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2014 BMW 435i Convertible Speed Date
Tegan Lawson
By Tegan Lawson
Quick Specs
435i Convertible
3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo petrol
$126,630 plus on-road costs
Three years/unlimited kilometres
Read the full review
Tegan Lawson
By Tegan Lawson

So, where did you go on your date?

I was lucky enough to nab this sexy beast for an entire weekend. On top of the usual household run-around, the weather turned it on for us and we went for a top-down tour through the Royal National Park.

I also took my very excited daughter for a drive over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and around the city. We had the roof down and she was in control of the music. The problem with convertibles is everyone else knows what you’re listening to, and if you like to sing in the car it can get a little embarrassing.

But with her hair blowing around in the wind while watching herself sing in the side-mirror, not only did I have one very happy child but we also kept our fellow commuters amused.

Ideal first date?

Would have to be a drive along a beautiful stretch of the Australian coastline on a warm sunny day. There’s really not much more that needs to be said here, the 435i convertible screams "take me on a scenic drive and let the sunshine in".

Hot or not?

With the roof down – hot, it’s a spectacular looking car. It’s strong and not too feminine looking, thanks to its almost rectangular shape. When morphed into its convertible form, people do stop and stare, and you can’t help but get excited with the top dropped.

What’s not hot is the way it looks with the roof up. The retractable three-piece hardtop looks tacked on, rather than flowing as part of a cohesive design - like that chick at the races who should have left the giant peacock and cockatoo feather fascinator at home.

The fact the folding metal lid folds up into the boot probably makes it difficult to work around when it comes to looks.

It's what's inside that counts, what do you think of the interior?

The interior is gorgeous. In BMW's signature style, the leather seats are beautifully moulded, there’s generous legroom for the driver and front passenger and ergonomically everything is in the right place for me.

Even the two rear passenger seats seem generous for a convertible, but then it is quite a long vehicle at 4638mm.

Standout features?

It has guts - its 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo engine produces 225kW and 400Nm and it’s capable of 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds despite weighing a hefty 1525 kilograms.

The top takes less than 20 seconds to fold completely up or down, and you can do it while driving at slow speeds.

Annoying habits?

Visibility through the windscreen is limited due to the angle of the glass and the positioning of the rear view mirror. But then you wouldn’t want too much wind, or even bugs, blasting around the glass. I’d assume there are safety, construction and aerodynamic reasons for this.

It’s quite low and difficult to climb in and out of. You have to lean backwards a little as you get your first foot through the door, and then slide yourself in.

Don’t expect to be taking much, if any, luggage with you on a trip if you want to drop the top. The roof takes up most of the space in the boot leaving a tiny compartment that’s barely big enough for one overnight bag.

Ready for a family?

No. Despite its size, there are few practical features for a family.

High maintenance?

This is not your average car; so if you’re prepared to spend the money, expect ongoing and one-off costs to also be expensive.

Any deal-breakers?

In reality, the cost instantly puts it out of reach for me. But hypothetically, if I had deeper pockets it would be on my wish list.

So, is it serious or just a one night stand?

Based on the aforementioned hypothesis, if I could afford it the 435i would be my weekend mistress (or whatever the male equivalent is - mister?).

In my garage I’d have a sensible weekday family car, and then the 435i Convertible for a bit of fun on the weekends and holidays.

Keeping your options open?

Just like bratwurst, four-seat convertibles in this size and price bracket have a distinct German flavour.

For just a few grand more you could take home the Audi S5 Cabriolet at $129,000; or how about the Mercedes-Benz E400? It could be yours for $143,900 before on-roads.

If it's not for you, who would you recommend it to?

Anyone who enjoys heading off on a road trip on a warm spring or summer day. Drop-tops also seem to be the weapon of choice for men and women having a mid-life crisis, and I'd also recommend the 435i Convertible to any single, successful person that's three-quarters of the way up the corporate ladder and wants to show-off just a little bit.