2024 BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet

2024 BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet: Overview

Not every car purchase is a logical decision. It is often emotional especially when it comes to convertibles: It is more expensive than something for daily use. The trunk space and the legroom in the rear are down to a minimum. But in many instances, a convertible is not your first vehicle either. It may be incredibly fun to feel the breeze or even the icy weather if you go so far and drive in winter. To stay apart from other folks with a style, a topless BMW would be a perfect choice. The driving dynamics are superb. Whether in the city or on curvy sideroads of Southern Ontario or in the city.

BMW’s compact model range, aka 3 Series (add 4) has an attractive option for drivers who want to maximize the joy of the ultimate driving machine. It is called the BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet. We booked this vehicle for a summer test drive several weeks in advance. In the week of our scheduled test drive, I planned a day trip to Hamilton for the discovery of three of Hamilton’s waterfalls.

I am a tour guide too. And like in every business, you must develop new products, you must innovate and test your products, before you can sell them. My products are my tours. A day trip to Hamilton and Bruce trail in Southern Ontario was my mission on this day. The weather was not too hot and with some light rain. It means an almost perfect opportunity to plan a discovery trip to the area.

Three of us, with my SO and a good friend of mine, spent a wonderful day departing from Richmond Hill to Hamilton, starting with a lunch buffet at Mandarin, Hamilton and visiting Albion, Tiffany and TWE Falls.

2024 BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet: Engine

The 430i xDrive Cabrio has BMW’s familiar B48 2.0L turbocharged inline-four, delivering 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. On paper, it may look a bit underpowered and make you think about the more powerful 440i. But, once you sit behind the steering wheel, you will discover the merits of this joy machine.

The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is well-calibrated and works in harmony with this engine. With the xDrive system, the powertrain feeds all four wheels leading to a safe and secure roadholding and acceleration. It is as fast as it should be, subjectively speaking. This xDrive system is also a big plus if you drive this Convertible in Canadian winter.

With the closed soft-top thanks to its high, build quality this car is ready for the winter too. I drove our tester into an automated wash station to see how the soft-top waterproof was. I was convinced by the German built quality. Not a single drop infiltrated the cabin.

2024 BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet: Interior

The 430i’s cabin is well crafted with quality materials and superb craftsmanship. The creamy Oyster Vernasca Leather and the optional open-pore oak ($250 as an extra) look great while driving under the blue sky.

Since my first drive with a BMW more than 30 years ago, BMW had and has driver-oriented, easy-to-read instruments and controls. The centre console has ergonomically designed buttons for drive modes, roof control, and air collar. The twist/press/nudge iDrive controller, which was a real troublemaker when it was introduced 20-plus years ago works perfectly and precisely for at least the last three generations.

However, immersing into the dashboard, things are getting a bit complicated. The 10.3-inch infotainment screen is too crowded and may be distracting. Even if the voice control is a good relief, I would still expect a more simplified screen.

A big plus to reduce the complexity is that if there is more than one driver in the family, each of them can create his or her own profile and store the individual settings then simply call up when this person drives the car.

The 12.3-inch digital gauge display looks fancy and impressive. But I miss the classic dual displays. Yes, to digitalized but analog-like look, not so to more complicated not-so-easy-to-read displays.

Interior seating and trunk space are not the best features when you choose a two-door four-seat midsize sedan-based convertible. With the open soft-top, the 430i Cabriolet offers very limited space, good probably for a midsize suitcase or two golf bags. The opening is claustrophobic just with a small pass-through for longer items. The front cabin has a deep, covered cubbie between the seats.

In most cases, a convertible like our tester has two passengers in the front. And the front seats are very comfortable with good, adjustable side bolsters which come with the M Sport Package. Our tester was equipped also with the optional ($700) Thermal Air Collar open-top blasts. Upgrading to leather seats brings a significant surcharge ($1,900 or $4,250).

At first sight, I was worried about the tight space in the rear, since I had planned to have a second passenger in addition to my girlfriend in the front. But it worked surprisingly well as my friend, 1.80 meters tall, took his place in the rear. He comfortably “survived” with the roof up and down.

We did not install the wind deflector at any time, but opened the roof, closed all the side windows and reached a sustainable balance with a tolerable level of turbulence even at highway speeds of 90 to 100 kilometres in the cabin. And with the top-up, the interior is well insulated and for me, increases also the winter drivability of the vehicle.

2024 BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet: Driving

Even with a topless BMW like the 430i Cabriolet, the dynamic and responsive driving is not sacrificed. I am not a very sporty-oriented driver but I still very much enjoyed the smooth cruising and the breeze and did carefully test the limits of cornering on some curves in the Greater Hamilton Area. The variable-ratio sport steering ($500) delivers quick turn-in and feels respectably natural in the hands.

The M Sport Package ($2900) includes also sport suspension, 19-inch wheels and strong M Sport Brakes. In Sport mode, you feel the difference of change of the shift map. I was also impressed with the grip of the 19-inch summer performance Goodyear tires. Also, the thick, vitally important A-pillar gives confidence but in combination with the side mirrors creates blind spots.

2024 BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet: Fuel economy

After a one-week mixed mood driving mostly on the highway and sideroads, I came up with an average of 9.2 litres of premium grade fuel. This value is consistent with the measurements of NRC.

2024 BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet: Pricing

The base price of the BMW 430i Cabriolet is $68,250. And with the optional M Sport Package ($2,900) and other extras, our tester has an MSRP just south of the 80K mark ($79,450). The beautiful, “so-called” Sanremo Green Metallic ($900) fits very well with the dynamic character of this vehicle.

2024 BMW 430i xDrive Cabriolet: Verdict

BMW belongs to the Premier League of Fine Automobiles dominated mostly by Germans, such as Porsche, Mercedes, Audi and BMW itself. The marriage of convertible driving and sophisticated German engineering with ranging-topping equipment under the umbrella of a prestigious brand doesn’t come easily affordable for everyone.

Our impressions about Albany, Tiffany and TEW Falls will be the topic of another article.

For more information please visit: http://bmw.ca

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