Convertible buyers are accustomed to paying a premium and the open-top version of the 220d is almost £3k more than the equivalent coupé.

Add metallic paint and leather and the car starts on the wrong side of £30k. Get seriously busy with the extensive option list and – as our test car proves – it’s just possible that you won’t see much change from £40k.

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
Previous experience has taught us that it's possible to get close to BMW's claimed mpg with careful use.

That broad price bracket absorbs plenty of competitors, although it’s very likely that BMW will consider cars like the 181bhp 2.0 TDI-powered A3 Cabriolet S line as its natural rival.

We'd ditch many of the features on our test car's spec list. However, items like the split-folding rear seats, wind deflector and heated front seats add convenience - so much so that you wonder why they're not included to begin with.

The 220d proves cheaper if less well equipped than Audi’s popular range-topping spec. In two-wheel-drive manual format, the Audi claims slightly superior fuel economy, too. That said, at 61.4mpg combined, BMW’s new engine proves that parsimony remains one of its core values.

Objective True MPG testing reduced that to 49.6mpg, but previous experience has taught us that it’s possible to get close to BMW’s claims on the road with careful use.

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That the A3 is also ahead on CO2 – 114g/km versus 124g/km – may be more damaging for the BMW, but only in that it obliges the private buyers who make up the majority of convertible owners to part with £110 rather than £30 for road tax.

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