Bmw 2 door convertible hardtop

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  • BMW has rolled out its next-generation 4-series convertible, most notable for the addition of a fabric top replacing the convertible hard top.
  • Remarkably, the new top is just as easy to use and 40 percent lighter than the old hard top.
  • The 2021 4-series convertible will go on sale in the U.S. in March 2021 for the rear-wheel-drive models and July for the xDrive all-wheel drive versions, priced starting just over $54,000.

At first glance, the 4-series convertible may seem like a provocation. After all, it has the same vertical-kidney design that has riled up people on social media since the 4-series coupe and the M3/M4 siblings were unleashed on the public. In real life, we think the new design works rather well. And this may be a minority opinion, but purists who have trouble with the front end may be won over by the fabric top, which, when closed, arches beautifully over the center section of this impressive convertible for a more elegant look than its predecessor.

The romance of a convertible is undeniable. An open-top car is a luxury, a car for special occasions, desirable as a way to drive into the sunset or to your favorite café. And it needs a fabric top. When the retractable hard top arrived, it was a fascinating technology, and visually it worked on a two-seater like the Mercedes-Benz SLK. On many larger convertibles, however, it created a bulging trunk—and the metal parts still ate into the luggage space. A fabric top is easier to package, and it looks better. No wonder BMW has chosen to revert to it with the new 4-series convertible, which of course is closely related to the current 3-series.

The new fabric top is thickly padded, which means that from within, you could mistake it for a coupe when you keep it closed in bad weather. The top is 40 percent lighter than the previous model's hard top, and it can be electrically opened or closed within 18 seconds and up to a speed of 31 mph. Moreover, trunk space has grown by 1.2 cubic feet to a full 9.0 cubic feet, while the rear end looks more sleek than before.

Looking across the full lineup, BMW's 6-series has become the 8-series, and that means there is room for the 4-series to expand. It stands on a longer wheelbase than its predecessor, and it has become an overall larger car in all directions. The interior is taken straight from the 3-series, and there is plenty of room not just in the front, but also on the rear seats, which now are big enough to be comfortable even for extended trips.

The 4-series has a lower center of gravity than the 3-series, its steering is tuned for agility and responsiveness, and despite the added weight of the open-top conversion and the necessary body stiffening, this convertible should match the extraordinary dynamic capabilities of the sedan it's based on.

Engine Choices for Americans

In Europe, the 4-series convertible comes with a large selection of four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. As always, the U.S. market gets a sample of the more powerful gasoline engines. The entry-level motor is the B46 2.0-liter four, rated at 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Above that, there is the M440i with its B58 3.0-liter straight-six, rated at 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Both powertrains can be specified with rear- or all-wheel-drive, while a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission is obligatory.

However, we eventually expect to see an M4 convertible. If BMW follows the example of the M4 coupe, it will be available with a choice of a manual or automatic transmission and rated at 473 and 503 horsepower, respectively.

The 4-series convertible is fitted with BMW's latest connectivity and infotainment features, which means you can manipulate the vehicle's dynamic settings in multiple ways, while the navigation is fed real-time traffic information and connectivity with mobile devices works seamlessly with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and a head-up display is optional.

When the BMW 4-series convertible launches, it will compete directly with the Audi A5 and the Mercedes-Benz C-class and E-class convertibles. As the most recent and contemporary entry, we fully expect it to find its place at the top of its class. Pricing begins at $54,095 for the 430i convertible and $66,995 for the M440i convertible. All-wheel drive is a $2000 option on both. The rear-wheel-drive models will hit dealerships next March, while the xDrive models come in July 2021.

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BMW convertibles are relatively easy to find in the USA, though the Bavarian automaker does not produce loads of them. While many of its existing coupes have simply been turned into drop-tops, there are certain models that aren’t available in this guise in 2021, like the 3 Series and 6 Series. If you want open-air driving, you’ll have the choice between performance-focused Bimmers and plush ones dedicated to ultimate comfort and style. As is with any automobile from the premium brand, these beauties cost a pretty penny to purchase.

Characteristics of BMW Hardtop Convertibles

There are quite few similarities shared between the BMW hardtop convertible models, though each differ in terms of their pricing:

  • Engines - You will not find a truly slow BMW in the US. Those that are not expressly intended for performance produce impressive figures. What’s better is that the modern BMW typically boasts excellent mpg figures when you compare them to rivals.
  • Colors - The extensive color palette that accompanies most products is nice to have, so if you do not want to opt for the typical white hue, there are rich blues and metallic reds to choose from.
  • Size - Most of the autos on this list have larger dimensions, especially the M8 and the 4 Series. There are smaller options, too, and these include the 2 Series and the Z4 Roadster.
  • Pricing - MSRP varies widely in this segment, with the 2 Series convertible starting at $42k, while the i8 Roadster sits at well over the $100k mark.

New BMW Convertible Models

There are under 10 BMW convertibles with hardtop to choose from, with each targeting a different type of consumer. Each spec has its own unique character:

  • 2 Series - The most affordable of BMW’s convertible variants, though we would not go as far as to say that $41,100 is particularly frugal. The peppy base motor punches out 248 hp, while the M240i punches out 335 hp.
  • 4 Series - Bigger and more luxurious than the entry-level offering with decent power to boot, this variant comes with the choice between two motors. One is great for fuel economy and the 320-hp version is better equipped to impress enthusiasts.
  • M4 - One of the few drop-tops that still boasts a manual gearbox, the turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six in the M4 delivers 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. In manual guise, the run from 0-60 mph will take 4.1 seconds.

What to Consider Before Buying BMW Convertible Cars

With so many convertibles for sale currently, it is worth noting the reasons for and against purchasing these kinds of vehicles:


  • Deluxe interiors
  • Impressive outputs from powertrains
  • Sporty handling characteristics
  • Plush ride quality on higher specs


  • Average reliability ratings for some
  • Price of BMW convertibles can be high
  • Expensive additional packages


What are some of the best new BMW convertibles?

The 2 Series is a great choice for the daily drive, and is the cheapest option to boot. If you’re looking at performance, the M4 fares particularly well. But if you’re after a true little roadster, the Z4 is the clear winner.

Are used versions safe to look at in this segment?

Yes, for the most part. There is added risk because it is been owned before you, but low-mileage products are definitely worth considering. Just do not opt for any that are really old, even if they’re for sale at an attractive price.

Are there competing options worth having a look at?

Yes, there are. Products from Audi and Mercedes-Benz put up a strong fight against the Bavarian manufacturer’s efforts to reach the top.

Check out our reviews and photos for more information.

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The big news for this new BMW 4 Series Convertible, aside from the physically big news of its new grille, is its roof. For this second-generation of drop-top 4 Series, the roof has been converted from the previous-generation’s folding metal hard-top, to a fabric soft-top. That might not sound like a big change but it actually is quite a big deal and makes a world of a difference.

We’ve known that the 4 Series was going to make the roof-style switch for at least a year now. Spy photos burst that bubble a long time ago. However, the decision to make the switch wasn’t met with universal praise from the BMW fanbase. Many customers preferred the old metal roof to fabric tops for various reason. So we thought it good to break down the pros and cons to both soft-tops and hard-tops to see why BMW made the switch.


Let’s start with weight, as it’s the number one reason for BMW’s roof switch. All convertibles are heavier than their coupe counterparts. The removal of a fixed roof requires extra structural bracing to regain some of the stiffness lost by literally cutting a structural panel out of the car. That additional bracing adds quite a bit of weight. Along with all of the motors, seals and mechanicals that get the folding roof to operate. This is the nature of all convertibles, regardless of the style of roof.

2021 bmw 4 series convertible 41 830x553

With a folding metal roof, that additional weight goes up dramatically. Not only are you adding all of that aforementioned weight but the actual roof is still comprised of metal panels. Not only does it add weight, though, it adds that weight up top, literally on the roof of the car, which raises the car’s center of gravity. That makes the car handle worse, which requires more work in the chassis to adjust, which can add more weight and the cycle goes on and on.

A fabric soft-top still has all the inherent problems of a convertible but makes up for a bit by actually being quite a bit lighter itself. That reduction in weight really helps, as it not only drops the car’s overall curb weight but helps to lower the center of gravity a bit. So in terms of weight, the soft-top is the better option.


As mentioned earlier, there were a lot of BMW fans and customers that really appreciated the look of the 4 Series Convertible, even with its top up. We were told so specifically in our comments section. That honestly still surprised me, as the F33 4 Series looked like a coupe that’s been in a fight with a bear, with its roof up. Still, some fans really do like it.

On the flip side, the folding soft-top looks fantastic. There’s a reason why Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce use soft-top roofs. There’s an elegance, a grace to a soft-top that a metal roof just doesn’t have. Soft-tops look more premium, as you don’t see any creases in metal work, it’s just one unbroken section of fabric roof.

2021 bmw 4 series convertible 42 830x553

Admittedly, some fabrics on lesser convertibles don’t look so hot but that’s not a problem with cars like the 4 Series and its competitors; they all use high-quality fabric for their roofs.

This is a bit of a trickier category to declare a winner in, as style is subjective. However, we’re going to lean on precedent and say that because the most premium car brands in the world use soft-tops, fabric is better than metal for a roof.


Insulating a cabin from noise and temperature is easy when the roof structure is fixed. However, when it can move around, it’s not as simple. Which is why insulation is a huge factor in developing a folding roof. Theoretically, a metal roof is easier to insulate, as it’s thicker, can be stuffed with more insulating material and, well, has metal on the outside. While soft-tops are a bit trickier to insulate, as they’re thinner and made from fabric.

However, soft-top technology has improved drastically over the past few decades, so modern soft-tops aren’t the same crappy ones your granddad remembers from his Triumph TR6. So a modern soft-top roof is still excellent at keeping wind/road noise out, as well as cold weather.

Plus, a metal roof is no guarantee of great sound insulation. I specifically remember driving an E89 BMW Z4 several hours in the rain, in mid-November, with the top up and it was about as quiet and comfortable as an outdoor Icelandic Rave.

Though, it’s still likely easier to keep the cabin comfortable with a metal roof, rather than a fabric one, so it’s likely the better choice for insulation but only by a narrow margin.

Cargo Space

Sometimes you just cant’ cheat physics. A folding metal roof is simply bigger and does not fold together anywhere near as neatly. So when it comes to cargo space after the roof has been folded, metal roofs are simply more intrusive. You’re always going to get better cargo space with a soft-top and the proof is in the proverbial pudding, as the new 4 Series Convertible has 1.2 cubic feet of additional cargo space, versus its metal-topped predecessor.

BMW Made the Right Choice

When BMW decided to switch from the hard-top of the F33 4 Series to the soft-top on this new 4 Series Convertible, many of us BMW enthusiasts were delighted. The new soft-top not only reduces weight, it lowers the center of gravity, gives the 4 Series a more elegant look and improves cargo space. The positives far outweigh the negatives and it seems that BMW made the right move with the 4 Series Convertible.

Don't Buy A BMW Convertible - Here Are 5 Reasons Why

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CARFAX Vehicle History Reports contain over 28 billion historical records from 20 European countries, the US and Canada, which are updated daily with new information.

Even if you live in a country we don't collect vehicle data from, it's still always worth checking the Vehicle Identification Number without obligation. The used car import and export market is booming and many owners would be surprised to find out exactly what happened to their vehicle during its previous life abroad.

Privacy for Customers — Transparency over Vehicles

Let's be clear: Although we strive to find every detail of a vehicle's life so far, we are focused only on the vehicle's history, and do not collect any information on previous owners. The information we provide relates solely to the vehicle, its odometer reading, any accidents that have been covered up, where the vehicle comes from and much more — it never gets personal. We've uncovered irreparable damage several times in the past, but other times our vehicle history checks draw a blank — and sometimes that's actually a good thing.

Second Hand — Not Second Best

Did you know that considerably more used cars are sold than new cars? We think this second-hand system is nothing short of fantastic. However, it goes without saying that it gives rise to different methods and tactics: Some sellers will disguise a car that's been in an accident under a fresh coat of paint, tamper with the odometer or conceal theft. This is one of the less appealing aspects of buying second hand. Our goal is to establish trusting relationships between buyers and sellers, since this is the best way to help customers make the right decision. Your new car should be reliable and make you feel safe, as well as make you feel like you haven't paid too much.

But more than anything else, we don't want you or your family unknowingly sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle that isn't 100% safe. This is why we strive to take these vehicles off the road, which not only makes the used car market safer but our streets safer too.

CARFAX — 35+ Years of Experience in Vehicle Histories

CARFAX was founded in the US in 1984 and expanded into Europe in 2007. Around 100 team members spread across six European offices process vehicle information from 22 countries.

Fostering strategic partnerships with registration authorities, law enforcement agencies, government departments, insurance companies, inspection centers and numerous other leading companies around the world has enabled us to compile a unique international database for vehicle histories. We use this database to help make the used car market more transparent. We give everyone in the process of buying a used car access to what is currently the world's most comprehensive source for vehicle history reports, and is growing day by day.

We remain neutral and independent despite our partnerships — our sole purpose is help customers make an informed choice and ensure their safety and the safety of their family. This includes never collecting any personal details — we do not accept any PII from data sources amongst the information we provide about a vehicle. We ensure that data protection laws are observed at all times. Furthermore, we always collect our data in compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks — in all the countries in which we are active. We expressly distance ourselves from illegal activities such as data theft, scraping and hacking.


Convertible hardtop bmw 2 door

No More Hardtops for Convertibles

Revival of the Soft Top— It’s time to lighten your load!

Soft Tops

Traditional cloth roofs are back — and here’s the story!

Fold back and feel the wind in your hair in a convertible!! The fold-able soft top is back with BMW’s all-new 2021 4-Series convertibles. This comes on the heels of two generations of folding hardtops, something the industry is now trending far, far away from. Among its benefits, the soft top weighs less and gives a completely different look and feel! It is one of the main dramatic changes featured in the newer models and represents a first since last used on the E46 model discontinued in 2006.

The benefits made clear/more on the soft top…

The soft top not only provides a look that is different, it has the benefit of allowing for more cargo space within the vehicle itself. In addition, the new soft tops are even lighter than before. The soft top is also intentionally visible on the 4-series and boasts a simpler design that opens and closes faster and is easier to repair if needed. This lighter roof is a favorite of enthusiasts and definitely has clear advantages!

Why the change?

There are several reasons why the switch was made to the soft top. Those include the fact that the BMW 2 Series, 6 Series, Z4 series, and the 8 series already have a soft top. As a a result, BMW seeks to unify its lineup.

Moreover, hard tops bring a complexity and unwanted weight to your vehicle that is absent in a soft top. Hard tops are heavy with support beams, hinges and motors, adding weight in the worst possible spots, which is on top of the car.

A “new” soft top

The soft top has been re-imagined by BMW, offering top NVH values and also representing a removal of the weight from up top. As a result, this means more engaging and precise driving characteristics and a lighter car compared to the hard top model. In addition to it being lighter, the soft top does wonders in terms of exterior style.

The new soft top is taking BMW back to its roots with the famous BMW convertible based on the 3 Series sedan. The industry appears to be trending away from the folding hard tops, with only high-end droptop supercars continuing to utilize them.

“Hard tops bring a complexity and unwanted weight to your vehicle that is absent in a soft top.”

Weighing the pros and cons

While the major benefit of a hard top is the security it provides and the protection from weather, there are downsides which mean “upsides” for the soft top. One is that hardtops are typically more expensive, both to purchase and to repair, if something breaks. In addition, some motorists do not prefer a hardtop because they believe the car loses its “convertible look.” That is another reason BMW has made the switch. In addition, because soft tops usually differ from a vehicle’s exterior color, the soft top convertibles retain the look of a vehicle in which its top goes up and down. Many drivers, especially those paying big money for the convertible as opposed to the coupe, greatly appreciate that detail. They also do provide protection from the elements and are easy to fold back.

Soft tops also tend to be cheaper to fix as they don’t have as many complicated folding parts as the hardtop. They are among the most common style of convertible cars, so this switch was a logical one!

How to maintain the soft top

It is important to clean the top of your convertible thoroughly! Clean your vinyl or fabric top with water and a gentle shampoo, using a brush that has extra soft scratch free bristles. It is also important to use a top spray cleaner, especially if your top is greasy or has dirt that won’t come off with ordinary washing. After you have sprayed your top with a cleaner on the soiled area, use the brush to get rid of the dirt. The next step will be to rinse the top down to make sure all the dirt is removed. Follow that step by applying a protectant once your top is dry. This will keep the UV rays from the sun from fading the color and texture of your top.

Regularly check for leaks on your soft top. If it does start to leak, spray it with convertible top fabric guard, which serves as a water repellant.

“The soft top not only provides a look that is different, it has the benefit of allowing for more cargo space within the vehicle itself.”

More on the updated 4 Series 

In addition to the switch to a soft top, the 4 series boasts a bold design complete with sleek lines and dynamic curves. A true stand out, the convertible will come with design options adding gloss black or chrome accents as well as an Aerodynamic kit to enhance the sporty character. There will be updated LED taillights that are captivating in the nighttime. Exceptional details round out the interior, including ambient lighting.

Currently available as a two-door coupe, a two-door convertible and a four-door lift back Gran Coupe, the 4 Series replaced the 3-series coupe and convertible. The 4-series will be based on the new G20 3-series, which is shaping to be something of a return to form for BMW in driving dynamics. The interior will be modern and host a variety of fresh technology features.

It will ride on BMW’s CLAR architecture and will weigh a lot less than the current model.

But the biggest change is the return to the soft top, something to be embraced by convertible enthusiasts. Lighten your load, fold back the top and feel the wind in your hair! It’s easy to maintain, less expensive overall, and speaks to the look and feel of a true convertible. Soft tops are back! Experience their numerous benefits!

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