Sometimes, base models exist almost as filler, which is meant to increase appetite on the way to better-equipped (and, automaker, higher-margin) variants. But not the 2021 BMW 430i convertible. Despite being at the bottom of the ladder, this four-seater drop-top is a fully fleshed-out summer machine, powerful on winding wilderness roads on both road trips and unnecessarily quick bursts.
A viewer, up and down
Let’s remove it quickly so that we can move on: Yes, it has a weird grille, and no, it’s not my cup of tea for everyone. This is my third tester with such a schnoz, and I’ve gotten used to it. It is much more tasty in person than in pictures. do not like this? Great, there are other convertibles on sale as well. But let’s go.
On one hand, I think BMW did a great job in shaping the 430i convertible. The soft top looks quite close to the coupe’s fixed roof when it is up, so it’s still a sharp little thing even in the rain. Once it’s good, hold down the button on the center console, let the automatic folding bits do their work, and the result is a fairly curvy silhouette. The $ 3,800 M Sport package looks different, with 18-inch alloy wheels, darker exterior trim and more aggressive bumper, but there’s still plenty to like without the need to shell out this extra dough.
The interior does not need as much frippery. Sure, the red leather is a $ 1,450 option, and you get a separate steering wheel with the M Sport package, but it looks great and is not necessary at all to feel like a million bucks. I’m a bit bored with the dashboard design, which is pretty similar across BMW’s entire lineup, but it’s still powerfully functional and everything is discreetly placed. The rear seat is a bit tight for full-sized adults, but it will work for trips around the city, even with the top up. There is a significant amount of junk storage here, with a sufficiently deep door pocket, but I still don’t like that you need to remove whatever is in the cup holders to use the wireless charger ($ 500) .
Flip the trunk and you’ll get enough storage for some weekend bags and backpacks, even at the top. A thick black barrier ensures that you do not overfill the trunk and cause issues, and yes, a golf bag should still fit right there.
Solid driver under any circumstances
Everyone likes to admire BMW’s more powerful models, but a lot of sharpness is hidden inside the 430i convertible. The 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 under the hood produces 255 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque via an eight-speed automatic transmission, sent to the rear wheels (AWD is available). The four-pot rev range makes that twist nice and low, making it a fairly powerful stoplight shuffler, and the engine feels great from top to bottom to boot. But it is also gratifying to remain calm and in a more efficient position to raise long slogans on the highway.
Thanks to some thoughtful vehicle modes, you can actually place your cake in a 430i convertible and eat it as well. In its default Comfort mode, the transmission makes an error on the efficient side, while steering and suspension are intended for softness, provided you pay for the correct addon ($ 3,800 M Sport package and $ 2,450 dynamic handling package, respectively). With all those bits pieced together in my tester, the ride is obedient and comfortable on all kinds of roads, making for some easy-breezy top-down fun.
Throw the 430i convertible’s mode switch into the Sport and the car feels surprisingly different. The powertrain lifts up and the transmission stays in the right gear at the right time, connecting the tree-lined Michigan switchback with the beaver. The body roll completely disappears near the curb, and the steering firm to almost comical height. The result is something that looks just as fun as the gleaming BMW variants without the cash bleeding. Sure, you can shine on more power if you Want to To do but by no means should you feel need To. The 430i is a big bang in itself. But it is also very efficient, with the RWD 430i more than capable of meeting the EPA-estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.
Let’s talk variable-specific stuff. The top is a breeze to operate on its own, working up to 31 mph if I get stuck in a flash drizzle, although having the top switch right next to the parking brake switch is a recipe for disaster. seems to be. With the top up, the sound isolation is very solid, and apparently it is only the consternation of the wind when the top is dropped at high speeds. Taking the 430i convertible on a brief trip from Detroit to Chicago and back, rolling the windows keeps my hat on my head and the wind mostly in the bay. The $ 500 Neck Warmer upgrade is a must have, as it keeps my parts warm that seat and steering wheel heaters cannot.
Take apline, if you pay for it
The standard technology in the 2021 BMW 430i Convertible is very good, but chances are you will want to pay at least a little more money for some advanced accessories. Each 430i comes with an analog gauge cluster and an 8.8-inch touchscreen running on BMW’s iDrive infotainment software, but the $ 2,300 premium package upgrades to a 12.3-inch gauge display and 10.3-inch dash screen. iDrive is, as always, providing a lot of information with density that is not heavy, but takes some time to get used to swapping between different corners of the software. If you don’t like using the touchscreen, there is a dial on the center console. WirelessAnd Are blissful standards.
The 430i convertible also has an amazing amount of standard protection. Each one that rolls off the dealership floor comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and parking sensors. My tester’s $ 700 parking assist package includes automatic parking assist, as well as a surround view camera. The only notable omission is the adaptive cruise control, which is only available on the M440i variants at the time of this writing, leaving the 430i and 430i xDrive altogether. that’s dumb. Really dumb
Under brass tanks
While I have mentioned many options and packages during my review, I would not call any of them really necessary. The starting price of the 2021 BMW 430i Convertible at $ 54,095 (not including $ 995 for destination) is too shabby, but overshadowing the choices could send a window sticker in response to my tester’s already $ 67,220 price tag. Throw a few good ones like the M Sport Package and Premium Package and you can walk with a damned solid and efficient sporty convertible for under $ 60,000.
With pending updates for its two biggest competitors, the Audi A5 Cabriolet and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, the Bimmer is the most refreshingly compact drop-top on the block at the moment. Throw in a great mix of driving dynamics and comfortable cruising, and you have an absolutely compelling package for summer.