Seat Time: 2015 BMW 228i

March 17th, 2015 at 11:33am


Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: John McElroy
Manufacturer: BMW AG
Make: BMW
Model: 228i
Type: convertible
Competitors: Audi A3 cabriolet, Lexus IS C, Infiniti Q60 convertible
Price: Base: $38,850, including destination charges. As tested: $43,100.
Made in: Germany
Drivetrain: 2.0 L 4-cylinder turbo, 8-speed DCT automatic
EPA Ratings: 27 mpg city/34 highway/27 mpg combined

Final Impression:
BMW 2 Series ConvertibleAnyone who is attracted to convertibles will easily fall in love with this car because it’s so easy on the eyes. Its twin round-shaped headlamps, peering from behind aerodynamic covers, maintain something of a traditional look. And the highly-defined bone line that runs unbroken from the front wheel all the way to the rear of the car, around the back end and up the other side, makes it look tautly compact and elongated all at the same time. With the top down, the passenger compartment is outlined in a way that gives this convertible something of a boat-tail look. Put it all together and to my eyes it’s definitely prettier than its competitors.

BMW 2 Series Convertible

Better still, the beauty is more than skin deep. BMW engineers went to great lengths to make sure this car is very comfortable to drive with the top down. As long as you have the windscreen raised there is barely any buffeting at speeds up to 80 mph. However, they did miss one detail. The seat belt will noticeably flutter against your shoulder unless you raise the window about 2 inches. But that does take care of the problem.

BMW 2 Series ConvertibleIt wasn’t that long ago that all manufacturers forced you to put the car in Park before raising or lowering the convertible top. Those days are long gone and now there seems to be a race on to see who can raise or lower their top at the highest possible speed. The 228i top goes up and down at speeds up to 50 miles an hour. I don’t know if that’s a record, but it’s pretty impressive.

Another nice touch is a navigation screen that has very little glare and is quite visible even with the top down. And it’s a practical convertible in that the rear seat folds down so you can shove golf bags or skis in the back. The trunk space is not very tall, but it is appreciably deep.

BMW 2 Series Convertible

And yet, despite all the attention to detail for open air driving, the 228i feels like a totally different car with the top up. It’s not only quieter, it feels much sportier. Maybe that’s because you can hear the crisp engine note more clearly, or maybe it’s because that with the top down I just prefer to loll around.

BMW 2 Series Convertible

One Comment to “Seat Time: 2015 BMW 228i”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Excellent review of an interesting 4 seat convertible. Although I’m not a fan of the styling I admire the fine driving BMW.

    Where’s your review of the c7 z06