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2007 BMW 3 Series Convertible Review - Road Test, Specs, Photos
2007 BMW 3 Hard Top Convertible

by Jeff Voth

The popular TV show CSI Miami features attractive people in stylish clothes strutting their stuff on the beach or lazing majestically in the latest swimwear by a star studded, azure blue pool. Somewhere nearby, an equally gorgeous super sports car or blinged-out SUV is sure to be seen, polished to glistening perfection under the cloudless skies of South Miami Beach.

"Pull up to stoplight, pop the top and listen to the sound of ooh’s and awe’s emanating from other vehicles nearby."

This was the setting BMW chose to introduce the all new stunning and stylish BMW 3-Series Convertible. A Sunshine State staple if ever there was one, we spent several days cruising the boulevards of South Beach and switching gears at high speed on the backroads towards Hawk’s Cay in the Florida Keys.

Sexy is an overused word these days, but it describes perfectly what makes the 2007 3-Series Convertible so enticing.

2007 BMW 3-Series Hard Top Convertible Review : Exterior - Road Test, Specs, Photos

Significantly different in shape to the recently introduced Coupe, the Convertible features a power operated 3-piece light-weight steel hardtop that retracts to expose a sumptuous interior in a mere 22 seconds. Pull up to stoplight, pop the top and listen to the sound of ooh’s and awe’s emanating from other vehicles nearby. It’s intoxicating to say the least.

Style points come for a long and low slung hood that reaches forward to expose a unique front air-dam and Xenon adaptive headlights. A high shoulder line is the dominant exterior trait, providing an aggressive but refined look to the outer surface. Roof up or down, it showcases a distinctly more rounded appearance than the Coupe or Sedan versions of the new 3-Series.

Two engine choices are available in the 2007 3-Series Convertible. The first resides under the hood of the 328i Convertible. Solid and sophisticated it features a 3.0 liter inline 6-cylinder 24-valve technology that produces a potent 230 hp @ 6500 rpm and 200 lb-ft of torque @ 2750 rpm.

Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with quick throws between each gear, the 328i Convertible will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Equipped with the optional 6-speed Steptronic automatic it reaches the same mark in 7.2 seconds. Top speed is limited to 130 mph or 150 mph when equipped with the optional Sport Package.

Silky smooth is the best way to describe this compelling engine. Driving around the city of Miami, it makes very little noise, belying the speed available as you progress upwards through each gear. On the highway, it will easily accelerate to triple digits, though I didn’t try it given the tenacity of the many State Troopers who guard Florida roads closely.

2007 BMW 3-Series Hard Top Convertible Review : Exterior - Road Test, Specs, Photos

My favorite and what could turn out to be the most popular version of the new 3-Series Convertible, is the 335i. It spotlights a unique inline twin turbocharged DOHC 6-cylinder engine with double Vanos variable valve timing. A real performer in all driving conditions, this little monster packs a whopping 300 hp @ 5800 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque between 1400-5000 rpm.

Superior handling is in the DNA of every German sport coupe and this one is no exception. Featuring a double-pivot type front and 5-link rear suspension, gas filled shocks, front and rear stabilizer bars, it remains unflappable on the road.

Likewise, safety is never an option at BMW and the 3 Series Convertible succeeds at every level.

Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS anchor the car no matter the conditions while additional features like Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Fade Compensation and Run-flat tires are included. Dynamic Traction Control is also standard on 328i/335i Convertible.

Options consist of Active Steering, ($1,400) Active Cruise Control, ($2,400) and the Sports Package, ($1,200- $1,300) which is comprised of sport seats, sport suspension, 18 x 8/18 x 8.5 “Cross Spoke” alloy wheels and a 150 mph top speed limiter.

Passive safety features are comprised of dual front-impact airbags with occupant detector, front seat side-impact airbags, (seat mounted) front and rear seat side-impact airbags and 3-point seat belts and headrests for all passengers.

A tilt/telescope multi-function steering wheel connects the driver to the road. As you would expect from a BMW, steering feel is firm, with excellent feedback and positive control at the limit.

Inside, the 3 Series Convertible offers first-class amenities and design. Stereo volume adjustment and program selection are easily altered from the steering wheel, with directional controls, headlights and wipers with automatic rain sensing all within easy reach. Paddle shifters are available in the 335i Convertible and represent the best value of any option at just $100.

2007 BMW 3-Series Hard Top Convertible Review : Interior - Road Test, Specs, Photos

Front seats exhibit excellent thigh and back support. Power front seats with driver side memory are standard equipment in both 3-Series Convertible models. Heated seats are available as part of the Cold Weather Package, ($750) and elegant Dakota Leather upholstery along with lumbar support and heated/folding exterior mirrors define the Premium Package, ($2,650- 328i Convertible, $1,550- 335i Convertible).

The 3-Series Convertible entertains with a standard AM/FM stereo with CD player, 10 speakers and built in MP3 capability. To improve sound quality, the refined Logic 7 audio system with 13 speakers including digital sound processing and surround sound simulation is an option you may want to consider.

Heating and cooling the 3 Series Convertible when the roof is closed is the function of a dual-climate control HVAC system. It supplies excellent airflow to the passenger cabin with an easy to understand digital interface. Windows are power with automatic open/close and anti-trap safety.

Try as I might over two days, I never caught a glimpse of the infamous Lieutenant Horatio Caine driving his steel grey Hummer H2 around the city streets of Miami. It’s too bad; I think the new BMW 3-Series Convertible would have made an excellent addition to the set. That said, I am sure it’s just a matter of time until we see it in an upcoming episode of the hit series. If ever there was a vehicle that belonged among the glitz and glamour of South Miami Beach, the new 3- Series Convertible is it.

2007 3-Series Convertible
Luxury sports coupe
Model options:

328i Convertible, 335i Convertible


6-speed Manual, 6-speed Steptronic Auto


108.7 inches

Overall Length:

180.6 inches


Engine speed sensitive power assist


4-wheel vented disc brakes with 4-wheel ABS

Fuel Economy:

Manual: 19/29 mpg (city/highway)
Automatic: 20/30 mpg (city/highway)


328i Convertible: $ 43,975
335i Convertible: $ 49,875