IF there is one thing better than an enjoyable walk in Derbyshire’s beautiful Peak District on a sunny early Spring day it is driving through it in BMW’s latest convertible car with the roof down writes Bryan Longworth.
For I was able to enjoy such a spectacular fresh air drive in the new BMW 2 Series Convertible which has just gone on sale and replaces the 1 Series Convertible that was the most successful car in its class.
Immediately after getting into the driving seat on my first day with the car I was able to enjoy the warm Spring sunshine within 20 seconds at the touch of a button for that is all the time it takes to lower the folding soft top and this can also be done on the move at speeds up to 30mph although it could be a bit distracting opening up whilst on the move.
I was in the 220d Sport Convertible with the new 190bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine driving the rear wheels that had a top speed of 140mph a zero to 62mph time of 7.5 seconds and a combined fuel consumption of 60.1mpg.
The 2 Series Convertible is longer and wider with a longer wheelbase than the model it has replaced that means enhanced passenger access and space and also it is even more stylish especially at the front were it is much sleeker as was proved by the admiring looks and favourable comments when it was parked.
With the folding and very well insulated soft top being stored in the boot when the car is in open top mode load space is rather restricted but still good for such a car and is 30 litres more than the previous model being the largest in class.
Access to the rear seats is improved but the rear will be cramped for taller passengers although I am sure this car will mainly be used as a two seater and the one or two people up front will have some very roomy and enjoyable motoring for £29,965 on the road.
The new diesel engine with its balancer shafts is a refined performer producing more power and torque than the previous unit and with the six speed manual transmission the engine which has CO2 emissions of 124g/km provided quite sporty motoring and linked to BMWs legendary steering and handling could well be the most popular of the four power units available.
There is a very luxurious and comfortable leather clad interior that looks really impressive and controls and instruments are among the best in the business as they always have been in BMW cars which have been among my favourites since I started writing about motoring many moons ago.
The iDrive controller that accesses the various control systems linked to a 6.5 inch display screen is now very user friendly unlike the very early versions that were a nightmare and even I managed to find my favourite radio station in less than a minute but I was pleased that the climate controls were manually operated.
While the rear bench seat has plenty of seating space leg room is restricted as mentioned earlier and although access to the rear has been improved it can still be rather difficult getting in and out especially with the roof up
This latest Beemer convertible is great fun to drive especially with the roof down on those bendy Peak District roads and is much more stylish than the 1 Series Convertible providing BMW with a much more competitive car to take on the opposition in this premium open top sector especially their German rival the Audi A3 Cabriolet.
Verdict: A drop-top to die for.
Model: BMW 2 Series 220d Sport Convertible.
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Top speed: 140mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 7.5 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 60.1mpg.
CO2 emissions: 124g/km.