The BMW 420i Convertible features the opinion-dividing new front grille, but there are much better things to feast your eyes on once the attention turns to this handsome German.
When you lie on the beach admiring the life guard’s chiselled chest, six-pack and curved calves, chances are his imperfect nose might be easily overlooked. The same applies to the BMW 420i Convertible.
That is not to say that I don’t like the 4 Series, but rather that the car still works should the front grille not be to your liking. I’m not sure whether the designers slapped the number plater over the nose as an afterthought after initially forgetting about it or whether it was planned. But either way, the number plate’s horizontal line splits the nose so well that it closes the huge nostrils to make them more acceptable.
The BMW 420i Convertible features a black soft top and barring the weather, the best way to enjoy this car is with its shirt off. Being fully automated, this undressing exercise takes less than 20 seconds and happens all at the touch of a button on the centre console. Much to the amusement of the merchandisers plying their trade at the red traffic light!
With the roof folded away and the windows winded down, the contrast on display between our test car’s Mineral White metallic paintwork and black leather headrests was simply stunning. Aided by the exterior’s sleek lines and optional 19-inch double-spoke bi-colour Orbit Grey rims, the 420i Convertible is one hot German flirt.
While it might be slightly challenging getting into the low driver’s seat, it’s worth the effort. Lovely leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 5.1-inch instrument cluster and 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment screen all contribute to making your journey as comfortable as possible.
Optional air collars situated in the front headrest blows hot air on your neck and shoulders to keep you warm when you just can’t resist keeping the top down in cooler weather.
The head and legroom in the rear is most certainly not meant to seat adults on long journeys and neither will their luggage fit in the 300-litre boot. But for those purposes there are other models. The 420i Convertible is meant for the driver’s enjoyment.
And speaking of the driver’s seat, the car is powered by the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder 135kW/300Nm engine that does duty in the BMW 320i. It sends the power to the rear wheels via extra smooth eight-speed Sport Steptronic transmission.
It is most certainly not a rocket and actually even slower than the 320i, bearing in mind the 420i Convertible at 1 765 kg weighs a full 230 kg heavier than its 3 Series sibling. But while it certainly didn’t take on any chicks with spiky purple hair and tribal tattoos in hot hatches at red lights, I can attest that the 420i has enough power around the city and for overtaking on the open road.
The BMW 420i Convertible in M Sport guise we had on test is priced at R983 566 excluding optional extras. There are more practical choices at there for amount of money, but certainly nothing sexier. Trust me, I nose.
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