From £26,090
Not quite as sharp as the coupe, but 3-series is the best four-seat cabrio on the market.

Our Verdict

 BMW 3 Series Coupé

The BMW 3 Series Coupe is stylish, recently updated and has an unrivalled blend of performance and economy

Allan Muir
17 January 2007

What's new?

Fourth generation of the 3-series convertible gets a folding hard-top for the first time, which means added comfort and security to go with the style.

What's it like to drive?

Even BMW admits that this isn't as much of a driver's car as normal for them. What it is is a beautifully engineered open cruiser, with a softer ride and a more laid-back attitude than the coupe.

The chassis is impressively rigid and the three-piece roof folds away in 22sec to create a genuinely pleasant open-air experience. Roof down there's the odd little tremor through the helm, and the extra 200kg it carries (compared with the coupe) is noticeable even with the storming twin-turbo six up front, but no other affordable four-seat convertible comes close to matching this for all-round ability and usability.

Should I buy one?

The coupe is a sharper, more rewarding car to drive, but anyone in the market for an open four-seater can't go past this. It's got the style AND the talent.

Join the debate

Comments
4

3 January 2008

I've had the 325 version since March and apart from a couple of reliability issues it is a very competent and comfortable car. We took it to Italy for 3 weeks in the summer and thoroughly enjoyed the handling and performance on the Italian B roads. The hard top gives a feeling of security and it is much nicer than a soft top in winter. Overall this car is a step up from the previous (e46) convertible and I think better looking. AG

7 January 2008

We had a look at the 335 Convertible to replace our E46 330Ci Sport.

We were very dissappointed with it's fairly ugly look with the roof up and let down by the total lack of boot space with the roof down.

On the E46 we could still fit 2 sets of golf clubs in the boot with the roof down, in the new car you can't even fit one set in.

The new car is also very expensive compared to the old one.

They should have stuck to a canvas roof - big mistake BMW.

25 January 2008

Don't understand convertibles. I had an SLK hire car while on business in Germany last year. I did not book an SLK, I was upgraded at Frankfurt Airport. I was away for 3 days and got totally sick of the lack of boot space while the roof was down and was bored with the whole convertible concept.

Utterly pointless.

25 January 2008

[quote Jon Hardcastle]

Don't understand convertibles. I had an SLK hire car while on business in Germany last year. I did not book an SLK, I was upgraded at Frankfurt Airport. I was away for 3 days and got totally sick of the lack of boot space while the roof was down and was bored with the whole convertible concept.

Utterly pointless.

[/quote]

It's a masochistic thing - you either get turned on by it or it just causes pain and discomfort.

My first experience in a convertible was a Morgan that left me with serious sun and wind burn because I gave my cap to my wife who was driving and forgot hers. My beanie hat (I always carry a spare hat) only covered half my forehead and the uncovered area of skin is still a different colour to the rest of my forehead nearly 4 years later.

We loved the experience so much we bought our first convertible (new shape MX5 sport) a few months ago - kinky huh?!

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