There are times when you need a practical, responsible, grown-up car. You know, something that has room for the family and all their stuff. Maybe it’s a truck to get work done or an affordably priced commuter car that gets excellent fuel economy.
Then there are the times when you want to embrace your inner teenager. That’s when you go with a car like the 2021 BMW 430i Convertible.
Of course, your inner teenager could never afford one with its starting price of $53,100. But you’re a grown-up now and if you have the budget, this is a fine way to spend your hard-earned cash.
The BMW 4 Series is available as a coupe or a convertible. It shows off a thorough redesign this year that makes it longer, lower and wider giving it a sleek, sporty appearance. The convertible we spent the week driving attracted plenty of attention for mostly the right reasons. That grille, though — we’ll get to it later.
This is a performance convertible, and it looks and feels the part once you slide behind the wheel. A 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers 255 horsepower to get your heart racing. It’s a wonderfully aggressive convertible with a beautiful and comfortable interior. There’s seating for four people with rear seats that are more useable than you’ll typically find in convertibles; however, it’s still a tight fit.
Let’s get right to it — that grille. BMW has really gone all-in with its kidney grille, and it dominates the front of the 430i Convertible. It’s polarizing so you’re either going to love it or hate it and so will everyone that comments on your car in the grocery store parking lot. Honestly, after a week, we grew to like it.
The biggest exterior change this year is the switch from a hardtop to a soft-top. Not only does this help with weight reduction and cargo room, but it also makes the 430i look more like a convertible at first glance. There’s a significant amount of insulation built into the top, which makes it remarkably quiet when the top is up, even at highway speeds. We imagine it’ll do a fine job of helping the interior stay warm in the winter rather than feeling like you’ve left a window cracked open.
BMW makes luxury cars, so there’s really no such thing as a base 430i. Standard features include power front sport seats with driver’s seat memory, retractable seat belt holders, leatherette seating surfaces and real wood grain trims.
Should you want more luxury in your luxury car and have the budget, then there are numerous upgrades including heated front seats and steering wheel, a neck warmer for those chilly days, and leather seating surfaces. While those do up the luxury factor, they’re by no means required to make this car feel like something special.
The BMW 430i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This will take you from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. Rear-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive available in the form of the 430i xDrive.
Those looking for even more performance have the option of the M440i, which adds an extra $10,900 to your base price. It also adds a 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder with 382 horsepower. Alternately, you can add plenty of M Sport options to the 430i including variable sport steering, an M Sport differential, and M sport brakes with eye-catching blue calipers.
Safety and Technology
Standard driver assistance features include frontal-collision warning, automatic city collision mitigation and braking, active blind-spot detection and lane-departure warning. There’s also front and rear park distance control, automatic high beams, and a rollover protection system that automatically deploys if it detects an imminent rollover.
Infotainment includes an 8.8-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 10-speaker audio system. There’s also an available 10.25-inch touchscreen along with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity, wireless charging and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. It’s easy to use via the screen, touchpad controller, or rotary knob on the center console. There’s also gesture control, but it’s a bit wonky and does make you look a bit like you’re waving your hands around like a lunatic.
The BMW 430i is a heck of a lot of fun to drive. It has a responsive and aggressive powertrain that makes getting up to highway speeds a joy when you mash the gas pedal. It manages its power smoothly and evenly with a well-timed transmission that upshifts and downshifts at just the right moment. There’s also more than enough power leftover for highway passing.
Despite its aggressive nature, the 430i remains composed. Handling is crisp and responsive without requiring too much exertion. This is a luxury car, after all, and that means keeping the driver and passengers comfortable and unruffled. Well, except for that whole convertible hair look which you’ll just have to embrace.
2021 BMW 430i Convertible specifications:
|Dimension||L: 187.9 inches/W: 72.9 inches/H: 54.6 inches/Wheelbase: 112.2 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine; 8-speed automatic RWD transmission|
|Fuel Economy||24 mpg city/33 mpg highway/27 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $53,100; As tested: $67,220 including $995 destination and delivery charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
If you’re looking for a powerful convertible that swaddles its passengers in comfort, then the BMW 430i should be on your list. Although it’s not the most affordable option, it manages to deliver a luxury experience without an overly exorbitant starting price. Add in good standard features and a back seat that actually holds two adults, and you have a convertible that makes summer days twice as fun.
2021 BMW 430i Convertible — Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a BMW 4 Series cost?
The BMW 4 Series starts at $45,600 for the coupe or $53,100 for the convertible.
Is there a hardtop BMW 4-Series convertible?
No. The hardtop on the BMW 4-Series was last produced for the 2020 model year. It’s now available only as a soft top.
What does xDrive mean?
This is the name for the all-wheel-drive system used by BMW.