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The Best Convertibles on the market

By Tim Barnes-Clay | June 20, 2022


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We take a look at the best convertibles on the market in time for summer

The Best Convertibles on the market

Putting the roof down in the good old British weather? Welcome to the United Kingdom: famed for its grey skies and rainy days.

It is bizarre because the typical UK climate seems to be at odds with convertibles' popularity on our roads.

But the United Kingdom is one of the biggest markets for top-down driving. More drop-tops are sold here than in France, Spain, Italy or Portugal, with only Germany surpassing the numbers rolling off British forecourts.

The simple reason is that, although you'd imagine nations closer to the Mediterranean would have convertibles selling like wildfire, those countries are too hot to be driving around without the protection of a roof.

As a result, despite the stereotypical dreariness of the British weather, conditions are more suited to convertibles here than they are further south.

So, which one should you choose? We have compiled a selection to suit all tastes and budgets.

If you’re after a weekend runabout for a summer’s day, you might not want to buy brand new. But, whilst we’ve focused on brand-new cars, many have similar predecessors that you can get your hands on for a fraction of the cost.


We thought we’d bundle supercars into one and get them out of the way first. But unfortunately, while it's nice to dream, the reality is most of us can't afford one.

We can't ignore them because, of course, supercars arguably offer the best convertible experience. If you're in the privileged position of being able to afford one, there’s no shortage of options.

The Lamborghini Huracan and Aventador are available with the roof cut off. At the same time, Ferrari has no shortage of choices with the 812 GTS, 296 GTS, SF90 Spider, and F8 Spider. Meanwhile, the Portofino M offers a convertible hard-top.

For Aston Martin, there’s the DB11 Volante, the DBS Volante or the V8 Roadster, while McLaren offers the 765LT Spider and the 720S Spider. Then, there's the Bentley Continental GTC and the Rolls-Royce Dawn, too.

However, if you can’t afford one but still have deep pockets, there are many options from these manufacturers if you're looking at the second-hand market. For example, an Aston Martin DB9 Volante can be had for under £30,000, while we’ve seen Bentley Continental GTs selling for under £15,000.

If you're pushing the boat out (which we mean quite literally if you're in this sort of price bracket), a nine-year-old Bugatti Veyron convertible is a mere £1.5 million.

Now, where’s that lottery ticket gone?

Porsche 718 Boxster

For non-millionaires, if power and handling are priorities, then look no further than the 718 Boxster.

Its cornering ability is superb, while reasonably powerful engines add plenty of exciting straight-line grunt.

It is not the most powerful Porsche you can buy, nor is it overly practical, but it packs a lot of technology into a nice interior. Around £47,000 represents good value for money compared with other cars in its range.

Speaking of which, if a Boxster is under budget, then the 911 Cabriolet may be a better fit.

Audi TT Roadster

If the Boxster is too expensive, the TT is an excellent sports car whose superb performance is at odds with its £35,000 entry-level price.

It is sharp, handles well, is well equipped and is reasonably practical for a car of its type. The looks are equally lovely, too, and it has one of the best interiors you can get in a convertible without spending ridiculous amounts of money.

Speaking of cash, those with deeper pockets might want to opt for the pricier S or RS versions. You could also look at a Jaguar F-Type Convertible if that's you. 

There is also the BMW Z4.

BMW 4 Series Convertible

While the Z4 is excellent, we went with something bigger for BMW’s entry. Why? Because it's arguably the best all-rounder in terms of drivability, quality, and price.

At nearly £44,000, the top-down 4 Series doesn't come cheap, but it blends sharp handling, excellent ride comfort and refined engines.

It is also fairly practical, given the roof comes down. However, BMW’s elongated kidney grille design isn’t suited to all tastes, and, from some angles, the rear looks too long with the roof in place.

Without a doubt, though, it’s sublime to drive.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

Although the C-Class Cabriolet is a worthy rival to the M4 Convertible, we thought we’d offer a larger option here for a bit of variance.

The E-Class is over fifty grand but provides striking looks, an equally impressive interior, and all the trimming you'd expect of a Mercedes. Its size also means that, unlike most convertibles, there's a great deal of room in the back.

It is more set up for ride comfort over performance and handling, but it’s still good to drive.

The sibling C-Class Cabriolet is worth looking at if the E-Class is too big. Meanwhile, those fixed on a Merc sports car will need to stump up for the SL with its folding metal roof.

If you’re after an alternative German brand, Audi also does an A5 Cabriolet.

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet

Currently the only convertible VW on sale, the T-Roc also has the distinction of being a rare model: a top-down SUV.

If you want something relatively practical, rides slightly higher up, and looks stylish, this could be just the ticket.

The entry-level model is sluggish and best avoided, which means paying more. But, due to the lack of competitors, the drop-top T-Roc provides a level of unique exclusivity, which you can't get without spending significantly more money.

MINI Convertible

If you didn't know that the MINI was available as a soft-top, you've been missing out.

Developed by BMW, the modern-day MINI combines traditional yet modern-day looks, excellent handling, refined engines, low running costs and a well-designed interior.

It is also one of the cheapest convertibles you can buy and, as a result, offers excellent value for money.

Fiat 500C

If you fancy something even smaller, it’s easy to forget that the charming 500 is available as a convertible.

It is pleasant to drive, retains its quirky looks and has meagre running costs, plus it's hushed. Can you work out the catch? It is all-electric.

That is no bad thing these days, although it does mean making the jump to plugging your car in. But what’s to fear? It has a range of up to 189 miles, and road tax is free.

Electric cars don’t come cheap, though, and £31,500 is pretty steep for such a small car.

If that's a deal-breaker, don't despair. Unusually, Fiat is still selling its old 500C as a brand-new car. The looks aren't as modern as the electric 500C, but it’s the same basic shape and, at just £18,395, it's the cheapest on this list.

It is a hybrid, but if you don’t want to plug it in, the good news is it’s self-charging.

Our Pick: Mazda MX-5

If you know about cars, you’ll probably already know why we’ve picked this. If you don’t, then let us enlighten you.

Yes, it’s a Mazda, which is hardly a brand like Porsche. But the MX-5 has defied expectations consistently for years.

It is one of the best handling sports cars money can buy; it's great fun to drive, and while it's not the fastest or the most practical convertible, it’s light and provides a level of ride comfort unmatched by most of its competitors.

Moreover, Mazda has excellent reliability, so you don't necessarily need to consider buying a brand new one. If your convertible won’t see much daylight in the winter months, you probably won’t want to spend a stupid amount on it.

While the brand-new MX-5s are brilliant, even 15-year-old MX-5s are superb and don't look incredibly dated. So, they're worth serious consideration if they've been well maintained.

Some examples from 2006 to 2008 go from £5,500 to £7,000.

In so many ways, the MX-5 is a no-brainer.


So there you have it - a flavour for what to buy for the summer months.

If you’re in no rush for one, it could be worth waiting: convertibles are usually cheaper in the winter when demand is lower.

Nevertheless, there's no shortage of convertibles and, as we’ve seen, not every drop-top is a low-to-the-ground sports car.

While convertibles have often been the domain of premium brands, there are options out there that are far cheaper without sacrificing quality.

And, if buying something brand new is out of the question, then it pays to research the reliability of older models that can offer most of the thrills for much less cash.

Or maybe you want something more environmentally friendly? We have you covered with the fastest electric cars on the market.

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