2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Review: Throw Caution To The Wind

by Deiondre van der Merwe

The change in name might suggest otherwise, but the 8 Series Convertible is BMW's replacement for the 6 Series. Much more than just that, however, it's done the job so well that it's slowly erasing the memory of its discontinued sibling entirely. Available with one of two engines, you can opt for the 335-horsepower six-cylinder or the 523-hp V8 for the drop-top, but either way you look at it, both are superb. The sprawling convertible packs luxury and tech into a very attractive proposition, making the soon-to-be-defunct Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible work that much harder for the attention of wealthy open-air driving enthusiasts. The competition is tight in this segment, especially when prices skyrocket into the six-figure range. Is the Bavarian machine worth it? You'll find out.

Read in this review:

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 8 Series Convertible?

The 2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible has only been given some minor upgrades in comparison to the 2020 lineup, a roster that welcomed new six-cylinder models to the fray. The standard equipment on all models now includes SiriusXM with 360L and lane departure warning. The M Sport Package also costs $300 less for 2021. Several options have been removed, like the Driving Assistance Package 2, Sonic Speed Blue paint, and the night vision camera.

Pros and Cons

  • Two stellar engine options
  • Terrific eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Plush ride quality
  • A good number of standard features
  • Absolutely rapid in M850i guise
  • Interior is a bit bland for the price
  • Headroom is slightly compromised
  • The back seat is cramped

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
840i Convertible
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$97,400
840i xDrive Convertible
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Other
$100,300
M850i xDrive Convertible
4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Other
$121,400

8 Series Convertible Exterior

The BMW 8 Series is not your average drop-top; the combination of suave styling and large dimensions gives it an authority on the road. Seeing this particular set of LED headlights in your rearview mirror is pretty intimidating, and the wide grille sets the front end of the exterior off perfectly. The rear end is just as slick, thanks to a set of upturned LED taillights and a pair of geometric tailpipes that sit beneath them. M850i models get sportier front and rear lower fascia, bigger exhaust openings, and 20-inch wheels in comparison to the base model's 18-inch set. There are also multiple colors to choose from for the exterior.

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Front View BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Rear View BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Open Top BMW
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Dimensions

The 8 Series Convertible is notably smaller than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible, especially in terms of length. The Bavarian cruiser measures 191.1 inches from snout to tail at base level and has an 84.1-inch width with the mirrors included. 840i models are 52.7 inches tall, while M850i models increase the height slightly to 53 inches. At its lightest, the 8 Series Convertible weighs 4,211 pounds, and at its heaviest, it has a curb weight of 4,736 lbs.

  • Length 191.1 in
  • Wheelbase 111.1 in
  • Height 52.7 in
  • Max Width 74.9 in
  • Front Width 64.1 in
  • Rear Width 64.6 in

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Exterior Colors

  • Individual Dravit Grey Metallic, Priority 1.
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Priority 1.
  • Individual Aventurin Red Metallic, Priority 1.
  • Individual Dravit Grey Metallic, Priority 1
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Priority 1
  • Individual Aventurin Red Metallic, Priority 1
  • Frozen Bluestone Metallic, Priority 1.
  • Frozen Bluestone Metallic, Priority 1
  • Bluestone Metallic
  • Barcelona Blue Metallic
  • Alpine White
  • Carbon Black Metallic
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic
  • Sunset Orange Metallic
See all 16 colors

8 Series Convertible Performance

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Front View Driving BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Rear View Driving BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Exhaust BMW

Engine and Transmission

BMW makes two engines available for the 8 Series lineup, and while they aren't as powerful as the M8, they're definitely eager enough to satisfy. Both engines are mated to a silky-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. 840i models are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder that produces 335 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque, allowing the base model to get from 0-60 mph in around five seconds, according to BMW. xDrive-equipped 840i models accomplish the feat in a quicker 4.6 seconds. M850i models enlist the help of a bigger twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that sends 523 horses and 553 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels, enabling a run from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and a top speed that's limited to 155 mph. The bigger S-Class Convertible is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 that doles out 463 hp and 516 lb-ft to the rear wheels only, and it gets to sixty from a standstill in 4.5 seconds.

  • Engines
    3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    Other, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The V8 in the top-level 8 Series sings a beautiful song when you give the beans in Sport mode, but even without the Mariah-rivalling melody, the engine is a boon. The gear changes are never hesitant, transitions are always smooth, and the ride quality is far from crashy. Comfort usually comes at the cost of athleticism or vice versa, but the 8 Series manages to find a perfect balance between the two, regardless of powertrain choice. xDrive models are quicker off the line as a general rule, and they allow for some extra leeway on wet surfaces, but the standard RWD on the 840i is just as good. The steering is responsive and sharp enough to form a connection between the car and the driver, but not to such a degree that unnecessary imperfections make their way in.

8 Series Convertible Gas Mileage

Large luxury cars were not built to be considerate of your fuel bills, but the 8 Series lineup actually performs well in this department. The base-level 840i returns EPA estimates of 22/29/25 mpg while the xDrive-equipped variant drops these figures down to 20/27/23 mpg. The thirstiest of them all is the M850i xDrive that has figures of 17/24/19 mpg, on par with the less powerful Mercedes S560 convertible. When the 18-gallon fuel tank is full, the M850i should manage 360 miles of range, while the 840i can attain 450 miles per tank.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    18.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 22/29 mpg
* 2021 BMW 8 Series 840i Convertible

8 Series Convertible Interior

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Driver Seat BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Steering Wheel BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Central Console BMW
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Seating and Interior Space

Large luxury cars were not built to be considerate of your fuel bills, but the 8 Series lineup actually performs well in this department. The base-level 840i returns EPA estimates of 22/29/25 mpg while the xDrive-equipped variant drops these figures down to 20/27/23 mpg. The thirstiest of them all is the M850i xDrive that has figures of 17/24/19 mpg, on par with the less powerful Mercedes S560 convertible. When the 18-gallon fuel tank is full, the M850i should manage 360 miles of range, while the 840i can attain 450 miles per tank.

  • Seating capacity
    4-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.1 in
  • Front Head Room 38.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 29.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 34.7 in

2021 8 Series Convertible Trunk and Cargo Space

Any shopper in the market for a drop-top needs to make peace with the fact that trunk space is not going to be as accommodating as hardtop models. Still, the convertible version of the 8 Series doesn't do too badly in comparison to the coupe model. It provides a total of 12.4 cubic feet in comparison to the coupe's 14.8 cubes. With the roof open, it'll allow 9.9 cubes for storage.

In-cabin storage is decent, thanks to deep door pockets and a storage bin in the center console. Two cupholders are standard in front.

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Rear Passenger Seats BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Rear Passenger Seats 1 BMW
2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Trunk Space BMW
  • Trunk Volume
    12.4 ft³

8 Series Convertible Infotainment and Features

Features

Each model in the 8 Series lineup is appropriately laden with features for its price point. Starting with the 840i, a hands-free liftgate, remote engine start, keyless entry, and push-button start are standard along with heated 14-way power-adjustable front seats with four-way lumbar support. Automatic climate control joins the list along with a heated tilt and telescopic steering wheel, ambient lighting, and wireless charging. The M850i is upgraded with the addition of 16-way power-adjustable front seats, soft-close doors, and upgraded ambient lighting.

Standard safety features across all models include cruise control, lane departure warning, frontal collision warning, city collision mitigation, and daytime pedestrian monitoring.

Infotainment

Even at a base level, the 8 Series is loaded with modern tech. All models include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen that enables BMW's iDrive 7.0 system to operate. It can be operated via touch, voice, or the touchpad controller. Apple CarPlay is standard, along with Bluetooth streaming, HD Radio, SiriusXM functionality, a navigation system, and two USB ports. A premium 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and a Wi-Fi hotspot are also on the list, but a 12-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system is optionally available for $3,400. A head-up display is also standard on all models.

8 Series Convertible Problems and Reliability

The 2021 BMW 8 Series hadn't been recalled at the time of writing, but the 2020 model was recalled twice for issues relating to faulty seat belt sensors and no back-up camera image. In terms of ensuring reliability, the 8 Series comes standard with a four-year or 50,000-mile warranty and a drivetrain warranty for the same time and mileage parameters. Roadside assistance is standard for four years.

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

8 Series Convertible Safety

No review for the BMW 8 Series exists with either the NHTSA or the IIHS. The lack of safety ratings shouldn't be a concern if you look at the standard features across all models. These include cruise control, lane departure warning, frontal collision warning, city collision mitigation, and daytime pedestrian monitoring. A six-airbag system is also standard and includes front, front-side, and head airbags. Additionally available features include blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible a good car?

The 8 Series is an excellent car. It offers two superb engines to choose from, though the V8 reserved for the top spec is undoubtedly the best. Both engines are mated to an impressive eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers imperceptible changes, and the general experience behind the wheel of any of the three models is entertaining. Despite being one of the larger drop-tops out there, the 8 Series is easy to drive and is impressively nimble. Performance aside, the interior is plush and loaded with most of the modern tech that's currently available on the market. The only downside to the inside is the lack of soul that's found in rivaling interiors. Trunk space isn't exactly abundant, but the 8 Series is certainly more practical than its chief rival. Simply put, the BMW is a terrific all-rounder and deserves consideration.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible?

If you're shopping for a large and luxurious convertible, we're going to assume that you're well aware of the cost involved. This segment isn't cheap, and the 8 Series lineup proves this with the 840i's base price of $97,400. The mid-level 840i xDrive bumps the MSRP up to $100,300. The most premium configuration, the M850i, has an asking price of $121,400. All 8 Series Convertible prices exclude a $995 destination fee.

See All 2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Trims and Specs

🚗What BMW 8 Series Convertible Model Should I Buy?

With all three trims sporting similar feature specifications, the main decision to make comes down to power and drivetrains. If the extra power of the M850i's V8 isn't going to be put to use, the 840i is an excellent choice, especially with some additional packages added to the mix. We'd opt for the Comfort Seating package for $1,450 that adds ventilation to the front seats and neck warmers. We would also add the Driving Assistance Packages that welcome traffic jam assist, lane control assistant, and evasion aid. Adding all of these packages will drive the price up to $103,150. If you live in a rainy area, it may be worth opting for the xDrive version. Of course, if you are a speed-freak, the M850i provides performance nonpareil.

Check out other BMW 8 Series Styles

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible Comparisons

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible Mercedes-Benz
Lexus LC Convertible CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
BMW 8 Series Convertible335 hp22/29 mpg$97,400
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible 463 hp17/26 mpg$138,600
Lexus LC Convertible 471 hp15/25 mpg$101,000

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible

These two German competitors are so close to perfection that it's rather difficult to define a true winner between them. The S-Class is much larger, but its engine is less powerful than the M850i, and it's quite a bit more expensive. The Merc has the better interior thanks to premium materials and immaculate layout with a blend of classic style and modern tech. The BMW is the more athletic, performance-focused of the two, which may be a win for some despite it sacrificing interior opulence to this end. The Merc is more sophisticated and well put together, but it's also more expensive and less powerful. The better car will ultimately come down to whether you value performance over luxury or vice versa, but the S-Class is the better overall car, in our opinion, as the quintessential luxury grand tourer.

See Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible Review

2021 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs Lexus LC Convertible

The Lexus LC Convertible is exclusively available in one trim, the LC 500. It pares back on the asking price by $20,000 in comparison to the M850i xDrive, but the 5.0-liter V8 in the LC 500 only produces 471 hp and 398 lb-ft in comparison to the BMW's 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. So the German has more power, that must be it, right? It isn't. The Lexus is alarmingly gorgeous and provides a connection between man and a car that the BMW simply can't manage. The infotainment in the Lexus is subpar and the trunk is smaller, too, but the Japanese convertible exudes so much soul and charm that those seem like very minor flaws. If we're picking our poison, the Lexus is our cyanide.

See Lexus LC Convertible Review

BMW 8 Series Convertible Popular Comparisons

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Photos
$97,400 - $121,400
Price Range (MSRP)
BMW 8 Series Convertible