BMW 4 Series Convertible (2021) Review
BMW 4 Series Convertible (2021) At A Glance
BMW has revealed the new 4 Series Convertible with “standalone” styling designed to differentiate it from the more humdrum 3 Series saloon that it is based upon. It’s longer and wider than the old model and prices start from £46,000 for the entry-level 420i rising to £59,500 for the M440i xDrive range-topper.
All models come in M Sport specification so they get large front air intakes, a sculpted rear apron, lower M Sport suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels. Upgrading to an M Sport Pro Edition model adds Jet Black 19-inch alloy wheels, and means you can choose from three Individual paint shades – Tanzanite Blue, Dravit Grey and Aventurin Red.
The big news – aside from its questionable front-end appearance – is that the 4 Series has reverted to a fabric roof giving it a svelter rear end than the previous metal-topped model.
The new roof’s 40 per cent lighter than before, has a glass rear window, naturally, and you can have it in either black or Anthracite. “Several layers” of insulation help keep out noise and keep in heat and it opens and closes electrically in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. You get a sizeable 385-litre boot with the roof up and a still-usable 300 litres when it's down.
On the inside, all cars get two large digital displays which have connected services as well as being compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard kit includes electrically adjustable and heated sports seats complete with belt butlers that bring the seatbelts to you so you don’t need to reach around for them.
You also get a leather-trimmed M Sport steering wheel, a reversing camera, reversing assist, lights that illuminate the ground around the car when you open it and three-zone automatic climate control.
The M Sport Pro Package fitted to M Sport Pro Edition models adds M seatbelts, the new Sprint Mode – which livens up the throttle – Adaptive M Suspension and a sound synthesiser that pumps engine noise into the cabin.
Options include a Harman Kardon stereo, heated steering wheel, trailer tow hitch and BMW’s Air Collar that blows hot air down your neck when the roof’s down.
At the top of the range, you’ll find the M lite M440i xDrive model that – as well as having a 374PS straight-six engine and four-wheel drive – gets an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, M Adaptive Suspension and M Sport brakes.
It accelerates from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds yet returns fuel economy of a little less than 40mpg, courtesy of the same mild-hybrid technology and 11PS electric motor that’s fitted to all the diesel models.
Along with the range-topper you can choose from two 2.0-litre petrols – the 184PS 420i and the 258PS 430i, which get from 0-62mph in 8.2 and 6.2 seconds, respectively. Both return fuel economy of just under 50mpg.
The diesel range includes the 190PS 420d, 286PS 430d and 340PS 440d xDrive with 0-62mph ranging from 7.6 (420d) to 5.1 (440d) seconds. Unlike before, you can only have the 4 Series with an eight-speed automatic gearbox complete with steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
To make up for the lack of a body-strengthening permanent roof, the 4 Series gets underbody bracing including an aluminium panel under the front of the car and reinforced floor pan to increase chassis rigidity by 4 per cent compared to the old model.
That should make for a keen handler in corners although, if you’re not in the mood, the 4 Series is available with a raft of autonomous driving aids that mean it can essentially drive itself on faster roads.
You can order most of the range now with the 430d (July 2021) and 440d xDrive (November 2021) following next year.
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