As with the 3 Series Saloon, the xDrive system has an uncanny ability to deliver grip when needed, without also stripping away fun through the twisty bits. It allows for a bit of friskiness when pushed, although it’s through the slightly diminished steering feel and reduced body control where you most feel the difference between it and the lighter coupé.
While the M440i rides on 19in run-flat tyres and has lowered M Sport suspension, the adaptive dampers cope fairly well with the UK’s notoriously pockmarked carriageways when set to Comfort mode. Larger ruts and uneven surfaces are still felt clearly within the cabin, and the sportier suspension modes are best avoided on anything but the smoothest bitumen. We suspect the 330i, shod in 18in rubber and without the optional M Sport suspension, will be the model of choice for those concerned with comfort – although it also loses out on the M Sport Differential found here.
There’s a distinct whiff of 3 Series about the cabin, but that’s by no means a bad thing. It has lots of premium materials, a fairly relaxed driving position and one of the slickest infotainment systems around, with your choice of touchscreen or rotary dial inputs. Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto are slickly integrated, making the most of the widescreen display.
The 4 Series delivers for occasional four-up use, with decent leg room for those in the rear, although they’re sure to find top-down drives at motorway speeds somewhat bracing. With the wind deflector fitted and windows raised, there’s minimal buffeting for those in front.
The folding roof takes an 85-litre bite out of the 385-litre boot when closed, so you have to be smart with how you load your shopping bags if you want to go topless after a trip to the supermarket, but it’s about as practical as mainstream convertibles get.