2018 BMW 430i Convertible Review: The Ultimate Leasing Machine
BMW 430i convertible has one big problem: The BMW badge.
If you have lost track of BMW’s naming conventions, which is about as conventional to the rest of the world as German Weisswurstfrühstück, let me fill you in. The BMW 4-Series is the two-door version of the BMW 3-Series sedan. BMWs with the “-30i” suffix are all packing the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine. In most BMW products, like this one, it’s good for 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Of course, that all goes out the window if you see a BMW with the “-28i” suffix; same engine, but only 228 horsepower. This is a lot of trivial information to remember, and it’s not really important. At least, not until it is. Confused? Good.
BMW models, and their badges, have most always denoted the engine size. The bigger the suffix number, the faster it went. After all, naming a car after the engine makes sense from a company called Bavarian Motor Works. That said, it’s a good little engine for this entry-level 4-Series convertible (a 440i is also available). It sounds mildly charming, especially when working through the gears in the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. A manual is not available for the 430i convertible. It’s also pretty quick. Despite the 430i convertible weighing an enormous 4,037 lbs, with the optional M-Sport pack, it does the 0-60 MPH sprint in 5.7 seconds, and will cross the quarter mile mark at about 14 seconds flat. Fuel economy is respectable at 24 MPG city, 34 MPG highway and 27 MPG combined.
And that’s great, but we need to go back to that aforementioned M-Sport package. Actually, we need to talk about all of the options and packages this BMW convertible is equipped with.
Decoding the Window Sticker
Did you know that those window stickers, with the pricing and options, dealers put on cars are actually called Monroneys? Well, now you do. My guess is that even Senator Mike Monroney would struggle to interpret everything going on with this BMW. I shall try to do him justice, though.
The base price of the 430i convertible is $51,450. Though, it should be noted that for 2019, the same car is getting a price hike, and will start at $52,950. That is a large $8,150 jump over the standard 430i coupe. From there, as is the way with all German vehicles, the options, packages and features can easily balloon out of control.
Interestingly, one of the cheapest options is one of the most comprehensive. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but for $2,000, BMW will slap an “xi” badge on the trunk and fit the car with all-wheel drive. From there, it’s time to start ticking the real options boxes. The optional Snapper Rocks Blue metallic paint is a mere trifle at $550. In fact, every color other than the non-metallic Alpine White is a $550 surcharge. This car has the upgraded Cognac leather, a $1,550 option, because, being a BMW, leather isn’t standard. For reasons.
The BMW 430i does have an intangible air of quality in the cabin. It’s something that one can’t put a finger on, until they actually put a finger on one in the showrooms.
Then there is the “Essentials Pack,” which, surprisingly, seems to be a no-cost charge. Of course, seeing as how the main feature of that is keyless entry and park distance control, it really should be. After all, pretty much every sub-$20,000 economy car offers that as standard now.
The Premium Package is next, and, for $2,300, offers front seats with adjustable lumbar support, with heating, and the navigation system with “Advanced RTTI,” which monitors real-time traffic conditions. There are also “Remote Services,” which is delightfully vague.
Now we’ve reached the big daddy: The M-Sport Package. That should give this BMW convertible some extra juice where it counts, and truly make it The Ultimate Driving Machine. And, at $2,300, seems to offer good bang for the buck; you get the 18-inch “Style 400M” wheels, which are wider than standard, sport seats up front, “aluminum dark carbon” interior trim (which just sounds cool), LED fog lights, the M steering wheel, shadowline exterior trim, which is BMW parlance for “black,” and the aerodynamic kit, which seems to be the more sporty front bumper, side skirts and rear lip spoiler. The M-Sport pack also comes with “Adaptive M suspension,” but, inexplicably, it’s an additional $700 to add to the existing package. That is very odd.
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Following this, there are a handful of standalone features and options, some are useful, some aren’t. The most interesting item is the second from the bottom: “Refrigerant: Included.” This is either BMW showing a sense of humor about having functional air-conditioning as a feature, or, perhaps, it’s a reminder of just how basic of a car BMW will sell you, even with a starting price of over $50,000. All in, this BMW convertible costs an eye-watering $63,310. All for a car with the basic powertrain package. This Bimmer has a lot of explaining to do.
Continue reading about the BMW 430i convertible.