What is it?
The BMW 2 Series Convertible is the third addition to the 2 Series range, and it is tasked with offering a slightly more sensible take on the small soft-top than its 1 Series predecessor.
There is nothing radically different about this car at first glance, not in the way that the recently introduced 2 Series Active Tourer is radical anyway, but this new Convertible is larger and more practical than its predecessor in almost all directions. It's longer, wider, has a bigger boot and more in the way of practical touches.
It also comes with an M235i performance version for the first time, although what we're driving is the second one down in the petrol engine line-up: the 228i.
Although there will be a choice of Sport, Luxury and M Sport trim levels on the 2 Series Convertible, this engine comes in only M Sport trim, and it is available with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions.
What's it like?
The engine in this 2 Series Convertible is the same one you get in the 3 Series, among others.
It's certainly quick; 0-62mph is covered in 6.0 seconds if you go for the automatic gearbox, and it has a limited top speed of 155mph. Our test drive was on Texan roads, so there was no chance of getting anywhere near those sort of speeds, although it felt sprightly away from the mark. This is aided by the swift-shifting eight-speed transmission, which will either let you blast rapidly through the ratios, or sit quietly in the background barely alerting you to its presence.
It's a remarkably quiet engine; unfortunately there is little to nothing in the way of evocative noise from the motor or the exhaust to do that sort of pace justice. On the positive side, it means the cabin is remarkably hushed. BMW says this car is five decibels quieter up front compared to the old 1 Series drop-top, and with the roof up you can chat away almost as easily as in a tin-topped car.
There is a wind-deflector that slots into the rear of the cabin, but if you have to carry passengers, or just fancy dropping the roof without fiddling around and fitting the deflector, the cabin is sheltered enough to not worry on short trips.