Clear-eyed competence, pragmatic dynamic talent and an overriding emphasis on good sense are the most laudable qualities of this new BMW.

Offering greater usability, economy, refinement and convenience than before, the compact BMW 2 Series drop-top has unquestionably matured. If anything, it may have grown up too quickly.

The 2 Series Convertible is a well-judged open-top cruiser

The 2 Series Convertible is a more desirable car than most it’s up against, and this one has an engine with numerous qualities. But its cabin is little more rich or expressive than those of BMW’s small saloons and hatchbacks, and its handling does little to arouse interest.

In the final reckoning, a lack of sporting edge is the most serious criticism that we can level at what the 220d does, although the M240i does its best to rectify that void.

However, given that we’re not entirely convinced by all that the car is – because somehow it’s a less imaginative and special machine than the segment deserves – it cannot quite rank as a class leader.