4.1 out of 5 4.1
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
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At a glance

New price £109,810 - £150,470
Lease from new From £1,108 p/m View lease deals
Used price £40,030 - £114,675
Fuel Economy 24.6 - 40.4 mpg
Road tax cost £475
Insurance group 48 - 50 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Characterful petrol engines
  • 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

Written by Adam Binnie on

Welcome to BMW's flagship open-topped car. The company promises that the 8 Series Convertible as refined and engaging as the Coupe it's related to, which is quite a claim considering that the act of removing the roof from a car is always going to bring compromises. So, has BMW managed to create a a convertible that's fun to drive and luxurious?

It's a four-seat, two-door drop-top version of the handsome 8 Series Coupe, that's aimed at taking sales from cars like the Porsche 911 CabrioletMercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and even the much more expensive 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.

The engines

There are four options available, with an extremely high-performance M8 Convertible flagship model, too. The entry-level 840i was introduced shortly after launch and comes with a 340hp, six-cylinder petrol engine and rear-wheel drive.

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

Those wanting the highest-performing convertible can seek the M8 Competition. This flagship model uses a modified version of the M850i’s V8 engine to produce 625hp, dropping the 0-62mph time to 3.2 seconds. Like the BMW M5, it can switch from being all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive.

Although there are only four engines, most drivers will be well catered for. The absence of any hybrid 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 for its infotainment, a rotary touchpad, steering wheel controls and voice control using real-world phrases - initiated by the command ‘Hey BMW’.

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 equipment to make the 8 Series handle well.

On all models bar the 840i, 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.

Is the BMW 8 Series a superb all-rounder, but one without a standout talent? Read on for the Parkers full review to find out.

BMW 8-Series Convertible rivals

Other BMW 8-Series models: