BMW 2 Series Convertible Review 2023

Written by Andrew Brady

8/10
heycar ratingSharp-suited and stylish convertible
  • 2014
  • Convertible
  • Petrol, Diesel

Quick overview

Pros

  • Truly entertaining to drive
  • Stylish convertible looks 
  • Solid interior with impressive equipment

Cons

  • Rear seats are best left to children
  • Fabric roof allows some outside noise into the cabin 
  • Optional extras can ramp up the price

Overall verdict on the 2022 BMW 2 Series Convertible

"In this 2022 BMW 2 Series Convertible review we're taking a look at one of BMW's most appealing offerings. When it was first launched back in 2014 it combined the appeal of a drop top with the kind of fun driving experience you expect from a BMW. That it was at least a little bit more affordable than bigger BMW convertibles meant it was more accessible too."

BMW 2 Series Convertible Review 2023: exterior front three quarter photo of the BMW 2 Series Convertible

Small convertibles like the BMW 2 Series Convertible are the kind of car that many people would like to own if they could fit them into their lives, but part of the BMW's big appeal is that it doesn't demand too many compromises from you. 


More than 750,000 examples of the BMW 2 Series Convertible and its Coupe cousin were sold, which is huge success for a sports car like this, proving just how good a job BMW did with the design. It's also one of our favourite convertible cars


The handsome looks do play a part, with sharp lines and neat detailing adding to the appeal. A wide choice of engines, space for four inside (at a push) and that all important soft-top roof help seal the deal. Throw in the ability to entertain when the roads get twisty, and you can see why so many have been sold. 


Dropping the BMW 2 Series Convertible's fabric soft-top takes around 20 seconds, and can be done on the move at speeds up to 30 mph. It means you can easily take advantage of sunny weather, or hide from sudden rain showers. The roof does eat into both boot space and rear headroom, proving that even cars like the 2 Series demand some compromises. 


A wide range of engines covers everything from smaller petrol and diesels through to true performance machines. The M240i sits at the top of the BMW 2 Series Convertible tree, delivering serious power for those who want the ultimate driving experience.


The BMW 2 Series Convertible has very precise steering, inviting drivers to enjoy their experience behind the wheel. Drivers can choose between a manual or automatic gearbox, with the latter suiting the nature of the 2 Series best. All versions of the Convertible are rear-wheel drive – unlike the Coupe model, which has four-wheel drive as an option. 


Prices for the BMW 2 Series Convertible appear relatively high against rivals. Offsetting this, though, is a generous level of standard equipment, regardless of which trim level you buy. All cars come with climate control, DAB radio and parking sensors, plus automatic headlights and windscreen wipers. Higher-grade models add larger alloy wheels and leather seats to the mix. 


A mid-life facelift in 2017 saw the 2 Series Convertible gain LED lights, along with a range of new paint colours. A smart-looking digital dashboard was also included in the update. 


All versions of the 2 Series have a well-constructed interior. Only some of the trim lower down the dashboard feels plasticky. Almost every driver should be able to get comfortable inside, thanks to plenty of adjustment options. The 2 Series Convertible is a four-seater, but the rear is best left to children. Adults are likely to complain about feeling cramped. 


Aside from the limited space in the back, there is an awful lot to like about the 2 Series Convertible. Being fun to drive, good to look at, and having the option to drop the top has plenty of appeal. 


A small convertible like the BMW 2 Series is all about feeling good behind the wheel. Whether that is from driving enjoyment, or the upmarket badge on the bonnet, the BMW 2 Series Convertible delivers. 


Its combination of precise handling, good performance and a strong pedigree offers much to like. On the minus side, there’s the relatively high price, limited space in the rear and small boot.


It would happily work as a second car, with the rear seats used for kids or occasional short trips with teenagers. Alternatively, if you’re young, free and single, and want to maximise your motoring enjoyment, the BMW 2 Series Convertible is a good choice.  If you decide you can do without the drop top element, there's the standard BMW 2 Series.


BMW offers the 2 Series Convertible with an impressive selection of engines, ranging from frugal diesels to powerful petrols. However, for most drivers, the mid-range 220i four-cylinder petrol is likely to be all the car you need. 


It offers sprightly performance, while still maintaining a balance of fuel economy and overall affordability. We recommend the 220i with the optional automatic gearbox. It suits the laid-back Convertible mood, and the manual is not quite so nice to use.


Should you be driving major miles, particularly on motorways, the diesel 225d offers even better economy.


When it comes to spec, the BMW 2 Series Convertible can be expensive for added options. As such, shoot for the high-level M Sport version, which brings together all the standard equipment you could want. It looks the sportiest, and comes with bigger alloy wheels, sports seats and fancier interior trim.


Audi’s A3 Cabriolet is the closest in spirit and size, with a comparable premium badge and smart styling. It is not quite as good to drive as the 2 Series Convertible, and can become expensive with options. However, its rear seats offer slightly more legroom and its boot is fractionally larger.


The MINI Convertible is a smaller and more affordable soft-top option. Space is limited, though, with the boot that’s very small indeed. It is still fun to drive, however. 


At a higher price point is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, while the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a leftfield option for those who prefer an SUV. 


Comfort and design: BMW 2 Series Convertible interior

"The BMW 2 Series Convertible carries a premium price tag, but fortunately its interior does not disappoint. It will be very familiar to anyone who has spent time inside a modern BMW, with a high degree of quality and finish."

BMW 2 Series Convertible Review 2023: interior close up photo of the BMW 2 Series Convertible dashboard

In terms of driving position, those used to SUVs may be surprised at how low to the ground they sit inside the BMW 2 Series Convertible. This is all part of the sporty appeal, allowing drivers to feel close to the action. Having the dashboard angled towards the driver is a classic BMW touch, and makes the controls easier to reach.

 

One point to note is that cars with a manual transmission suffer from pedals being slightly offset from the centre. It’s a relatively minor gripe, but is another reason to consider the excellent automatic gearbox instead. 


All drivers should be able to get comfortable inside the BMW 2 Series Convertible. The standard front seats offer excellent support and comfort. Sport and M Sport models benefit from grippier sports seats, while electric seat adjustment is found on top-spec versions. 


Those in the rear are likely to be less comfortable, unless they are children. Legroom is restricted for all, and the soft-top roof eats into headroom when up. Choosing to fit the optional wind deflector reduces buffeting with the roof down, but renders the back seats unusable. 


For those up front, and the driver in particular, the BMW 2 Series Convertible is a comfortable cabin. Just spare a thought for those crammed in behind. 


Buyers of a BMW 2 Series Convertible will (rightly) expect a high-quality and well-finished interior. The 2 Series looks like it is built to last – and does so in style. 


The overall impression is one of quality, even if some of the plastics lower down in the cabin can feel a little flimsy. However, these are small items inside a car that won’t leave buyers feeling shortchanged. 


Entry-level BMW 2 Series Convertible SE specification cars have satin silver interior detailing throughout the cabin. This changes to gloss black on Sport specification models, and aluminium with a hexagon design on M Sport cars. Rare Luxury models are likely to have wood trim inside, although this was optional across the range. 


Luxury cars also come with standard Dakota leather seats. Other versions have cloth upholstery, while the sporty M235i and M240i have seats finished in cloth and Alcantara. All cars have a leather-wrapped steering wheel as standard.


BMW began developing modern multimedia systems nearly two decades ago, and has become a master at the art. The iDrive controller and display fitted to all 2 Series Convertible models is fast and easy to use.


A 6.5-inch multimedia screen sits high up on the dashboard, and is used to control an array of functions. Radio, phone connectivity, and navigation where fitted are all accessed through the screen. Changing settings is done via the rotary iDrive controller on the centre console. Buttons on the steering wheel can be used, too. 


Later versions of the BMW 2 Series Convertible, following the facelift in 2017, gained a larger 8.8-inch display. On cars specified with the optional Professional Multimedia package, this became a touchscreen for added ease of use. 


All cars come fitted with a single CD player, USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phone use and audio streaming. Unlike some manufacturers, BMW still makes Apple CarPlay a cost option. It also offers a range of upgrades, such as a Harman Kardon sound system.


A highlight of the range-topping M240i is the standard black panel display for the instrument cluster. This replaces the traditional gauges with a digital dashboard, allowing extra information to be shown to the driver. 


The BMW 2 Series Convertible dimensions are 4.4m in length and 1.9m wide, so it is one of the more compact convertible cars on the market. 


BMW says the 2 Series Convertible is a four-seater, but the reality is slightly different. Those rear seats are best reserved for children, as they provide limited legroom. On the plus side, BMW fits the rear bench with ISOFIX attachments for child car seats. 


It is also worth noting that the optional wind deflector fits across the rear seats. It helps prevent buffeting from the wind with the roof down, but does make the BMW 2 Series Convertible a strict two-seater. 


The roof also eats into headroom when it is raised, meaning adults could find themselves unceremoniously wedged against the fabric top. 


Up front, both driver and passenger should have more than enough room to feel comfortable. BMW’s ‘boat deck’ interior design makes the doors feel quite high, adding a sense of being cocooned inside the car. Despite this, the 2 Series avoids feeling claustrophobic, and it adds to the overall feeling of sportiness.


The compact dimensions of the BMW 2 Series Convertible come to the fore when discussing boot space. As with many convertibles, lowering the roof eats into room for luggage inside the boot. This means the 2 Series goes from having 335 litres of boot space, to a more measly 220 litres. 


This is equivalent to swapping the boot in a regular family hatchback for one in a small city car instead. Adding to this is the saloon-style boot opening that the 2 Series has. Fitting larger items into the boot becomes something of a battle, and throwing items onto the rear seats might become the more attractive option. 


BMW does offer the option of a ski-hatch opening between the rear seats, allowing longer loads to be slotted through into the cabin. 


Limited boot space means the BMW 2 Series Convertible does not come with a spare tyre as standard. Instead, BMW prefers to rely on run-flat tyres. These allow the driver to keep going at a reduced speed to reach a garage.


Handling and ride quality: What is the BMW 2 Series Convertible like to drive?

"How the BMW 2 Series Convertible drives is one of the standout features of this compact drop-top. Unlike some rivals, the 2 Series actually has the ability to live up to its sporting looks – and offer real entertainment for keen drivers."

BMW 2 Series Convertible Review 2023: exterior front three quarter photo of the BMW 2 Series Convertible on the road

The steering of the 2 Series is extremely precise and well-weighted, meaning you can thread it through curves with ease. Around town, the car can be slotted into parking spaces without hassle, and it holds its line confidently on motorways. 


BMW does offer the option of Variable Sport Steering across the 2 Series range. This provides lighter steering when parking, and means less effort is needed to negotiate turns at speed. It’s an acquired taste, so be sure to test-drive a car thoroughly if fitted. 


Given its sporting intent, it should be no surprise that the ride in the BMW 2 Series Convertible is on the firm side. Standard SE models make the smoothest progress, with 17-inch alloy wheels and comfort-orientated suspension. Luxury-trim cars have 18-inch wheels, with a slightly harder feel. 


Sport and M Sport cars come with sports suspension as standard. Sport models come with 17-inch wheels, with 18-inch items fitted to the M Sport. This suspension does make the ride firmer, but never to the point of being uncomfortable.


BMW likes to give buyers options when it comes to the suspension on the 2 Series. SE and Luxury versions can have the firmer sports suspension added. Conversely, it can also be deleted from Sport and M Sport models. 


There is also the option to have Adaptive M Sport suspension on all versions. This lowers the car by 10mm, and allows drivers to choose between Sport and Comfort suspension settings at the flick of a switch.


BMW offers the 2 Series Convertible with a large range of engines: four petrol and three diesels. Performance ranges from ‘warm’ to ‘very hot’, meaning there should be an engine to suit your needs. 


Petrol engines start with the 218i. Ignore the badging, as this is actually a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit. Producing 136PS, it serves up relatively mild acceleration, but without major savings in fuel economy compared to the other petrol choices. 


The four-cylinder 184PS 2.0-litre 220i offers a lot more go. Zero to 62 mph takes 7.7 seconds, which should be more than enough for most. The 228i and 230i versions use a similar four-cylinder engine with up to 252PS, but are no worse for fuel economy. 


Topping the range is the M240i. Originally badged as the M235i, revisions in 2016 saw it rebranded. It uses a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, producing a considerable 326PS in M235i guise. The M240i takes this up to 340PS. It’s a serious engine for those who want the most performance. 


Diesels are essentially the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit, but offered in different states of tune. Things begin with the 184PS 218d, rising to the 190PS 220d. The range is topped by the 225d, which makes a hefty 224PS. 


The standard six-speed manual gearbox has a short, precise shift, but its offset pedals hamper some of the enjoyment. BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission is superb, though. Unless you are firmly set on a manual, we recommend the auto ’box.


A car with a fabric soft-top will always struggle to provide the same level of refinement as one with a solid metal roof. 


BMW has tried hard with the 2 Series Convertible, honing its aerodynamics and making sure the roof seals tightly. With the roof up, noise from the wind and road is very well contained, and not hugely different to the Coupe model. 


Dropping the roof makes a difference, of course. Without the optional wind deflector, be prepared for things to get a little blustery. Although it takes up rear-seat space, the deflector is a worthwhile option for calm motoring. 


The petrol engines are generally pleasant and quiet. Those going for the M235i or M240i will certainly enjoy the sound from the exhaust tailpipes, too. Diesel models are a little rowdier, sending more vibrations back into the cabin when pushed. 


Overall, none of the issues noted above are likely to be a deal-breaker when considering the BMW 2 Series Convertible.


BMW never submitted the 2 Series Convertible for crash testing by Euro NCAP. But the 1 Series hatchback (which the 2 Series shares a platform with) was tested. That scored the maximum five stars when new, so it seems fair to assume the 2 Series would perform well.


A total of six airbags are fitted as standard to the BMW 2 Series Convertible, plus a pop-up bonnet to protect pedestrians in a collision. Roll bars automatically deploy from behind the rear seats should the car sense it is beginning to flip over. 


Dynamic Stability Control is fitted on all 2 Series models, along with traction control. M Sport models also have the option of the upgraded M Sport braking system, bringing stronger stopping power.


All models benefit from rear parking sensors as standard. Visibility can be restricted with the soft-top raised, so these are a useful item to have. Front sensors can be added as an upgrade, with a rear-view reversing camera also on the options list. 


Models sold after the 2017 facelift benefit from extremely bright LED headlights across the range. LED daytime running lights, plus LED tail lights, are also fitted to facelifted cars. Due to larger air intakes, M Sport models go without the LED fog lights used on others.


The size of the boot in the 2 Series Convertible means there is no standard spare tyre. Instead, BMW relies on run-flat tyres to help drivers in the event of a puncture. Some owners prefer to swap these for normal tyres, believing that the run-flats deliver a harsher ride. 


MPG and fuel costs: What does a BMW 2 Series Convertible cost to run?

"For a car with sporty intentions, BMW has endowed almost all versions of the 2 Series Convertible with respectable fuel economy. "

BMW 2 Series Convertible Review 2023: exterior side photo of the BMW 2 Series Convertible

The diesel models offer the best overall efficiency, especially when fitted with the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox. Both the 218d and 220d achieve 58.9 mpg with the auto ‘box in official WLTP tests, with even the more powerful 225d capable of 56.5 mpg.


For petrol versions, the mid-range 220i sips the least fuel, at 44.1 mpg with a manual gearbox. The auto version ups this to 45.6 mpg, and is matched by the 230i model. 


Given the power and performance on offer, the M235i and M240i still return respectable economy. The later, more powerful M240i can actually manage 37.2 mpg with the automatic gearbox.


Including the Coupe in the responses, the BMW 2 Series Convertible scored a highly impressive 9.74 out of 10 in the HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Index, making it one of the best-performing BMWs.


Less impressive is that BMW came 20th out of 30 manufacturers, but the 2 Series Convertible seems to be largely free of any reliability issues.

A premium badge, sporty looks and powerful engines mean the BMW 2 Series Convertible will not be the cheapest car to insure


The entry-level 218i SE is the most affordable at group 22, while Sport and M Sport models increase this to group 23. The mid-range 220i is group 29 in Sport trim, or 30 for the M Sport version. Predictably, the M240i is the highest of all, with a group 42 rating. 


Diesels begin at group 24 for the 218i, increasing to 29 for the 220d, and 32 for the 225d.


Having been launched in late 2014, the 2 Series Convertible cuts across different taxation regimes. The 220i emits 161g/km of CO2 in Sport trim, placing it in Band G for cars registered before April 2017. As a result, annual VED (road tax) will be £220 for these models. Those registered after March 2017 will pay £165 per annum after the first year.


The lowest tax rate can be found for the 218d SE with an automatic transmission. For cars registered before April 2017, emissions of 118g/km saw this slip into Band C. VED for these models costs just £30 per year.


How much should you be paying for a used BMW 2 Series Convertible?

"Prices for the most recent 2021 models begin at around £25,000. This should net you a 218i Sport with an automatic gearbox. More desirable M Sport cars are a little more, with a 218i closer to £30,000. "

BMW 2 Series Convertible Review 2023: exterior rear three quarter photo of the BMW 2 Series Convertible on the road

Diesel prices tend to mirror those of petrol versions. A 218d should cost from around £19,000, with the 220d at £22,000. Rarer 225d models can be found from less than £25,000. 


Maximum performance comes in the shape of a nearly-new M240i Convertible, which starts at a little under £28,000. At this price, you should have a wide range of cars available.


BMW was quite generous with the 2 Series Convertible, giving all trim levels impressive amounts of standard equipment. 


BMW 2 Series Convertible SE cars come with 17-inch wheels, a single chrome exhaust tailpipe, automatic air conditioning and a 6.5-inch iDrive multimedia screen. Automatic headlights and windscreen wipers are also standard fit, as are cloth seats.


BMW 2 Series Convertible Luxury models are rare, having only been sold until February 2016. These have 18-inch wheels and seats finished in Dakota leather. 


BMW 2 Series Convertible Sport versions gain sports seats, sports suspension, and minor changes to bodywork. Cloth upholstery is still used, with gloss black trim found on the dashboard and centre console.


Moving on up to BMW 2 Series Convertible M Sport models delivers 18-inch alloy wheels, sportier bumpers and M Sport suspension. The interior also gains part-Alcantara seat trim. Opting for the M235i or M240i means standard leather seats, special mirror caps, upgraded brakes and Variable Sport Steering. 


We would be inclined to seek out BMW 2 Series Convertible M Sport models. These include a larger range of equipment that suits the nature of the 2 Series Convertible. M Sport cars rarely cost much more than other versions, so deliver strong value for money.


Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Not at the moment - the BMW 2 Series Convertible was discontinued in 2021, ahead of the introduction of the new BMW 2 Series Coupe, which uses a different platform.
It's one of the best BMWs in terms of reliability according to owner opinions in the HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Survey.
You're going to need about £14,000 to get yourself a BMW 2 Series Convertible, so start saving.

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