Find out why this soft top car from BMW is a speedy yet safe choice for dads who love a touch of luxury on the road.
By motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay – Twitter @carwriteups, Instagram @tbarnesclay.
From its launch, the fresh BMW 8-series Convertible offers a couple of engines – a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six diesel and a strapping 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo. Both powerplants result in a maximum speed of 155mph, but the petrol V8 will get to 62mph in 3.7-seconds, and the diesel will make the 0-62mph sprint in 4.9-seconds.
Regardless of your engine choice, your BMW 8-series will house an 8-speed automatic transmission as well as ‘XDrive’ all-wheel drive.
The new 8-series Convertible is composed, comfy, well-appointed and brain- churningly quick. However, if you’re expecting nimbleness and lots of steering feel you’ll be disappointed. This car is better being driven on a cruise across hours of smooth tarmac.
As with all current BMWs, the latest 8-series Convertible does refinement wonderfully, providing you with a satisfying driving experience. Despite the soft roof, it’s remarkably well insulated. And driving with the lid in position doesn’t rain on the parade as it might do in some soft top luxury cars. That roof is speedy too, opening and closing in only 15 seconds – and you can operate it on the move at up to 31mph.
Inside, the 8-series has a brilliant cockpit design, being driver-focussed but still high in quality. The controls are all rationally arranged, too, meaning you feel at home as soon as you slide behind the wheel.
A digital display takes the place of what would be dials in most motors. And BMW’s iDrive infotainment unit comes with voice control, a prominent touchscreen and a swivel wheel next to the gear selector – both now obtainable in crystal.
For a convertible, this is a relatively roomy model. It has four seats, but only two smallish kids will fit in the rear – not because of the width or headroom – but due to limited legroom. As for the BMW’s boot, there’s 350-litres of cargo capacity available, which is decent for a vehicle of this class.
If you’re purchasing a car in this segment you won’t be too fussed about the running costs. But if you’re curious, the 850i V8 that I tested will do around 28mpg. That means you’ll be filling up at the pumps quite regularly. Mind you, that’s not bad for a Bimmer with over 500 horses under the hood.
As anticipated from a car reducing your bank balance by six-figures, the quality is precisely what you’d expect. Fine-looking rich leather is wrapped around the cabin, and the metals and plastics feel exceptional.
And when it comes to safety, you’ve got nothing to worry about – there’s a lot of kit built-in to this German convertible, including sensors and cameras. A head-up display, which keeps your eyes fixed on the road, is also fitted. And in the unlikely event of a roll-over accident, a roll-bar will deploy, protecting the heads of all occupants.
Fast Facts (2019 BMW M850i xDrive Convertible)
- Max speed: 155mph
- 0-62 mph: 3.7 seconds
- Combined MPG: 28.2mpg
- Engine layout: 4395cc V8 twin-turbo petrol
- Max. power (PS): 530
- CO2: 229g/km
- Price: £107,100