2017 BMW 230i Convertible

The 2017 BMW 2 Series is offered with two strong turbocharged engine choices and is available as a coupe or convertible. Buyers can choose between a 4- or 6-cylinder engine, but regardless of which one you choose you’re bound to enjoy driving this fun little ride.

For 2017, the rear-drive 2 Series is available in two models: the 230i and the M240i. The 230i is outfitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine while the M240i gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder.

The 4-cylinder delivers 248 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque while the 6-cylinder kicks out 335 horses and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic, but a 6-speed manual is available on rear-drive models. AWD is available.

My test car for the week was the 230i convertible, which turned out to be a seriously fun little car that delivered good performance in spirited driving.

If you’ve ever thought about owning a BMW, the 2 Series is the smallest and most affordable in the German carmaker’s lineup. And boy does this little deuce deliver.

Small and lightweight, my test 230i was nimble and quick, and it just planted on the road. The little convertible stayed flat when I pushed it into hard corners and remained linear and smooth on the Interstate. BMW says the 230i will hit 60 mph in less than six seconds.

Don’t let the fact that the 230i has a 4-cylinder engine fool you. It has plenty of power. I didn’t find myself needing anything more when I hit the throttle. It’s a fuel-efficient powerplant too, getting an estimated 34 miles per gallon on the highway and 23 mpg in the city, for an average of 27 mpg. Helping the 230i get extra mileage is a stop/start feature, but it can be disabled with the push of a button above the start button.

Inside the cabin, the 230i has top quality materials including heated leather sport seats that adjust eight ways. The seats provide good support during aggressive driving. The rear seats, of course, are suited only for small kids or groceries. You could put a small car seat back there, but even a small kid will feel cramped. The convertible roof takes about 18 seconds to lower, which is a little slow compared to other convertible tops. The power front seats slide forward for easier access, but it’s far easier to put things in the back seat with the top down.

My test 230i had 18-inch aluminum wheels, automatic headlights and windshield wipers, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel wrapped in leather and rear seats that folded down. The test car had an MSRP of $35,950, but that price jumped to $53,870 with the addition of a cold weather package, a driving assistance package, a lighting package, a premium package, a track handling package and navigation.

The $2,250 premium package added a universal garage door opener, keyless entry, 10-way power front seats with lumbar support, an ambient lighting package and SiriusXM Radio. The $2,300 track handling package added M sport brakes, and adaptive M suspension and variable sport steering.

Other options include a park assist system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless phone charging and a harman/kardon premium sound system. BMW’s iDrive interface has a 6.5-inch display, and the USB port is located in probably the most convenient place ever, right on top of the center console near the cup holders. No more twisting your back or bending your elbow at an awkward angle to get your device plugged in.

The government has not crash tested the 2017 230i convertible, but this year’s 2 Series hardtop won a “Top Safety Pick Plus” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, getting the agency’s top score of “good” in all categories.

The 2 Series has anti-lock brakes and a full complement of airbags including front knee and side curtains (coupe only).

2017 BMW 230i Convertible

Engine:

2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque:

248/258 lb.-ft.

Transmission:

8-speed automatic

Price:

$38,950 ($53,870 with options & freight)

EPA mileage estimates:

23 mpg city/34 mpg highway/27 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

465 miles