A blowover for the 2 Series boosts standard kit, infotainment and visuals
BMW 2 Series 220d Convertible M Sport
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Kerb weight: 1615kg
Top speed: 140mph
CO2/tax band: 124g/km
Coupés and convertibles in BMW’s 2 Series range have had a little facelift. LED headlights are now standard, with adaptives and LED fog lamps available as options. There are revamped front air intakes, three new body colours, four new alloy wheels and a tweaked kidney grille, just so you know it’s the new one.
Inside, a new driver-angled dashboard, instrument display and leather upholstery join the latest iDrive infotainment system and some redesigned minor controls. Mechanically, it’s unchanged, so the figures for the 2.0-litre 220d diesel in popular M Sport trim remain at 187bhp, 60.1mpg and 124g/km of CO2.
Unsurprisingly, the driving experience is also the same. In our car, the smooth-idling 2.0-litre diesel engine was matched to BMW’s superb ZF automatic gearbox, creating a usefully flexible town, A-roads and motorway companion. Overall pace is on point, though a bit less noise and vibration when pressing on wouldn’t go amiss.
Convertibles usually feel a bit less agile than their coupé siblings, and that’s marginally the case here, but the 2 Convertible is nevertheless poised and largely lean-free in hard corners, with nothing more than the odd pothole wobble showing up in our adaptive M Sport suspension-equipped car (a £515 option) in Comfort mode. Steering is light, but not to the detriment of feedback. The BMW is certainly a more involving drive than the Audi A3 Cabriolet.
You will hear some tyre noise at speed when the roof is up, but it’s never intrusive. Drop the roof (a 20-second process that’s doable at up to 30mph) and four passengers won’t be overly bothered by buffeting as long as the windows are up. An optional wind deflector (£260) will turn open-air motorway driving into an entirely sanitary affair for two, that being a better number of passengers than four given the shortage of kneeroom in the back. The Audi A3 Cabriolet claws back some of its lost ground here, and in its boot, which is less compromised by the arrival of the folded roof than the BMW.
That new dash is a worthwhile enhancement, for both its newly-angled face and its nicer material quality. The new Professional iDrive system isn’t cheap at £775, but you might regret not ordering it. The 2.3-inch-larger 8.8-inch colour touchscreen is controllable via the normal methods of a rotary dial and menu shortcut buttons between the front seats. It has a new menu layout, but navigating those menus remains pleasingly simple. It’s a shame you have to pay £235 for advanced smartphone mirroring.
Don’t kick yourself if you’ve just ordered a pre-facelift Two. The improvements on the new car are real enough but they don’t add up to a must-have advance. The 220d’s 1995cc diesel four is still a fine engine choice for the 2 Series, and worth paying slightly extra for over the 218d’s engine that’s less powerful but no more efficient. Don’t bother with M Sport trim: the entry-level SE has plenty of kit and none of the ride comfort penalty. It’s a good all-round open-top.