2021 BMW 440i Convertible

2021 BMW 440i Convertible

Driving a swanky BMW 4 Series Convertible with the top down on a warm summer day is truly a joyful driving experience. The 4 Series Convertible is a fun and stylish ride on summer road trips or just cruising around town with the top down.

Base Price: $64,000
As Tested: $74,670
Horsepower: 382
Mileage: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway/26 mpg combined

The 4 Series Convertible gets redesigned for 2021 with a new soft-top, a bit more power, more standard features, and a new grille that some BMW purists find startling.

The 4 Series Convertible is large and luxurious – it’s longer, wider and a bit taller than the outgoing model. Basically it’s a two-door version of the 3 Series. There’s room for four passengers. Yes, the backseat is tight, but two adults can fit back there.

Like the coupe, the convertible comes in two trims: 430i starting at $53,100 and M440i starting at $64,000. Rear-wheel-drive is standard, and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive is available on both trims with starting prices of $55,100 and $66,000, respectively. You can add a myriad of options and packages which can send the price up quickly.

The new soft-top is the first for BMW since 2006 and is about 40% lighter than the outgoing folding hardtop. BMW says the benefits of a soft top are reduced vehicle weight, lower center of gravity for improved handling, .2 extra inches of headroom and an extra foot of trunk storage when the top is stowed. The soft-top can be lowered and raised in just 18 seconds while driving as long as you’re traveling at 31 mph or less. And if you have the top down in chilly weather, just turn on the neck warmer which blows warm air on your neck and shoulders.

The new 4 Series have more horsepower and torque than the outgoing models. Two engines are available: The 430i trims get a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder that makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The M440i trims get a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6 that generates 382 horses and 369 pound-feet. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed sport automatic transmission with launch control.

The M440i is a blast to drive. Acceleration is brisk – BMW says the M440i can sprint from zero to 60 mph 5 seconds and the engine makes a pleasing VROOM sound. Steering is responsive and precise. My tester has the M Sport Brakes which can stop the 440i on a dime. This Bimmer feels so composed, even on tight turns, and the ride is so smooth that it’s almost too easy to go faster than you think. The eight-speed shifts smoothly and quickly, always finding the right gear. It’s truly a joy to be behind the wheel of this driving machine!

The M440i models come standard with a new 48-volt mild hybrid system that allows for energy recuperation, storage and use while driving. Energy can be recuperated from deceleration, braking and from extra electricity generated while driving in Sport mode.

Fuel efficiency is pretty good for a large luxury convertible. EPA ratings for my tester are 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with a combined rating of 26. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

The handsome cabin is upscale and luxurious as you’d expect in a Bimmer. Materials are of high quality and look and feel great. The touchscreen and dash controls are angled towards the driver. Front seats are supportive and very comfortable, and you can find the exact position that’s best for you thanks to thigh extension and side bolster adjustments. Legroom in the front row is decent for average size adults but taller folks may wish for more space. As mentioned above, the back seat is tight but it can accommodate two adults. Otherwise you can use that space for extra storage.

Standard features include rearview camera, push button start, automatic climate control, front power Sport seats, faux leather upholstery, leather Sport steering wheel, 8.8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, navigation, 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB ports, alarm system, universal garage door opener, convertible wind deflector, and automatic high beams.

Available features include remote start, keyless entry, surround view with remote 3D view cameras, head-up display, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, rear spoiler and gesture control which lets you control audio and other functions with hand gestures.

Standard driver assistance technologies include dynamic cruise control, lane departure warning with steering correction, frontal collision warning, pedestrian warning with braking function, blind spot detection; rear cross traffic alert; rear collision preparation, speed limit information, and driver fatigue and focus monitoring.

Available driver assistance technologies include active cruise control with stop & go, Extended Traffic Jam Assist for limited access highways – a Level 2 autonomous assist system, lane keeping assist with side collision avoidance, evasion aid, front cross-traffic alert, active park distance control, and emergency stop assistant – which can help guide your BMW to the shoulder and stop it in in the event of a medical emergency.

The iDrive 7 infotainment system is a bit cumbersome and the menus can take some time to figure out. The system can be controlled with the touchscreen, steering wheel controls, the touchpad controller and rotary knob which are located between the two front seats, or the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. This system can be activated by sayng, “Hey BMW” or by touching a button. The touchscreen can be personalized with up to 10 pages with two to four tiles of content each.

The 4 Series Convertible has 9.0 cubic feet of trunk space when the top is down—about 1.2 cubic feet more than the hardtop had. The rear seats split-fold 40/20/40 and there’s a pass-through for long items.

The good:

Dynamic handling

Quick acceleration

Smooth ride

Lots of standard and available features and tech

Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Roomy trunk for a convertible

The not-so-good:

More expensive than some competitors and price can climb quickly with options

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $64,000. The Dravit Grey Metallic paint is $1,950. The Dynamic Handling Package is $1,300 and adds 19-inch wheels. The Parking Assistance package is $700. The Executive Package is $3,700 and includes a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, ambient lighting, head-up display and Live Cockpit Pro which enhances navigation with 3D visualizations of the surrounding area, including showing all cars, trucks and motorcycles detected by the cameras and sensors. The Moonlight Black soft top is $150. The neck warmer is $500. Wireless charging is $500. Harmon Kardon surround sound audio system is $875. Destination charge is $995 bringing the grand total to $74,670.

Bottom line:

The redesigned 440i Convertible is guaranteed to put a big grin on your face when you’re behind the wheel. This Bimmer is a blast to drive, whether you’re embarking on a long road trip or just running an errand to the grocery store with the top down. And it’s loaded with features and tech. Take a look if you’re shopping for a powerful and comfortable luxury convertible.