BMW 2 Series Convertible Leasing Guide | Car Leasing Guru

BMW 2 Series Convertible Leasing Guide (2017-)

Welcome to Car Leasing Guru.

We do not review vehicles at Car Leasing Guru, instead, we look at which vehicles offer the best value for money based on things like whole life costs, specification, residual values and how much you will pay per month.

Below is some basic analysis that will hopefully help you understand which BMW 2 Series Convertible is best to lease. We understand that trying to pick out the best model from the entire 2 series convertible range can be quite complex, so we’ve done the task for you.

We’ve provided a working example at the bottom of this analysis so you can do your own analysis on other models you might be interested in. It breaks down the retail price vs monthly lease cost.

We’ve analysed the entire BMW 2 Series Convertible line-up and provided you with the best overall choice for a lease.

If you want a visualised chart to help you understand our decision, please skip down to ‘Total Lease Cost‘.

Analysis – The Best Overall Choice

The 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto

Analysis – The Best Alternative Choice

The 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav]

The 218i Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto


BMW Brand – Market position and perception vs its peers like the Audi A3 Convertible. Competitive pricing helps, but also the strong residual values (RV’s) that is carried across the whole range of BMW products.

BMW M models always command a bit of a premium in the 2nd hand market, as they are always seen as the “sportier” models outside the performance-driven dedicated M models, such as the M2, M3, M4 etc. thus making lease or ownership cost-effective over the course of its lifecycle, as they are more desirable.

We gave the 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto an 8.5 / 10 in terms of value for money compared with other models in the range. This number is a pure mathematical equation, not our personal opinion.

So if you are searching for BMW 2 Series Convertible car leasing deals, cheap car leasing, or just general car leasing comparison, the 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto is the best one to go for in terms of overall value for money.

We’ve only selected the models that we would actually recommend in this analysis, hence the limited number of options we’ve provided you. There are many more BMW 2 Series models to pick from, including the diesel models – but those are less favourable in terms of their overall value at the end of a lease.

See below for a detailed breakdown:

Car Leasing Guru Score

At Car Leasing Guru, We do not review vehicles, we look objectively in terms of value for money.

The Car Leasing Guru scoring system is based on the overall value a particular vehicle offers.

We do not single out specific terms and mileages, instead, we concentrate on the entirety of a lease over multiple terms and mileages to create an overall score.

This score is converted into a meaningful number between 0 and 10 so that you can better understand which vehicle offers the best value. I’ve included the definition for the category the BMW 2 Series sits in, as it got an 8.5 overall.

8.0 to 8.9:

Great – We enthusiastically recommend any vehicle in this category. Seriously impressive value for money; add it to a watchlist and compare against a few other vehicles.

Examples include:

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia Diesel Saloon – 2.2 JTDM-2 190 Speciale 4dr Auto (Score: 8.4)
  • Fiat 500 Hatchback – 1.2 Lounge 3dr (Score: 8.0)
  • Ford Focus Hatchback – 1.0 EcoBoost 125 ST-Line 5dr (Score: 8.3)
  • Nissan Qashqai Hatchback – 1.3 DiG-T N-Connecta 5dr (Score 8.9)

See other scores here:

BMW 2 Series Convertible:

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Engine & Gearbox

The current BMW petrol range comes with either a 1.5-litre engine that produces 136PS on the 218i models, or a 3.0 engine that produces 340PS on the M240i models.

You have the option of a 6-speed manual or the 8-speed semi-automatic gearbox on most models.


There are four specifications to choose from in the 2 Series Convertible range. The base model ‘SE’ up to the ‘M’. The ‘M Sport’ models easily offer the best value for money when looking at the entire BMW 1 Series range.

The basic ‘SE‘ model gets:

  • 17″ alloys
  • single-zone air conditioning
  • cloth upholstery

The ‘Sport‘ model gets:

  • 17″ alloys (different style to the SE)
  • single-zone air conditioning
  • sports seats
  • sports steering wheel.

The ‘M Sport‘ model gets:

  • 18″ alloys
  • single-zone air conditioning
  • cloth/alcantara upholstery
  • M Sport suspension
  • M aerodynamic body styling
  • sports seats
  • exterior styling

The full blown ‘M‘ gets:

  • 18″ alloys (different style to the M Sport)
  • dual-zone air conditioning
  • leather upholstery
  • M Sport suspension
  • gearshift paddles
  • launch control
  • front heated seats
  • extended lighting
  • storage pack.

Looking For The Cheapest Lease

Generally, we will always look for the smallest amount you would pay over the course of the lease, at the same time we will also look at how much value the cheapest lease actually offers you. There is no point in Car Leasing Guru suggesting the cheapest possible lease if all you get is a steering wheel and a windscreen, especially when you might be able to pay £10 per month extra and get a significant increase in the specification, exterior design, engine performance or economy. In this instance that’s why we’ve picked the M Sport model. It offers the most ‘value for money’ in our opinion.

On The Road (OTR) Price

There are a lot of different On The Road (OTR) prices that cover every spectrum of the BMW 2 Series Convertible lineup, but we are only looking for the absolute cream of the crop, which is why we have concentrated on the best models in the range in terms of value for money. i.e. the petrol models.

You can see the OTR prices for the models below.

BMW 2 Series Convertible Price

Value For Money

Remember, at Car Leasing Guru we do not review vehicles, we look at value for money.

The cheapest of the nine models we’ve selected costs; £28,700. This is the 218i SE 2dr. Average specification as standard, and only a manual gearbox.

Let’s see where we can get more for our money, and not spend an obscene amount more for the privilege.

The car we personally endorse is the 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto; which costs £32,750.

Pretty easy to spot the difference between the two. The one we endorse comes with an automatic gearbox, navigation and a lot more specification.  The ‘M Sport’ model comes with everything the SE and Sport models get PLUS an 8-speed auto gearbox, cloth/Alcantara upholstery, M Sport suspension, M aerodynamic body styling, sports seats and a whole host of exterior body trinkets…

There is a £4,050 difference between the two vehicles from the manufacturer’s list price.

Ok, well what does that mean?

It means that you may be looking at the vehicle we’ve recommended and thought that you will have to pay £4,050 over the course of a lease in order to get that vehicle.

That’s incorrect.

You pay a proportion of that value. The more desirable the items in the vehicle, the more value is assigned to those items in the 2nd hand market.

The automatic gearbox, ‘M Sport’ specification, Alcantara upholstery etc. hold (proportionally) a lot more value than you would otherwise think they do.

The point here is that you may think that you’ll be paying more overall because the vehicle is more expensive to buy, but I will prove that is not the case, and you can actually get a vehicle that’s more expensive with more specification for a small proportion of the actual cost of the vehicle.

Take a look at the graph below. Look at the most basic engine, gearbox, specification in the far left column; the 218i SE 2dr [Nav]. Now take a look at the 6th column from the left; the 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto. Specifically, look at the numbers at the top of the graph for a 24-month lease @ 10,000. 

The ‘SE’ model will cost you £9,920 over a 24-month lease, and the ‘M Sport’ model will cost you £10,762. An £842 difference.  £842 divided over 24 months is £35.08 per month extra. Again, it seems like a reasonably big jump in price, but we are talking about value for money. This is why we recommend the 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto. You get A LOT more for your money, such as sports suspension, M Sport body styling, sports seats, automatic gearbox etc.

FYI: Mileage is calculated per annum. 24 m 20k2 = 24 months @ 40,000 miles.

The Maths Bit

Let’s look at this in a different way. I’m going to select the same two vehicles as above and you’ll be able to see how proportional “value” is assigned to that vehicle. You can do this same exercise for the other vehicles in our charts too as well. Try it yourself and you’ll be able to see how much more you can get for your money.

Example models:

On The Road

218i SE 2dr [Nav]| £28,700


218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto | £32,750

The difference in the On The Road Price = £4,050

Next, we’ll look at how much you would pay over a 2 year lease, doing 10,000 miles a year. (use graph above as a reference)

Total Lease Costs

218i SE 2dr [Nav]| £9,920


218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto| £10,762

The difference in the Total Lease Cost (over 2 years) = £842

Monthly payment: £842 / 24 months = £35.08

Lots of different numbers going on there, so let me explain.

What this tells us is that there is an OTR price difference of £4,050 between the two vehicles, but you would actually only be spending an additional £842 over the course of the lease.

This is because the automatic gearbox, additional specification, plus interior and exterior updates add value to the vehicle. £3,208 worth of value to be specific. (£4,050 – £842). This means that all those little bits such as sports suspension, M Sport body styling, sports seats, automatic gearbox etc, they are “worth” £3,208 at the end of a 2 year lease.

The key is to pick a vehicle that has lots of meaningful specification.

Percentage Of List

The ‘percentage of list’ is the difference between the capital cost (OTR price) and the Residual Value (RV). This shows, at a glance, exactly where value is attributed as a percentage. The lower the number, the better the percentage of list. This is usually a good indication of “value for money”.

Looking at the percentages within the graph below, you can see that they run at around 33-35% or so for a 2 year lease, up to 40-42% on a more realistic 3 year lease. This means you will be paying between 33% to 35% of the total value of that vehicle before you hand it back. You can pay substantially more depending on which model you pick if it is undesirable in the 2nd hand market…

Leasing companies normally don’t read the percentage of list in this way, they actually read it in the opposite way. They would say that the vehicle has 65% of its value left, not that someone would spend 35% of the vehicle’s value. This is because they want to know what the value of the vehicle is at the end of its lease and make any adjustments where necessary from a financial risk perspective. Just makes the calculation easier on their end.

The percentage can give you a good indication of “value” but it also needs to be double-checked against the ‘On The Road’ price. Otherwise, a Ferrari would look like good value for money if we didn’t double-check the overall price and only looked at the percentage of list…

BMW 2 Series Percentage of List

*miles per annum (e.g. 24m / 20k = 40,000 miles)

Our Decision

Hopefully, the process outlined above gives you some indication on why we picked the 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto over the other models.

It has the lowest percentage of list at 2 years (32.9%), and it also has one of the lowest overall costs over the course of a lease. If you pick a longer-term, the monthly payments would be less, because you are spreading the cost, but if you want to get the most value for money, then it is best to get the 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto model.

Why The Difference In Price?

This is all to do with something called the Residual Value, or RV for short. This is a price that’s assigned to a vehicle at the end of its useable life. So from a leasing perspective, the end of its useable life is at the end of its term, because the leasing company is simply going to sell that vehicle, and it’s going to have another life with another customer. So the end of the useable life from a leasing perspective is essentially however long you lease that vehicle for, and they’re trying to understand the value at the end of the lease.

You will have to make the judgment on whether the 218i M Sport 2dr [Nav] Step Auto model is worth it over the course of a 2 year lease compared with the rest of the line-up. For us, it is, but the decision rests with you.

Thank You!

This is just some basic analysis that will hopefully help you understand the value of a 2020 BMW 2 Series Convertible lease a little better.

2020 BMW 2 Series Convertible Car Lease Comparison | Leasing Guide

The Car Leasing Guru Team