BMW’s first-ever folding metal roof is a huge success – it works brilliantly, giving the 3-Series Convertible the clarification and aegis of a coupé with all the allowances of a cabrio. And it doesn’t ruin the car’s looks, either. Amplitude in the aback is at a exceptional – although no bigger or worse than in rivals – and the amount for the range-topper is a ample £38,000. However, with a aces active experience, it’s still the best convertible on the market.
It’s the big ‘opening day’ for the new 3-Series Convertible – the moment back BMW’s first-ever folding hard-top takes centre stage.
The fourth-generation archetypal has ditched the acceptable canvas awning in the chase for bigger refinement, aegis and structural stiffness.
With alone Volvo’s C70 alms a agnate adjustment in the sector, it gives the newcomer an important bend over the Audi A4 Cabriolet and Mercedes’ CLK. However, the new roof isn’t the sole innovation. There are appropriate heat-reflective covering seats advised to accumulate the berth cool, as able-bodied as the firm’s latest twin-turbo six-cylinder petrol engine. So is the new 3-Series Convertible the best drop-top on the market?
Well, it’s absolutely one of the best stylish. As on the Coupé, every console from the new adenoids to the A-pillar is altered to the saloon. And with repro-filed bumpers, authentic LED headlights – accumulation aflame rings – and new air intakes, it’s actual sporty.
It’s the roof that’s the absolute star, though. Fabricated of failing body-coloured steel, it echoes the new Coupé back closed. However, the rear screen’s added cocked angle, additional a chrome waistline, ensures that the two cars attending rather different. Raising or blurred takes about 22 abnormal – all done automatically at the columnist of a button or by alternative alien ascendancy – and its adroit movement is a joy to behold. Fabricated of three abstracted pieces, which all bend on top of anniversary other, its activation is abiding to draw a crowd!
With the top in place, there’s lots of light, too. BMW claims the bottle areas are 30 per cent bigger than on the old car, and it feels actual airy. Roof bottomward afterimage is fabricated bigger by the awning angle, and basement positions are optimised for the disciplinarian and passenger.
Yet while abundance is accomplished for those sitting in the front, alone accouchement and baby adults will accept abundant legroom in the rear. That folding awning apparatus additionally takes up a lot of baggage accommodation in the boot, additional it leaves the amount breadth with an awkward shape. Roof up, there’s 350 litres of space, and already it’s bottomward that avalanche to a bald 210 litres.
A ski bear agency you’ll get a set of golf clubs inside, and you can bend the backs of the rear seats down, too. But as with added metal-roofed CC models, the 3-Series Convertible isn’t abnormally practical.
That’s it for negatives, however, because aloof like its predecessors, the newcomer drives brilliantly. Strengthening of the anatomy and windscreen pillars has resulted in the stiffest open-top BMW ever, and the 3-Series feels rock-solid over bumps, assuming no signs of brazier shake.
With such a solid platform, it’s abundant fun through bends, axis in instantly, blockage collapsed during accelerated cornering and giving accomplished feel acknowledgment to its weighty, authentic steering.
Refinement is additionally superb. With the roof down, blow is basal due in allotment to a disposable wind deflector. And back it’s up, the added acerbity and sound-deadening provided by the hood’s assorted bolt layers ensures the Convertible is as quiet as the Coupé.
Performance from the 3.0-litre twin- turbo six-cylinder powerplant of our car was mighty, too, with huge flexibility, afire dispatch (0-60mph in beneath than six seconds) and a abrasion agent note. The alternative six-speed automated gearbox was additionally actual impressive, alive calmly and alms captivation acknowledgment to council wheel-mounted paddles.
All this comes at a price, though, as the new archetypal costs about £2,000 added than before. But again cogent improvements accept been fabricated and the 3-Series Convertible charcoal the best to drive in its class. Its abode at the top seems assured.
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