Ad closing in a few seconds...
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

BMW 8 Series loses roof but not refinement

BMW 8-Series Convertible (19 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
Enlarge 2 photos

PROS

  • Characterful petrol engine
  • Torquey yet efficient diesel
  • Refined with roof up or down
  • Balance of handling and comfort

CONS

  • Doesn’t feel as special as rivals
  • Manually-operated windbreak
  • Not the purest of drives
  • Coupe more practical

At a glance

New price £78,840 - £150,435
Lease from new From £824 per month
Used price £55,360 - £127,405
Fuel economy 28 - 45 mpg
Road tax cost £465
Insurance group 48 - 50 How much is it to insure?

PROS

  • Characterful petrol engine
  • Torquey yet efficient diesel
  • Refined with roof up or down
  • Balance of handling and comfort

CONS

  • Doesn’t feel as special as rivals
  • Manually-operated windbreak
  • Not the purest of drives
  • Coupe more practical

BMW 8-Series Convertible rivals

Removing the roof from a car is always going to bring compromises, and that’s compounded when the car in question is already being asked to perform seemingly opposing tasks of being fun to drive and luxurious.

That’s the brief handed to the BMW 8 Series Convertible - a four-seat, two-door drop-top version of the handsome Coupe, aimed at taking sales from cars like the Porsche 911 Cabriolet, Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and even the Aston Martin DB11 Volante.

However, as you will see, the BMW does an impressive job of ticking more boxes than most cars can be reasonably expected to do. A superb all-rounder, but one without a standout talent? Read on to find out.

BMW 8 Series Convertible: the engines

There are two options available upon launch, with an extremely high-performance M8 Convertible model in the pipeline too.

Performance fans will enjoy the petrol M850i xDrive, while a diesel will be offered in the shape of the 840d xDrive. As the names suggest, all versions get BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.

Although there are only two engines, most drivers will be well catered for. The absence of any electrification is less of an issue in this car than in the Coupe, but would doubtless be a welcome addition for those in the city.

Multimedia technology

The BMW Live Professional Cockpit comes as standard in the soft-top 8 Series, which includes a digital dashboard along with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a rotary touchpad, steering wheel controls and voice control using real-world phrases - initiated by the command ‘Hey BMW’.

BMW 8 Series Convertible interior

BMW 8 Series Convertible touchscreen media system with BMW Live Professional Multimedia as standard, and other features include Apple CarPlay connectivity, real-time traffic and parking information, a head-up display, automatic parking and a rear-view camera.

Of course, the optional extras list is going to be extensive, with a number of packs on offer and BMW Individual on hand to further personalise your car if required.

Handling and comfort a priority

It’s not all about straight-line speed - BMW’s engineers have also thrown in a decent amount of standard kit to make the 8 Series handle well.

Adaptive suspension is standard along with rear-wheel steering (that helps reduce the turning circle at low speeds and stability when going quicker), and active anti-roll stabilisation that counteracts bodyroll in corners for a flatter posture.

This can all be tweaked (along with engine and gearbox responses, and the weighting and speed of the steering) using BMW’s drive modes, which include Sport, Sport+, Eco Pro and Comfort.

Clever convertible roof

The Convertible’s fabric roof can be raised and lowered in 15 seconds at speeds up to 31mph, and can be ordered in a range of colours to contrast with the paintwork on the main body of the car.

Although the side profile is similar to its Coupe sibling, the hardtop offers a larger boot capacity than the Convertible’s 350 litres. That’s with the roof closed too, that figure will drop further when the top is down.

It's worth noting that the compartment that stores the roof can be lifted with it stowed away and the load-through facility in the back seats can still be used.

BMW 8-Series Convertible rivals

Other BMW 8-Series models: