"Great fun to drive with the metal roof folded down, yet comfortable and luxurious with it up, the new BMW 3 Series Convertible is a great choice for sun seekers."
The BMW 3 Series three piece metal top offers much more than extra security and luxury! It's operation is a real party piece too. The electrically powered arrangement is capable of opening in only 23 seconds, and will transform the four-seat executive challenger from a coupé to a cabriolet at the touch of a button. The range includes powerful petrol engines, and strong, economical diesels. All four-cylinder models offer stop and start technology to save fuel.
Whether the roof is up or down, the BMW 3 Series is a great car to drive. Its well engineered chassis and supple suspension makes it feel very sporty. Unlike some rivals, it never feels flustered by bumps, and instead will ride smoothly over them. Steering is very accurate, and there's lots of feel. Diesel engines offer strong acceleration, but when it comes to performance the turbocharged 335 3.0-litre petrol engine is hard to beat. It's not as fast as the V8 engined M3 edition but is better to drive.
If you are stepping out of a car like the Volvo C70, the BMW's suspension can feel a little stiff. However, the accurate steering and brakes, plus the car's faithful handling make it a soothing car to drive long distances. The metal folding roof shuts out wind and road noise very effectively when it is closed. With it open, cabin draughts are kept to a minimum.
Built from top of the range materials, the 3 Series Cabriolet feels engineered to last. There have been no reported problems with the three piece metal folding roof, and the car has an outstanding five star Euro NCAP crash test.
The drop-top's clever three-piece roof is one of the most compact around, but with it stowed in the boot, luggage space is still limited. At least the seats are relatively spacious, while there are plenty of cabin stowage spaces. However, while the roof eats boot space, it also improves this cars usability. The metal design means it really is a convertible for all seasons.
Value for money
It's not the cheapest drop top on sale, but the BMW 3 Series Convertible offers a value of sorts, thanks to its strong resale value and reasonable equipment lists. The car is very well built too and feels worthy of its premium status.
Clever BMW EfficientDynamics technology is fitted to the 3 Series to help keep running costs down too. The line-up includes a range of excellent petrol and diesel engines, and all four-cylinder models feature stop-start technology to help cut CO2. As we have already said, resale values are strong, and the car is very desirable.