Car and Driver: The Ultimate Convertible – BMW 325i
From the December 1993 issue of Car and Driver.
The BMW 325i Convertible is a car that aims to be all things to all people, and it comes very close to achieving that goal. With a price tag of $40,175, it may not be cheap, but it offers an impressive range of features and capabilities. It can be a sunny convertible, a weather-tight hardtop, and a versatile cargo hauler, all while earning style points with its sleek design.
One of the standout features of the 325i Convertible is its convenient top-dropping mechanism. With a single fold-up-and-turn of a handle, the top comes down effortlessly, leaving nothing but blue sky above and tidy lines below. While it may not have the fully automated disappearing act of some other convertibles, the BMW’s latching mechanism works smoothly, requiring minimal effort.
In terms of performance, the 325i Convertible may not match up to its coupe counterpart, but it still offers a satisfying driving experience. The extra weight of the convertible body can be felt, and the engine is less responsive at lower revs. However, the car still delivers on road grip, thanks in part to the optional sport package that includes wire-lace alloy wheels and low-profile Michelin Pilot tires. The steering remains responsive, and braking performance is impressive.
Inside the car, attention to detail is evident. The driver’s left-foot rest is a well-designed platform, and the interior color combination is pleasing to the eye. The soft top has an inner liner that helps reduce noise, and the side windows are sealed effectively to minimize air rush. The central-locking system even extends to the glovebox, a thoughtful touch for a convertible.
While the 325i Convertible has its strengths, there are a few drawbacks to consider. The trunk space is smaller than the coupe’s, and BMW’s promise of a roof-rack option for additional storage capacity is still uncertain. Some minor inconveniences include the lighter socket staying live even when the key is removed and the need to turn on the key to view the electronic odometer.
Overall, the BMW 325i Convertible is a well-rounded and polished car that offers an enjoyable driving experience. It may not be the most affordable option, but its versatility, style, and attention to detail make it a satisfying choice for those seeking a convertible.