details plus Dakota leather seat upholstery.

M Sport models come with M Sport 18-inch alloy wheels, M Sport interior and exterior styling, sports front seats with part Alcantara upholstery and M Sport suspension.

M235i models get additional unique styling extras, plus xenon headlights with LED corona rings.

Child seats that fit a BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015) like to drive?

There are four petrol options in the 2 Series line-up – 218i, 220i, 228i and M235i – plus there are three diesels.

The entry-level, three-cylinder 218i is frugal, officially managing around 50mpg, but it can’t match the larger, four-cylinder petrols for performance. There isn’t much between the 184PS 220i and 245PS 228i engines in terms of economy, with both delivering between 40 and 45mpg – so picking between the two comes down to price and preference.

Those who would prefer a diesel will likely go for the 150PS 218d, but for most the 190PS 220d diesel will be the best choice, since it blends good performance with impressive refinement and fuel efficiency. Official figures are 64.2 mpg with the manual or 68.9mpg with the auto, with emissions of as low as 108g/km.

The major disadvantage to a diesel is its sound. BMW might make very quiet diesel engines, but with the roof down the noise is much less satisfying than a petrol engine, particularly the expensive but powerful M235i. This six-cylinder engine produces a serious 326PS and is only sold in conjunction with a retuned M Sport chassis, designed for more enthusiastic drivers.

That’s not to say lesser 2 Series Convertibles are dull to drive, though. Quick steering and great balance make for a poised and entertaining drive through twists and turns. This is helped by a great manual transmission that matches revs for much smoother down changes. It really does make a difference when tackling a challenging route.

M Sport trim adds a stiffer, more focused suspension set up, but if you like the fanciful styling extras and don’t really appreciate the stiffer ride BMW will let you delete the suspension upgrade at no cost. We’d recommend that for all but the keenest drivers – with standard suspension the 2 Series Convertible is smooth, yet still capable and enjoyable.

In fact the standard suspension set up is excellent, blending safe, stable handling with very good ride quality even over rough roads. The light controls make for easy manoeuvres in town. The only downside in town is poor rearward visibility with the roof in place.

Obviously this is no problem with the roof down - which is what the 2 Series Convertible is all about. At most speeds there is little in the way of wind noise, but if you're planning a motorway trip with the roof down then the collapsible wind break keeps buffeting down and hair more or less in place - though it does mean the back seats can't be used. 

If you prefer an automatic transmission to a manual then you’re in luck. All variants are available with the choice of either a manual or a smooth automatic with the exception of the 225d, which has an automatic gearbox as standard and no manual option. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
218d 54–60 mpg 8.9 s 124 g/km
218d Automatic 59–63 mpg 8.7 s 118 g/km
218i 44–47 mpg 9.4 s 139 g/km
218i Automatic 45–49 mpg 9.6 s 134 g/km
220d 55–60 mpg 7.5 s 124 g/km
220d Automatic 59–64 mpg 7.4 s 117 g/km
220i 41–44 mpg 7.5 s 161 g/km
220i Automatic 44–46 mpg 7.6–7.7 s 152 g/km
225d Automatic 57 mpg 6.4 s 128 g/km
228i 40 mpg 6.1 s 163 g/km
228i Automatic 42 mpg 6.0 s 157 g/km
230i 42 mpg 6.1 s 155 g/km
230i Automatic 45 mpg 5.9 s 142 g/km
240i 34 mpg 4.9 s 189 g/km
M235i 33 mpg 5.2 s 199 g/km
M235i Automatic 36 mpg 5.0 s 184 g/km
M240i Automatic 37 mpg 4.7 s 169 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

77%

Real MPG

25–51 mpg

MPGs submitted

57

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Is there a two-seater sports car that has room behind for a small dog?

Many years ago I drove an MGB GT which was basically two seats plus a shelf, but handy for a small dog. I now am looking for a more up to date sporty soft top car with similar features. What do you recommend? I'm keen on the Mazda MX-5, but there is no room and certainly no space behind the seats.
Unfortunately, I think you might have to look at something slightly bigger, like a BMW 2 Series Convertible, to have the space you require. Alternatively, consider a Toyota GT86 - it's more practical yet as fun to drive as an MX-5, but isn't available as a convertible.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The BMW 2 Series Convertible (2015)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Petrol engine, Design led, Diesel engine, High quality interior, Open top and Convertible.

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