How To Decide If Driving a Convertible is Right for You

April 13th, 2017 by

There’s nothing in the world quite like putting the top down on a convertible and rejoicing in the fresh air, sunshine, and spectacular views that result. The convertible car truly embodies the American spirit of freedom and pleasure, and BMW has several models that will please even the most discerning motorist. There are a few things you should know before purchasing your next convertible.

Which BMWs Are Offered in a Convertible?

Currently, BMW offers a half-dozen choices, each with its own performance and price tag. If you’re looking for a four-seater, you can select a 2 Series, 4 Series, or 6 Series convertible. Those who want a high-performance driving experience should look into the M4 or M6 lineup. If you crave a smaller and nimbler ride, the two-seater Z4 Roadster is the perfect car for you. Whether you seek a family car, performance sedan, or sleek sportster, BMW has something for you.

What Are the Advantages of Owning a Convertible?

One benefit that can’t be denied is the coolness factor. Drop the top, let the ocean or mountain breeze tousle your hair, and bask in the envious looks from the other motorists trapped inside claustrophobic subcompacts and minivans. The sense of freedom you experience when driving a convertible is simply priceless.

Convertibles are safer in many ways. When the top is down, you’ll enjoy unparalleled visibility in all directions. Blind spots will be a thing of the past and parking is a snap (even without assistive radar or sensors). According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, convertibles as a group are no more likely to become involved in a crash than other types of cars. Check your insurance risk score for more detailed information.

On a more practical note, a convertible offers virtually limitless headroom. Taller drivers and passengers will never feel cramped when riding inside one, and if you have an oversized piece of cargo, transporting it will be as easy as putting it in one of the seats and strapping it down. If you’re over 17 feet tall, however, you still may want to avoid freeway underpasses.

What Are the Disadvantages?

In the past, wind turbulence resulted in a noisy ride and was the bane of many a convertible owner. Newer convertibles, especially high-end offerings such as BMWs, mitigate this issue by the use of wind tunnel research and carefully placed wind deflectors. It’s still a bit louder than your typical sealed cabin configuration, but some prefer to let the wind and nature do the talking (especially when cruising down Pacific Coast Highway).

In addition, the UV light exposure from driving with the top down can cause your car’s interior to age more quickly. Just as savvy motorists use sunscreen to protect themselves from harmful solar rays, so should the smart car owner use UV-shielding protectant to keep their dashboard, seating surfaces, and other interior parts from fading or cracking over time.

Owning a convertible can be a tremendous source of pride and liberation, and owning a BMW convertible makes it exponentially so. Know the ins and outs of convertible ownership and enjoy a slice of American freedom like no other on the planet.

Posted in Car Tips