If you enjoy driving for the sake of it and you live on, or close to, the Pacific coast, it's hard to imagine anything more fantastic than driving along on the coast on a sunny summer day in a convertible with the top down. Although this can be done relatively cheaply with an older, used drop top, if you fancy buying something new and you like your luxury, a convertible often used to be a pretty expensive option. That's not necessarily the case today though, as many luxury manufacturers are expanding their ranges to include convertible versions of models towards the entry level. In the case of BMW, that means the 2 Series, so let's investigate what top down summer driving is like in the one of the 2017 BMW 2 Series Convertibles.
About the 2 Series
It's easy and also possibly a little lazy too, to just see the BMW 2 Series as the smallest and therefore the most inexpensive car in the current BMW range here in America. That would be more than a little unfair though, as this is a car that deserves to be looked at for what it actually is as a car in its own right, rather than just the cheapest way to get into a new BMW. Although the 3 Series is the lineal successor to the legendary BMW 2002 that basically defined the entire "sports sedan" segment, it's really the 2 Series that deserves to be seen as its true successor. That's because as well as sharing part of its name and the two-door body style with its predecessor, the 2 Series probably embodies the spirit of pure driving thrills that enthusiasts yearn for better than even the 3 Series does these days.
Let's get the lowdown on the top down
The Pacific Coast Highway is a fantastic road for driving enthusiasts in its own right, but some of the scenery along the way makes it a truly breathtaking experience, especially Big Sur, just south of Monterey. To really enjoy it and get the most out of it while you’re actually doing the driving, dropping the roof is an experience not to be missed. As you may know, some BMWs favor a folding metal roof while others stick with a soft top, and the current 2 Series goes with the latter. This might not be such a good thing for buyers in areas of the world where winter can bring plenty of snow and ice where a hard roof would probably be preferable, but its fine here in sunny California and a soft top does have its advantages. A soft top weighs a whole lot less than a hard roof, which only adds to the superb driving characteristics of the 2 Series Convertible. In the case of the 2 Series, the roof can be dropped and folded away at the touch of a button in just 20 seconds and at speeds of up to 30 mph. When rain does threaten and it needs putting back up, that only takes a matter of 30 seconds.
What models are there?
There are four different versions of the current 2 Series Convertible, which start with the 230i and then go upwards to the 230i xDrive, the M240i and finally the M240i xDrive, with xDrive models being all-wheel drive as opposed to the regular rear-wheel drive format. The 230s have a 2.0-liter inline-four under the hood that produces a handy 248 horsepower, while the 240s rock a 3.0-liter six-cylinder that puts out an impressive 335 horsepower.
The drive from San Francisco to San Diego along the coast is a trip every driving enthusiast should look to undertake at some point, and it can be made into a vacation that will never be forgotten. To make the very most of it, a 2017 BMW 2 Series convertible from BMW of San Francisco is a great investment, and with prices starting from as little as $38,950, you can now enjoy BMW open-top luxury driving for less than you may have imagined.