BMW’s high performance and acceptablypriced M235i Coupe is already a modern classic, so is its folding roof sibling even better? found out.
Even if you’re a driving purist and wouldn’t dream of sacrificing handling purity for open-air pleasure, it’s hard to deny the allure of a sports car on a sunny day with the roof down.
No surprise then that BMW has taken its impressive M235i Coupe and created a convertible version.
It wears the same sporty additions as the Coupe with larger alloy wheels and tastefully larger bumpers front and rear, while under the bonnet you get the 306bhp twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol unit. Looks and image It’s the exterior that grabs the attention first, of course. With the M Performance additions, the 2 Series Convertible shape is looking its best, although from certain angles it can look a little under-wheeled despite riding on 18in alloys as standard. It might only be the junior M brand rather than the full ticket, but the M235i has enough presence and status in its own right to be rightly regarded as a genuine performance car, and a highly desirable one at that. Space and practicality It might be a relatively compact car from the outside, but inside it’s one of the few convertibles that can take four passengers in reasonable comfort. You can’t use the rear seats if you have the wind deflector in place and six-footers might grumble a little, but roof-down fun is only enhanced by having three friends with you. The boot is modest but still useful – 280 litres is over 100 less than the Coupe version, an inevitable price of a folding roof. Behind the wheel The ingredients of the M235i Convertible are just about perfect; lusty, six-cylinder engine, rear-wheel-drive, typical sharp BMW chassis and a folding roof for heightened pleasure. There’s an inevitable trade-off in sharpness, but for 90% of the time this won’t matter; what gives greater pleasure is the powerful turbo engine that you can hear even more clearly. Value for money The badge might suggest this is something of a boy’s toy, but the reality is the M235i Convertible would suit a broad range of people. For the standard price tag of just under £40,000 the specification is decent, with all the styling enhancements, satellite navigation and leather included. However, there are some notable omissions such as heated seats, while the desirable automatic gearbox requires further outlay, but the standard car will be enough for most buyers.
ONE WORD This car summed up in just a single word: Price: £38,400 Engine: 3.0-litre petrol unit producing 306bhp and 322lb.ft of torque Transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels Performance: Top speed 155mph, 0-62mph in 5.0 seconds Economy: 33.2mpg combined