The drop-top convertible is a classic choice for Brits and that’s why they come in all shapes and sizes. From two-seater roadsters through to all-season SUVs, these soft-top rooves are more popular in the UK than they are anywhere else in Europe.
Compare this with a hard-top coupe and we see that the sporty appeal doesn’t suffer, but you don’t get that summertime sliding back of the roof, waiting for the wind to bluster through your hair kind of vibe. However, what you can’t beat is the classy feel of the cargo and the sleek and sophisticated exterior shell.
Whether you want a coupe or convertible, they're both available in the M-Sport version of BMWs.
What's the difference between a BMW and and a BMW M-Sport?
The M-Sport is the toned-up trim of the range and with it, you get your pick of optional equipment. Just like a workout at your local gym, this package exercises power and performance, handles the journey with more precision and strength, and maintains a good-looking physique. Sports suspension drops the car between 10-20mm and side skirts which match the deeper front bumper are flanked by larger alloy wheels with sportier tyres for reduced body roll and increased grip.
You can spot BMWs in M Sport trim by the subtle ‘M’ badges dotted about the car – on the wings, alloys, steering wheel and gearstick. These models get a more aggressive body kit compared to their non-M Sport siblings. Featuring a deeper, more gaping front air intake with wider side intakes, this enhances the car’s visual width, making it look more purposeful. You also get body colour bumpers and splitters round the front to redirect air pressure from building up and slowing the car down. Rear spoilers also breathe new aerodynamic life into the car.
To put their stamina out on the playing field to the test, we spurred on a sporty scuffle between two of the 4 Series models we’ve got in stock:
Melbourne Red Metallic Convertible Vs. Black Sapphire Metallic Coupe
Just to give you an overview of the 4 series first...
The biggest difference between the 2018 BMW 3 and BMW 4 are the body styles up for grabs. The 3 Series offers a sports sedan, sports wagon, and Gran Turismo. The BMW 4 Series comes as a coupe, Gran Coupe, and Convertible model.
Preference in model comes down to what types of journeys you’ve got pencilled in.
But which one comes out alpha between our convertible and coupe Prestige Picks of the week for you?
Below, we rate each one for adaptability, looks and comfort...
Melbourne Red Metallic Convertible - 5/5
The main benefit of choosing a convertible that’s staring us in the face, often with a light, refreshing breeze, is the soft top roof which you can sling back during the summer months - or winter given the unpredictably of British weather! We all know it can never make up its mind, so it’s always good to be prepared come rain or shine. Lowering the roof takes 20 electrically powered seconds.
The hard-top roof in a coupe makes the car more rigid, but you will have to wind down the electric windows or stick on the automatic air conditioning with two zone control if you want to keep cool. Need to get toasty before your bacon trip to the sandwich van or services on your way to a meeting? You get heated seats for you and your co-worker in the front. You get all this tech for adjusting the temperature in the covertible too though.
Business-like looks or sporty shake-ups
With a high-gloss black finish, the Black Sapphire Metallic Coupe is certainly more business-like than the red convertible that sets your eyes on fire. Conventionally anyway - it’s fair to say that we can take the black coupe more seriously. Black is after all the colour of sophistication - just think of ‘black tie events’ and ‘the little black dress’.
But if you want to seriously shake things when pulling into the car park of your next conference, the wedge-shaped Melbourne Red Metallic Convertible could be for you. The black chrome kidney grille stands out more against the red, as well as the front air inlet and black shark fin antenna.
Both models get a windscreen with grey shade band, but the convertible’s headlights look more menacing and mischievous than those on the coupe, as they’re outlined in black for unmissable road presence.
Up to no good...
In the convertible, you get sport automatic transmission, which includes Streptonic transmission and a fully automatic drive mode, and a manual/sport drive mode that allows for higher and louder engine revving before shifts, and a manual shift mode that allows the driver to manually shift gears.
In the coupe, you get a 6 speed manual transmission, which is more fuel efficient and nuanced than the one in the convertible in the sense that it operates at lower RPM.
Comfort for all passengers
Inside the cabin, both models get a 3 spoke leather M-Sport multifunction sports steering wheel, front head restraints and compartments for your gloves or bottles, but the coupe has four grab handles up top.
However, for all-round comfort, the coupe has the edge for us.
Black Sapphire Metallic Coupe - 4/5
The M gear selector lever in nappa leather gives the car a luxurious feel and makes it more comfortable for the driver when changing up gears.
Keeping passengers in mind, the coupe has integrated rear head restraints and a rear centre armrest with two cup holders if your kids decide to pitch up and picnic on long journeys.
Melbourne Red Metallic Convertible - 2/5
Although the convertible looks good on the outside, there’s not a huge amount of space on the inside with the roof down. If you’re not one to pack lightly, you’re probably going to have to leave at least one of the rear seats free for your luggage if you’re travelling with the roof slung back. You do get a storage compartment behind the rear seat base though.
Whilst the driver gets front head restraints, the same is not replicated for passengers, and you don’t get the two cup holders in the middle of the seats either.
If you want to rock a windswept look in the sun and you are on the hunt for an engine roar that is more zany than plain Janey, then you’re best off with the convertible version of the 4 Series M-Sport.
On the other hand, if you are trying to track down a car that is practical and spacious with clean lines and style, then you might want to go for the coupe.
The high-gloss metallic finish of the paintwork stands out on each to offer a premium feel, but the Melbourne Red is far from bog standard compared with the Black Sapphire, giving you a reason to show off at the car wash!
So it depends what you’re after really: A convertible with a bit of zing for everyone to spot you in their blind sport, or an elegant coupe with distinguished presence and rigid handling.