The newly redesigned BMW 650i convertible is roomier, more luxurious, more powerful, and costs less than the Maserati Gran Sport and Mercedes SL550.
The newly redesigned BMW 650i convertible is roomier, more luxurious, more powerful, and costs less than the Maserati Gran Sport and Mercedes SL550.

2012 BMW 650i Convertible

Engineering marvel
Engineering marvel
The newly redesigned BMW 650i convertible is roomier, more luxurious, more powerful, and costs less than the Maserati Gran Sport and Mercedes SL550.
Overview
Overview
BMW’s classy 650i convertible is much improved for 2012, with less controversial styling, a powerful new engine, a roomier and better-appointed interior, voluminous (for a ragtop) trunk space, and surprisingly good fuel economy. It also comes loaded with standard equipment, including features, such as a navigation system, dynamic cruise control, and backup camera, that usually cost extra. The 650i comes in at less than $100,000 with a few options, making it a relative bargain compared with such rivals as the Maserati Gran Sport and Mercedes SL550 convertibles. The much less expensive 2012 Mercedes E550, however, which has a powerful new V8 engine, offers the BMW 650i tough new competition.
Interior
Interior
Instruments in the cockpit-style cabin are angled slightly toward the driver, and a new 10.2-in. display makes using the iDrive electronic controls even easier. The two-passenger rear seat is very tight—suitable mainly for children and smaller adults.
Engine
Engine
Under the hood is a twin-turbo, 4.4-liter, 400-horsepower V8 that generates an incredible 450 lb.-ft. of torque. The new V8 in the 2012 Mercedes E550 Cabriolet, however, is rated at 402 h.p. and 443 lb-ft. of torque, about matching the oomph of the 650i’s engine.
Transmission
Transmission
The 650i offers a choice of a six-speed stick shift or a lightning-quick, eight-speed automatic with a manual mode and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The automatic has a very tall top gear that improves fuel economy at cruising speeds.
Performance
Performance
The 650i convertible is rated to accelerate from zero to 60 in a torrid 4.9 seconds, but the new Mercedes E550 Cabriolet, at 5.0 seconds, about matches its quickness. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 miles per hour (or 150 mph with the sport package).
Convertible Top/Trunk Space
Convertible Top/Trunk Space
The ragtop goes down in 19 seconds, by our count, and up in 23 (including closing the windows). Both operations can be done at speeds up to 25 mph. Trunk space is 10.6 cu. ft. with the top down (enough for two 46-in. golf bags) and 12.3 cu. ft. with the top up.
Fuel Economy
Fuel Economy
With an automatic transmission, the 650i is rated at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway, slightly better than the 2012 Mercedes E550 (15/22) and Jaguar XK (16/22) convertibles. The 650i’s mileage drops, however, to 15/22 with a stick shift.
Safety
Safety
Standard gear includes stability and traction control, active head restraints, high-strength pop-up roll bars, and front, side, and knee protecting air bags. The car’s body is 29 percent stronger than before. Options include lane departure and blind-spot warning systems.
Price
Price
The 650i convertible starts at $92,375, including a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax—a relative bargain next to such premium rivals as the $140,800 2012 Maserati Gran Turismo convertible but far more expensive than the $65,675 2012 Mercedes E550 Cabriolet.