In its first year on sale, the new BMW 2 Series, the redesigned successor to the 1 Series, hit 28,000 units, of which a quarter went to U.S. buyers. Production of the rear-drive coupe and convertible began back in November 2013 as a 2014 model and BMW feels very confident that sales numbers will only continue to climb. We've already had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the M 235i and now we were afforded the chance to sample the 228i convertible in Austin, Texas.

Drop top fun

We took off in the 228i convertible from Circuit of the Americas after laying down some laps in the 2015 BMW X6 M and headed off into cattle country. The standard black soft top flips up or down with a simple tug or push of a button located between the front seats and offers open sky or quiet cruising quickly. It was cooler than normal for the time of year but luckily for us you can raise and lower the 228i's top in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph. With the top down and windows up, wind noise is kept at bay with help from a wind deflector and the cabin temperature remains comfortable. BMW put in a little extra effort to make sure road and wind noise is kept at a manageable level when the top is up, too. 

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Under the hood, BMW's 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder engine, rated at 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque, is peppy and eager to get going. An 8-speed automatic transmission with wheel-mounted paddles is responsible for rowing through the gears. You can also control driving dynamics with four different settings - Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. We left it in Comfort for the majority of the time but Sport and Sport+ sharpen throttle response and braking to add an extra bit of fun. 

Have it your way

The MSRP of the 2015 BMW 228i convertible is listed at $38,850, including a $950 destination and handling, but our tester rang out at a stout $53,825. For that price, you get options like Parking Assistant ($500), Driver Assistance Package ($700), enhanced USB and Bluetooth plus smartphone integration ($500), and a Glacier Silver Metallic paint job ($500). It's options like the Premium Package ($3,400), Technology Package ($2,150), and Track Handling Package ($2,200) that make the 228i's price climb very quickly. In the Premium Package you get features like auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, power front seats, and satellite radio with a one year subscription. The Technology Package offers features like navigation, advanced real-time traffic, and an instrument cluster with extended content. BMW also offers four free updates for the navigation system over 4G LTE per year. 

BMW has announced that the 2015 2 Series convertible will be available early on in 2015. It will also be the first convertible model to wear an M badge once it does arrive. After spending some time behind the wheel of the 2015 BMW 228i convertible we believe it deserves a look as it sits at the top of its class.

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