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There is no better way to enjoy the true freedom of the road than with a car that lets you drive with the roof down. On a hot summer’s day and a scenic country lane, there is no finer motoring experience than relaxing in your convertible as the roof slides back and the sunshine hits your skin. Romantic, luxurious, and lots of fun, convertible cars bring a whole new dimension and experience to everyday driving.

BEFORE BUYING A USED CONVERTIBLE

Whilst convertible cars are super entertaining on a clear day, as with any car purchase it’s important to consider whether it is the right choice for you. Ask yourself:

  • Is the car big enough for your needs?
  • Does it have enough boot space and practicality for your requirements?
  • Does it fit within your budget?

If the answer is yes to all three questions, the only thing left to ask is whether you want a soft-top or a hardtop? There are pros and cons to each type:

  • Hardtops are more secure and better insulated from the weather
  • But hardtops are usually more expensive and they look like regular cars, losing some of the stylistic appeal of a convertible
  • Soft-tops are typically cheaper and they retain that classic convertible look
  • Although soft-tops roofs can be harder to maintain

1. MAZDA MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is a beloved and iconic sports car that is low weight, responsive, and excellent fun to drive. With the roof down, the MX-5 roadster multiplies that fun into a driver’s experience you’ll never forget. There’s a reason it’s one of the world’s best-selling convertibles and it largely boils down to the car’s engaging driveability. But that’s not all it has going for it. The MX-5 is outstanding value for money, providing a fantastic sports convertible at an affordable price. Mazda has a great record for reliability too, and most importantly, the car looks the part: it’s diminutive, sleek, and contoured, and it sits low to the ground, offering elegance and style at a fraction of a cost compared to other motoring icons. The Mazda MX-5 is available as a folding-hardtop version (the RF) or with a manually operated fabric roof (as standard).

Best features:

  • Looks fantastic
  • Excellent fun to drive
  • Outstanding value for money

USED PRICES FROM £700

2. AUDI TT ROADSTER

The ever-popular and beautiful looking Audi TT is even more impressive and beautiful in its Roadster guise, particularly on a clear summer’s day with the top down. The stylish convertible has a healthy dose of luxury, a good dash of sportiness, and, importantly, a lot of practicality for everyday use. It is also a car with a lot of flair and style, which is exactly what’s needed with a convertible. Of course, it needs to be fun to drive too, and the Roadster doesn’t disappoint. It is agile, with good power and sprightly performance, and offers an enjoyable driving experience that carries with it a sense of ease and refinement. Additionally, the Audi TT Roadster comes with a host of clever features, like a triple-layered fabric roof that dampens the interior noise for added serenity whilst driving with the roof on. And for driving with the roof down, it only takes 10 seconds for the roof to fold into the boot, and as it is fabric, it takes up a lot less boot space.

Best features:

  • Fun to drive
  • Agile and sprightly
  • Stylish looks

USED PRICES FROM £9,500

3. MINI CONVERTIBLE

Iconic, fun, and with go-kart like handling, the Mini Convertible is just as responsive, playful, and engaging as other Mini models. Drop the electrically-powered soft top roof, something you can do even whilst driving, and suddenly the open-air just makes everything that’s great about a Mini that much greater. Find a snaking country road and the Mini Convertible comes into its own, enjoying the corners with communicative steering and playfulness. The car looks great too, and the stylish exterior captures that summer’s day driving to the beach vibe. In short, the joyful driving experience of the Mini brand coupled with the roof down are two things that just go hand-in-hand – it’s the perfect coupling of fun and open-air excitement.

Best features:

  • Excellent fun to drive
  • Go-kart like handling
  • Stylish exterior

USED PRICES FROM £1,300

4. PORSCHE 711 BOXSTER

One of the best convertibles for a pure and exhilarating driving experience, the Porsche 711 Boxster offers everything you’d expect from the iconic marque. It has streamlined, head-turning looks, it has a lot of power to call on for quick acceleration, and it has nimble and responsive handling. On a clear day, find a twisty road and put the roof down, it’s here the Boxster is at home and few cars can match the Boxster when it’s in its element. For open-air thrills, the Porsche 711 Boxster is a pack leader. It has practicality too, as the clever roof mechanism, at the push of a button, retracts into its own space independent of the boot, giving you both the front and rear boot space to play with.

Best features:

  • Exhilarating to drive
  • Nimble and responsive
  • Streamlined looks

USED PRICES FROM £4,000

5. ROLLS-ROYCE DAWN

Convertibles offer filmic Hollywood moments, driving with the roof down on a blazing hot day, enjoying the sun on your face and the wind against your hair. It is part of the joy and allure of driving a convertible and the Rolls-Royce Dawn takes that formula and rockets it into a stratosphere that is pure iconic cinema. The Dawn is ostentatious and it knows it. Yet the model has every right to be, because the car does exactly what Rolls-Royce set out to do. It provides the ultimate convertible driving experience if you are looking for sheer, unadulterated luxury. The stunning architecture and sheer size of the car, the light steering and incredibly pleasant driving experience, the unrivalled and exquisite cabin quality – the Rolls-Royce Dawn has it all. With the roof down, the car is so composed and dignified you’ll barely feel the airflow, and with the roof up, it is more quiet and peaceful than any convertible has the right to be. It is a very special vehicle, with an exclusive price tag to match.

Best features:

  • Ultimate for luxury
  • Incredibly pleasant to drive
  • Unrivalled and exquisite cabin

USED PRICES FROM £165,000

6. MERCEDES-BENZ E-CLASS CABRIOLET

A true four-seat convertible, with a stylish, spacious, and comfortable interior, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet offers something a bit different from rivals. It has a relaxed approach to driving, which perfectly matches the distinguished exterior and cabin. It’s practical too, particularly with the rear seats and decent-sized boot. In fact, the E-Class Cabriolet could easily be used as a family car, one the kids would fully enjoy thanks to the fun of driving with the roof down. Equally, the car is just at home driving solo on a serene day out in the sun, providing the kind of reflective journey that only a long road and seriously comfortable surroundings can offer. It’ll bring many a smile, not based on number crunching performance like others on this list, but on that supreme confidence and joyful peace found when truly relaxed whilst driving. And whenever the weather’s clear, the multi-layered fabric roof can be raised or lowered whilst you drive in only 20 seconds

Best features:

  • Relaxing drive experience
  • Comfortable four-seater
  • Practical and stylish

USED PRICES FROM £6,300

7. BMW Z4

The striking looks of the BMW Z4 roadster all but guaranteed it a place on this list. The upmarket sports car scores extra points for being fun to drive and easy to live with, treading the balance between sportiness, comfort, and practicality. Great for long journeys, with a high-quality cabin, the soft top can retract whilst driving (up to 30mph) in just 10 seconds and with it down you can still enjoy a good conversation with your fellow passenger without having to strain to listen. In many ways, despite its stylish and edgy exterior, the Z4 is a sensible sports car. Let it loose on those twisty country lanes, however, and the sporty side of its personality comes to the fore.

Best features:

  • Striking looks
  • Comfortable cabin
  • Fun to drive

USED PRICES FROM £2,500

8. MORGAN PLUS FOUR

Blending traditional craftsmanship with modern technology, the hand-crafted Morgan Plus Four is a convertible with a noticeably different take on motoring, harking back to a much-loved, bygone era with its stunning classic looks. But don’t be fooled, underneath its exterior lies 21st century performance and this two-seater sports car can hit some impressive numbers. Nonetheless, it is clear where the Morgan Plus Four truly excels and that is (without doubt) its unique driving experience, which is perfectly coupled with the car’s styling. No other convertible comes close, particularly if you are after that aristocratic feel. The Morgan Plus Four is a statement car, where every journey with the roof down is a special and memorable one, almost as if through time.

Best features:

  • Stunning classic looks
  • Excellent performance
  • Unique driving experience

USED PRICES FROM £26,000

9. BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT

Built via a mixture of hand-crafted techniques and modern manufacturing, the Bentley Continental GT offers a similar level of luxury as the Rolls-Royce Dawn, but with pared-back looks that are nowhere near as ‘showy’. That is in no way a criticism, because the GT is an effortlessly beautiful car. Of course, the two vehicles are also very different. The GT mixes its brand of luxury with some exhilarating high-performance figures, arguably creating one of the finest grand tourers on the market. Inside, the cabin is incredibly comfortable and as refined as the exterior. Like the Dawn, it is immensely quiet with the hood up, comparable to many a high-end hard top. With the roof down, there is practically zero wind turbulence and, in true Bentley style, there are vents, heated seats, and heated arm rests to warm you up if it gets a bit chilly.

Best features:

  • Fun to drive
  • Exhilarating performance
  • Luxury interior

USED PRICES FROM £18,000

10. FORD MUSTANG

The iconic Ford Mustang has long been seen as a brutish powerhouse of a muscle car, embodying a sense of all-American grit. How to improve on that formula? Simple, just take the roof off and let the driver hear and feel the car’s performance. It is here, the Ford Mustang Convertible carves its own kind of enjoyment. Where others on this list provide a fun and more delicate driving experience, the Mustang offers something different – an exhilarating ride that is big, brash, and brawny, much like the car’s exterior. The Ford Mustang Convertible is a car that demands to be looked at and heard. But the car’s qualities don’t end there. As standard, it comes fitted with fantastic equipment, such as adaptive cruise control and a rear-view camera, and, for those who like to personalise their car to the smallest details, or for those who like to further enhance the car’s performance, the legendary Ford Mustang caters to your needs.

Best features:

  • Iconic, brawny looks
  • Fantastic standard equipment
  • Brash and exhilarating ride

USED PRICES FROM £7,000

Enjoy the freedom of the road and fresh air on your face with a convertible from Motors.co.uk

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