With winter in full swing and daylight hours rapidly dwindling, not many car buyers are on the hunt for cabriolets.
However, if you’re willing to buck the trend, you should be able to get a good deal as salespeople may be keen to get convertibles off their forecourts without having to wait until spring, when interest in soft tops normally jumps rapidly.
We’ve rounded up five of the best convertibles that can be bought for under £30,000 and provide space for four people. All of these machines offer strong performance, but shouldn’t break the bank with their fuel consumption – even if you opt for a petrol version.
Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport – £26,840
Audi may be known for its premium pricing, but as the entry-level A3 Cabriolet is both speedy and economical, you don’t have to venture far up the price list to find an appealing model.
The 1.4-litre TFSI 150 returns a very strong 57.6mpg – despite drinking from the petrol pump – though it is capable of zooming to 62mph in just 8.9 seconds. Car tax is also inexpensive at just £30 per year under current rules.
BMW 220i Sport Convertible – £29,175
BMW’s compact four-seater convertible offers even sleeker styling and a greater dose of power than the Audi, though it can’t compete at the petrol pumps.
With a turbocharged motor under the bonnet, this BMW sprints to 62mph in a brisk 7.5 seconds, though you’ll have to visit the petrol station more often, with claimed fuel economy of 41.5mpg. Car tax is also pricier at £180 per year.
If you don’t object to a diesel, however, BMW’s 220d Sport Convertible offers identical acceleration and still sneaks in under the £30,000 mark, though fuel consumption is much lower at 64.2mpg.
Volkswagen Eos 1.4 TSI 160 Sport – £26,805
Convertibles may be all about the wind-in-the-hair experience, but the Eos also gives you the refinement of a hard-top, with its folding metal roof – all for a price similar to the A3 Cabriolet.
Performance is similar to the Audi too, with the car taking 8.8 seconds to get up to 62mph, though the engine can’t match the Audi for economy, with claimed fuel consumption figure of 41.5mpg and car tax of £180 per year.
Vauxhall Cascada 1.6 200 SE – £26,250
The Cascada may not be the most obvious convertible choice, but it offers sleek lines, a comfortable interior and strong value. For just over £26,000 you can get your hands on the turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol model, which offers plenty of equipment and a reasonable balance of economy and power.
With this engine, the Cascada returns 42.2mpg and passes the 62mph in 8.5 seconds and an annual car tax bill of £180. This large cabriolet may not have the most upmarket badge, but offers chic styling inside and out, and an engaging drive for well under £30,000.
Citroen DS3 Cabrio DSport Plus 165 – £21,225
The DS3 Cabrio definitely isn’t the largest of convertibles, but it does offer space for four and has a sardine can-style roof, which slides all the way back to give you the sensation of a convertible, but without all the heavy folding metal gubbins.
Even in top DSport Plus THP 165 form, the DS3 weighs in at just £21,225, though it can still scamper to 62mph in just 7.6 seconds and returns more than 50mpg. Car tax is similarly reasonable, with annual bills of just £30.