Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The four-cylinder diesel engines have enough performance for most situations. The 220d can reach 62mph from rest in around 7.0sec and is decently punchy at low revs, but even the lower-powered 118d isn’t slow.
The range-topping M240i, meanwhile, is seriously fast. The three-cylinder 218i and four-cylinder 220i and 230i petrols lower down the range aren’t sluggish either, but do have to be worked a little harder for a quick turn of pace. BMW's eight-speed automatic gearbox (optional on most models) is excellent. Its shifts are rapid and smooth, and it kicks down a gear exactly when you want it to. The six-speed manual gearbox, on the other hand, is notchy between first and second gears.
BMW’s four-cylinder diesel engines have a good reputation for efficiency, but they're less impressive when it comes to noise. Those fitted to the 2 Series Convertible are no exception. The ones in the 118d and 220d settle down a bit once they are warmed up, but they still cause a din when pushed hard and you feel too much vibration through the wheel and pedals.
However, the petrol unit in the M240i is super-smooth and makes a great noise at full throttle, but fades to a discreet hum when cruising. In all 2 Series Convertibles, with the roof down wind protection is good for those in the front seats, if a little more blustery for those in the back. Roof-up, there’s little wind and road noise across the range.