What's the used BMW 4 Series sports like?
Yes, it's been around for some time, but if you want a suave four-seat convertible from one of Germany's sportiest brands this could be just the used car for you.
The extra weight also means the engines receive a harder time, so if your idea of a BMW convertible means having something powerful it’s worth opting for one of the six-cylinder units such as the 435i or 430d if budget allows, rather than the four-cylinder 420i, 428i, 420d or 425d. You can also have a high-performance M4 version, with 444bhp. We’d also recommend going for the smooth-shifting automatic gearbox rather than the six-speed manual, which can be notchy to use.
On the road, BMW’s six-cylinder petrol engines have a reputation for being smooth-running and, sure enough, life is suitably hushed once you’ve got the 430i and 440i up to speed, even when the roof is down. The 420d is quite noisy, especially when revved hard, although this is rarely necessary because it pulls strongly from low revs. And since you're unlikely to be bothered by any of the engines when the roof is up, we'd be tempted to go for the 420d for its lower running costs.
Wind noise is kept to a minimum, and while there's some buffeting with the roof down, it's only in the back that it makes life uncomfortable. Road noise is more of an issue.
The 4 Series Convertible’s steering is accurate, but the car’s weight means it’s not entirely happy with sudden, rapid changes of direction. It is comfortable, though; even in stiffer M Sport trim, the suspension does a decent job of dealing with road imperfections.
Ride comfort is pretty good and front-seat occupants are well protected from the wind, even at motorway speeds. There is, however, rather a lot of road noise whether the roof is up or down and anybody who sits in the small rear seats will be both cramped and battered by the wind. Worse still, if you want to use the wind deflector, it means giving up the rear seats altogether due to the way it clips into place. It makes the C-Class Cabriolet look thoroughly practical by comparison.