This new-found sense of style doesn’t detract from the driving experience, though, as the 2 Series Convertible is still great fun to drive. There’s bags of grip on offer, plenty of feedback from the chassis and a reasonably comfortable ride that makes it an impressive all-rounder.
To improve the 2 Series Convertible’s handling over its 1 Series predecessor, BMW added extra strengthening. As a result, the body shell is around 20 per cent stiffer than before, meaning body wobble is kept to a minimum, again aiding performance and refinement.
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Practicality isn’t too bad for a small convertible, with a good sized boot and two small rear seats to offer extra space. Most of the interior is carried over from the 2 Series Coupe, in fact, meaning the Convertible is a comfortable cruiser, helped by a new triple-layer insulated roof that keeps road noise to a minimum.
There are seven engines to choose from, ranging from a entry-level three-cylinder to the range topping diesels and hot M240i. The mid-spec 220d is an excellent choice though, offering plenty of pace (matching the similarly-priced 220i petrol), but returning over 60mpg.
Beware the quick-sounding 230i, however, as it actually uses the same turbocharged 2.0-litre engine (albeit with more power) as the 220i, yet is barely any faster. There are SE, Sport and M-Sport trim levels available, with the most expensive models adding even more style with bigger wheels and a sporty body kit.
This is even with the optional adjustable suspension dampers linked to BMW’s Drive Performance Control system set to Comfort, although the ride has a nice soft edge and feels controlled. But again, only on super-smooth roads.
However, despite this dynamic downside there is still lots of grip on offer. The BMW’s steering is light – even in the Sport setting – but it’s not devoid of feel, so you can gauge what the front and rear wheels are doing.
The 2 Series Convertible serves up nicely balanced handling, allowing you to adjust the car’s cornering line with the accelerator and steering. However, the 1 Series underpinnings are obvious, and the soft-top 2 Series feels more like a modified hatchback to drive than an out-and-out sports car.
There’s a wide range of engines on offer, meaning there should be something to suit all preferences. The petrol line-up now starts with the three-cylinder 218i, moving up through the four-cylinder 220i and 230i, through to the top-spec M240i, which uses a six-cylinder unit with 335bhp. It’s a superb engine, with a great soundtrack and smooth power delivery.
If you’re after a diesel (and a lot of buyers still are) there’s an entry-level 218d with 148bhp, which offers decent performance and good fuel economy. The 220d diesel represents the best compromise, however, as with 187bhp and 400Nm of torque it has plenty of performance and is very nearly as efficient. There’s a top-spec 225d, too.