Tested: 2018 BMW 220i Convertible

The superficial attributes

Good news. People are actually reading my reviews and, more importantly, some of these people appear to be listening to my suggestions. When I dismissed some sporty BMW convertible a few weeks ago and stated that I’d rather drive a weaker version, I honestly didn’t expect it to pitch up so quickly.

Here it is, though. Finished in an absolutely striking colour combination, the 220i Cabriolet Luxury Line was a magnet for cellphone cameras and charming comments alike. The mixture of Seaside Blue metallic paint with Cognac Brown leather seats and a dark brown sheen fabric roof shouldn’t work but – trust me – it does.

This 2-Series Cabrio also had delicate “Luxury Line” chrome trim which made for more graceful lines than the beefed-up M240i I complained about recently. Before we get carried away by superficial attributes, it’s worth noting that buyers can individualise these cars quite a bit; I would skip the cabin’s plastic-looking wood.

Inside this car you’ll find timeless BMW details like the driver-focussed dashboard, detailed infotainment, crisp instruments and well-thought out switchgear. And after years of giving every driver a challenging new way to operate the indicator stalk – an irony not lost on me – BMW has reverted back to the accepted stalk controls.

The next thing I have to report is that the rear seats and boot are rather small, although most of you probably expected that. Two kids or a contorted massage therapist should be fine on the rear bench for short journeys while the 2-Series boot takes 280L (roof down) or 335L (roof up). Also, the fuel tank “only” holds 52L.

On the upside, those rear seat backs can drop down for extra luggage space and BMW provides a large, collapsible wind deflector for prolonged and/or high-speed open-top excursions. I’m also delighted to report that this car has – in stark contrast to its butch M240i sibling – commendable ride comfort at normal speeds.

Sure, its 2L turbo-petrol four cylinder is considerably weaker (and rougher sounding) than the 240’s sultry six but in a pretty little rag-top, it doesn’t really matter. I strongly believe that this car will be bought by fashionable folk, not petrolkoppe, which is why I won’t bother you with kilohorses or newtonpowers.

I measured this car’s performance and although it fell short of the maker’s claim, that didn’t bother me at all. In fact, after a short while I got bored and cruised into the sunset; top down and system up. My notes speak of “adequate performance” and “satisfactory power delivery”, both of which suit the topless Bavarian.

It’s also got a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox with three distinct, if somewhat superfluous, drive modes. Our average fuel consumption was fairly impressive at around 8L/100km although BMW claims 2.3 less. Steering, handling and brakes are all acceptable too, although body flex can get a bit severe on rough roads.

You shouldn’t do rough roads in a pretty little turquoise number. What you should do is cruise through your village, swoop over autumnal country lanes or glide along a monotonous highway in surprising peace and quiet. The fabric top is fairly well insulated and the climate control works brilliantly; I just wish seat heaters were standard equipment.

But that shouldn’t be a problem for long because someone at BMW is bound to read this and implement the required steps. They’ll also be happy to hear that I enjoyed this R640,000 convertible more than its crazy cousin, the one-trick pony M240i. Each 2-Series is sold with a two-year/unlimited mileage warranty and a five-year / 100,000km maintenance plan.


0-10km/h: 0,49 seconds
0-20km/h: 1,02 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,62 seconds
0-40km/h: 2,27 seconds
0-50km/h: 3,02 seconds
0-60km/h: 3,86 seconds
0-70km/h: 4,80 seconds
0-80km/h: 5,92 seconds
0-90km/h: 7,16 seconds
0-100km/h: 8,46 seconds
0-110km/h: 9,89 seconds
0-120km/h: 11,62 seconds
0-130km/h: 13,56 seconds
0-140km/h: 15,70 seconds
0-150km/h: 18,11 seconds
0-160km/h: 21,06 seconds

0-100m: 6,95 seconds @ 88,57km/h
0-200m: 10,49 seconds @ 113,44km/h
0-300m: 13,45 seconds @ 129,46km/h
0-400m: 16,10 seconds @ 141,88km/h

100-0km/h: 3,21 seconds @ 39,43 meters (once-off)
Maximum deceleration G-force: 1,11G


0-10mph: 0,81 seconds
0-20mph: 1,76 seconds
0-30mph: 2,88 seconds
0-40mph: 4,27 seconds
0-50mph: 5,96 seconds
0-60mph: 8,01 seconds
0-70mph: 10,35 seconds
0-80mph: 13,27 seconds
0-90mph: 16,83 seconds
0-100mph: 21,35 seconds

1/4 mile: 16,16 seconds @ 88,30 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,61G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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