2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Review: Topless And Tail-Happy

by Deiondre van der Merwe

The BMW 2 Series Convertible's small stature hides a treasure trove of fun and luxury. Aside from offering a feisty performance model in the M240i that produces 335 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged inline-six, this is one of the most economical and luxurious convertibles in the US. Of course, owning a convertible isn't always rainbows and roses. The cabins can be slightly noisy, they cost far more than their fixed-roof counterparts and their handling abilities usually suffer because of the structural change. The 2 Series suffers minimally in these areas, though, and as a compact rear-wheel-drive drop-top (with AWD optional), it's a joy to pilot. With sales of compact coupes and convertibles dwindling, however, the soft-top 2 Series may have a limited future, and we may not see an all-new version when the next-gen 2 Series debuts for 2022. With no direct rivals, the 2er goes up against the Audi TT Roadster, vying for a spot in the hearts of open-air driving enthusiasts.

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 2 Series Convertible?

Given that the 2 Series Convertible's time is running out, potentially due for replacement after a new 2 Series Coupe in 2022, the 2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible serves as a carryover model with the only notable change being a $750 increase in the convertible's base price.

Pros and Cons

  • Punchy engine options
  • Variety of models
  • Open-air driving
  • Comfortable interior
  • Impressive handling
  • No four-seat rivals left anymore
  • Noisy cabin
  • Trunk space is limited
  • The rear seats are cramped
  • Available manual transmission isn't the best

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
230i Convertible
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$41,850
230i xDrive Convertible
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Other
$43,850
M240i Convertible
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$50,950
M240i xDrive Convertible
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Other
$52,950

2 Series Convertible Exterior

The 2 Series Convertible is attractive, right from the base level to the top trim in the range, though the latter is undeniably more appealing in terms of its exterior design. 230i models get LED lighting for both the front and the rear and sit on a set of 17-inch wheels. The addition of bigger 18-inch wheels differentiates the sport-focused M240i variants, as do the M Sport body kit (optional on lower trims) and kidney grilles with a Cerium Grey-coated frame rather than the gloss black color on the 230i. Both models come with a soft-top roof and no hardtop options are available.

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Front View BMW
2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Side View BMW
2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Rear View BMW
See All 2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Photos

Dimensions

In terms of dimensions, the 2 Series Convertible is larger than the TT Roadster. It has a length of 174.7 inches in base form, increasing by 1.2 inches for the M240i. All models have a 69.8-inch width, but the M240i sits lower than the 230i. The former stands at 55.2 inches, while the latter has a height of 55.6 inches. At its lightest, the 230i has a curb weight of 3,735 pounds and the heaviest spec, the M240i xDrive, weighs in at 3,999 lbs.

  • Length 174.7 in
  • Wheelbase 105.9 in
  • Height 55.6 in
  • Max Width 69.8 in
  • Front Width 59.9 in
  • Rear Width 61.3 in

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Colors

  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic
  • Mineral Grey Metallic
  • Estoril Blue Metallic
  • Long Beach Blue Metallic
  • Sunset Orange Metallic
  • Melbourne Red Metallic
  • Alpine White
  • Jet Black

2 Series Convertible Performance

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Left Front Three-Quarter Dynamic BMW
2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Rear View Driving BMW
2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Rear Bumper Closeup BMW

Engine and Transmission

The 2 Series Convertible lineup caters to two different kinds of shoppers. The first half would be those looking for a stylish drop-top with adequate performance that doesn't eat away at the fuel budget. Both 230i models are powered by a punchy 2.0-liter turbo mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission; the four-pot produces 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft torque, allowing for a 5.6 second run from 0 to 60 mph regardless of whether it's equipped with rear- or all-wheel drive. This is slightly slower than the TT Roadster's 5.5-second achievement. For those who fight for their right to speed, the M-massaged M240i models are the way to go. These eager cabrios enlist the help of a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six to get the job done. And boy, does it take the task seriously. It comes standard with the eight-speed auto transmission, but a six-speed manual can be had at no extra cost on the RWD M240i. With 335 hp and 368 lb-ft, the straight-six enables a 0-60 mph run of just 4.5 seconds, though the m240i xDrive drops this figure marginally to 4.4 seconds. All models have a top speed of 130 mph, but those with performance tires and an increased top speed limiter can reach between 149 and 155 mph, depending on the derivative.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    Other, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

We've mentioned before that the convertible versions of coupe models usually sacrifice some handling as a result of heavier curb weights and a less rigid chassis. Somehow, engineers at BMW have managed to defy this expectation with modern witchcraft. The 2 Series is an enjoyable little rocket, even with the base powertrain. The ride quality isn't plush, and road noise inevitably makes its way into the cabin, but those are the only gripes worth noting. The rest of the experience is impressive, thanks to direct and responsive steering, and the 2 Series doesn't shy away at the thought of a twisty road. Sure, the higher trims are better all-rounders with adaptive suspension and various drive modes to choose from, but they are all immensely capable. Switching to Sport and Sport+ driving modes welcomes a firmer ride and better throttle response, inciting some excitement for those who value performance over comfort. Regardless of spec, these drop-tops are a hoot, and the RWD nature gives the 2 Series an edge that an Audi TT can't match.

2 Series Convertible Gas Mileage

BMW has a remarkable tendency to produce punchy engines that somehow sip fuel at an incredibly frugal rate. Although the EPA had not announced 2021 figures at the time of this writing, these shouldn't differ from 2020's. Most economical of the bunch is the base-level 230i that returns EPA estimates of 23/34/27 mpg city/highway/combined. The xDrive version drops these figures significantly to 21/31/24 mpg. Notably, these figures are slightly worse when compared to the TT Roadster's 23/31/26 mpg. Both M240i models return estimates of 22/30/25 mpg with the automatic transmission equipped. As a penalty for the added engagement of a manual gearbox, the six-speed M240i is the thirstiest with 19/27/22 mpg figures. With the 13.7-gallon fuel tank at full capacity, you can expect around 370 miles from the base model 230i, and 342 miles from M240i models.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.7 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 23/33 mpg
* 2021 BMW 2 Series 230i Convertible

2 Series Convertible Interior

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Dashboard Layout BMW
2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Armrest BMW
2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Interior Wooden Trim BMW
See All 2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The 2 Series does its best to squeeze in an extra two passengers in an effort to offer a compact four-seater convertible. We'll give them an A for effort, but we wouldn't recommend sticking your friends in the back seats, at least not if you're fond of them. The front is a different story, offering an impressive amount of space with abundant headroom and legroom that makes even six-footers feel right at home. All models come standard with ten-way power-adjustable sport seats with driver memory, though the M240i gets added four-way lumbar support for the front seats as standard. M240i models also get exclusive access to Estoril Blue interior highlights and aluminum trim as standard. Seating is comfortable and supportive, with two-way adjustable side bolsters and added thigh support.

  • Seating capacity
    4-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.5 in
  • Front Head Room 40.5 in
  • Rear Leg Room 31.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.0 in

2 Series Convertible Trunk and Cargo Space

You don't buy a convertible with the expectation that practicality is part of the package. The folding roof steals most of the rear space, cutting the total cargo space down to 11.8 cubic feet, which is actually quite impressive when you consider the fact that the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang convertibles offer 7.3 and 11.4 cubes respectively. BMW makes a valiant effort and manages to beat the TT Roadster's measly 7.5 cubes as well.

As for in-cabin storage, a decent glovebox will allow for small items, and slim door pockets will do for smartphones. The center console provides storage under the armrest while a rubberized phone tray houses the optional wireless charging. Two cup holders are standard and there are seatback pockets for the poor chap stuck in the rear.

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Luggage Space BMW
2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Rear Headrest BMW
2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Rear Passenger Seats BMW
  • Trunk Volume
    11.8 ft³

2 Series Convertible Infotainment and Features

Features

The 2 Series Convertible is less modern in terms of features than some of its siblings. No digital instrument cluster is available, but up-to-the-minute tech aside, all models are appropriately laden with features. 230i models come with push-button start, automatic climate control, cruise control, a multifunction steering wheel, and ten-way power-adjustable seats. Standard safety features on the base model include a rearview camera, dynamic cruise control, and park distance control, as well as frontal collision warning and lane departure warning.

M240i variants are upgraded with the addition of a leather-clad M-sport steering wheel, four-way lumbar support for the front seats, a hands-free trunk, and keyless entry. Ambient lighting is the last notable addition. Optionally available extras include heated seats for both models, a heated steering wheel, active cruise control, and wireless device charging.

Infotainment

The tech in all models is acceptable, though the infotainment is another area where the 2 Series' age becomes apparent and it starts to fall behind competitors. A 6.5-inch touchscreen equipped with iDrive software is easy to use and simply laid-out. Android Auto isn't available at all, but Apple CarPlay is standard across the lineup. The system also enables HD Radio and SiriusXM functionality as well as Bluetooth streaming and AM/FM radio. A navigation system leads the way when specced as an option on both models with real-time traffic information. Both trim levels push audio through a seven-speaker sound system, though a premium 12-speaker Harman Kardon system is optionally available for $875.

2 Series Convertible Problems and Reliability

The 2 Series fares well in terms of reliability ratings, and the 2021 model hasn't been the subject of a recall as yet. As for the 2020 model, it was recalled for a single issue relating to the knee airbags not deploying properly. Should any issues arise, BMW offers a four-year or 50,000-mile basic warranty and a 12-year corrosion warranty. Roadside assistance is also valid for four years and an unlimited mileage period.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

2 Series Convertible Safety

While there are no reviews from the NHTSA or the IIHS for the convertible variant, the IIHS has given the coupe version a score of Good in every test relating to crashworthiness. The roof strength score doesn't relate to the convertible variant, but other safety aspects should remain the same. Safety features on all models include a rearview camera, park distance control, and lane departure warning as well as frontal collision warning. Active cruise control can be added for $1,200, while the Parking Assistant package can be added for $200. The standard airbag set-up includes front, seat-mounted front-side and knee airbags.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible a good car?

The 2 Series Convertible is impressive by quite a few measures, but falls short of the mark on several others. Starting with the good, these BMWs are extremely fun to drive. They tackle bends like professionals and both powertrains put out some decent grunt. The 230i models are efficient and well-mannered, and sporty M240i variants are undeniably exciting. The thing is, in today's industry, the perfect drop-top title can only be awarded to products that tick all of the boxes. The 2 Series doesn't exactly achieve that, and its old infotainment system and limited driver assists are to blame for that. It's becoming more evident why BMW considered axing the project for the 2021 model year, so we may be seeing the last of the sassy convertible this year. With all flaws considered, the 2 Series is hardly an inadequate car. It's elegant and luxurious; it could just do with an injection of modern tech.

🚘What's the Price of the BMW 2 Series Convertible?

The starting price of the 2 Series Convertible is significantly lower than the TT Roadster, but it's worth remembering that the latter has more to offer in terms of standard-fitted indulgences. The entry-level 230i has a base price of $41,850, while the xDrive variant bumps the cost up to $43,850. There's a significant jump in price when moving to the $50,950 M240i. This sticker increases to $52,950 for the M240i xDrive. All prices are exclusive of the $995 destination fee.

See All 2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Trims and Specs

🚗What BMW 2 Series Convertible Model Should I Buy?

There are technically four configurations to choose from in the USA, but there are truly only two trims, with the two extra trims simply adding AWD to the mix under the xDrive banner. If your main goal is to own an efficient little convertible that offers luxury and decent performance, the 230i is the one for you. However, if you're after serious performance and a more aggressive image, the M240i is perfect. Purists have the choice of opting for the manual on the RWD derivative, which is an excellent choice if your fuel bills are of no concern to you. The manual 'box is solely available for the RWD M240i, which isn't a massive downside. The xDrive system is only truly necessary for those who require extra all-weather capability - but then why shop for a convertible at all?

Check out other BMW 2 Series Styles

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible Comparisons

Audi TT Roadster Audi
BMW 4 Series Convertible BMW
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
BMW 2 Series Convertible248 hp23/33 mpg$41,850
Audi TT Roadster 220 hp23/31 mpg$49,000
BMW 4 Series Convertible 248 hp23/34 mpg$53,100

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible vs Audi TT Roadster

The two German-made drop-tops have a notable number of similarities, but they each bring very different attributes to the segment. The TT Roadster's starting MSRP is around $7,000 higher, despite producing nearly identical power outputs to the 230i. Both generate 258 lb-ft of torque, but the BMW has a 20-hp advantage in the power stakes. Arguably, the TT is the more attractive of the two in terms of exterior design, and has a better interior. Audi has a different tech approach, though, and integrates the infotainment screen within the digital instrument cluster. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the 2 Series doesn't even make a digital cluster available. The BMW can also feel quite outdated on the inside. The TT Roadster may be the more expensive of the two, but it's the winner of this competition for its modern feel. That said, purists will enjoy the BMW's RWD thrills and available manual gearbox.

See Audi TT Roadster Review

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible vs BMW 4 Series Convertible

The 2 Series and the 4 Series come from the same family, so it's not particularly surprising that they share similarities. They share the same 2.0-liter turbo in their base models, even though the 4 Series is significantly larger. It's worth noting that the 2021 4 Series will be all-new, so we're comparing the 2 Series to the 2020 model here. Interestingly, of the 40i variants, the M240i has a more powerful turbocharged 3.0-liter engine in comparison to the 440i, with the former producing 335 hp and 369 lb-ft and the latter managing 320 hp and 330 lb-ft. Both of these interiors are a little outdated compared to the rest of BMW's range, but the 4 Series offers more space. It's likely that the 2 Series will find its home in the driveway of a well-off teenager or enthusiast for its compact nature, but the 4 Series is more suitable for a mid-life crisis purchase.

See BMW 4 Series Convertible Review

BMW 2 Series Convertible Popular Comparisons

21
Photos
$41,850 - $52,950
Price Range (MSRP)
BMW 2 Series Convertible