Though it’s accused of an over indulgence in ‘derivative’ styling, the 2018 BMW 230i Convertible is arguably the best looking family member in the German carmakers local lineup.

A gorgeous thing by any measure the small four-seat convertible really stands out with the fabric roof setting it all off.

Too many manufacturers have gone to folding hardtop convertibles but they just don’t have the ‘romance’ of a real soft top.

bmw 2 series convertibleThis one has a triple layer roof so it’s soundproof and stylish though a bit slow to fold. However, you can perform the latter manoeuvre at speeds up to 50km/h.

BMW recently revised the 2-Series including the 230i with styling and equipment tweaks and the M Sport spec’ test car ran 18″ alloys, sports steering and suspension and bigger brakes.

It’s not quite a ridgey didge M car but is getting there especially with a punchy 2.0-litre turbo four cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet driving the rear wheels through a limited slip diff behind the eight speed auto transmission.

It spins out 185kW and 350Nm… sufficient to push the little `style meister’ from 0-100kmh in a quickish 5.8 seconds.

The turbo is a more efficient twin scroll unit that helps the high tech engine achieve a creditable 6.0-litres/100km fuel economy as well as pass EU6 emissions.

On The Plus Side:

  • Sexy styling
  • Luxury
  • Sporty drive feel
  • Four seater
  • Decent boot
  • Strong engine performance
  • Relatively economical
  • Advanced driver assist technology
  • True soft top
  • Safe
  • Practical for a sports car

Not So Much:

  • Slow folding roof
  • Needs 98 for best results
  • Doesn’t get full driver assist package
  • Price is creeping up

Being a soft top means the 230i convertible has roll over protection – essentially a pop up roll bar at the rear of the passenger compartment.

There’s a decent amount of advanced driver assist technology too and BMW’s excellent ConnectedDrive infotainment system.

Handy kit includes rain sensing wipers and auto LED headlights.

The test car looked amazing in the pale blue with light brown leather upholstery.

On the road the 230i is an engaging drive offering up sharp dynamics and plenty of performance.

bmw 2 series convertible 2018It’s a true sports car – only with four seats. There’s even a stirring snarl from the exhaust and eight drive options to dial in your type of driving requirements.

No lightweight at 1500 kilos, the BMW 230i convertible feels nimble and satisfying to drive at all times.

And the looks, well, I have already shown my hand on that subject.

Facts and Figures: 2018 BMW 230i Convertible

  • Engine: 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder petrol 185kW/350Nm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Origin: Germany
  • Price: from $74,400