Given the popularity of convertibles in the UK, there are loads of great options out there. However, picking the right one for you can be a little trickier. In this list, we’ll go through the best-used convertibles so that you can narrow your search and find the one that works for you.

Within the used convertible scene there are lots of different approaches. In this list, we’ll be dipping in and out of this vast spectrum, from compact models to more executive-feeling convertibles. Needless to say, we’ll also be covering off a variety of budgets and fuel types to ensure that no matter what you’re after, we’ll be able to find something for you.

1. Mini Convertible - 2016-2024

The Mini Convertible packs a whole lot of character into one good-looking drop-top. It was one of the first variations of the standard hatchback and debuted with a clever folding fabric roof, but we’re big fans of this more recent incarnation which has more of the premium features that you’d want but without breaking the budget.

Available with a range of engines, the Mini Convertible retains the same nippy handling of the regular hatchback which isn’t too watered-down as a result of the folding roof. And speaking of which, it’s very easy to operate and tidies nicely away when folded.

Best Features

  • Styling still looks fresh and fun today.
  • Interior has a great level of quality to it and plenty of features.
  • Engines are strong and offer a lot of performance.

Things to consider

  • Cabin space is tight – particularly the rear seats.
  • Boot space isn’t the best.
  • Ride can be quite firm at low speeds.

2. Mazda MX-5 - 2015-present

Mazda’s MX-5 is one of the most famous convertible cars around. Lightweight, great to drive and with a remarkable track record for reliability, it’s a car which can be enjoyed year round and, with regular servicing, won’t throw up many issues. The roof is a great reflection of this as it’s unpowered – you simply unlock it and throw it backwards. You can even use it on the move.

This latest generation of MX-5 also incorporated a clever ‘RF’ version which used a retractable metal roof – though it does stray from the usual ‘easy-use’ ethos of this normal convertible. It does add in another option, however.

Best Features

  • Popularity means that there are loads of examples to choose from.
  • MX-5 offers an involving, exciting driving experience.
  • Shouldn’t cost the earth to run – even the MX-5’s fuel economy is respectable.

Things to consider

  • The MX-5 is a very small two-seater – so not great for larger groups.
  • Some interior plastics feel a bit cheap.
  • Roof is lightweight but this does mean the MX-5 is a bit noisy at speed with the roof up.

3. BMW 4 Series Convertible - 2014-2020

If you’re after a car that’s a little comfier and more suited to day-to-day driving, then the BMW 4 Series Convertible could be right up your street. For one, it’s got a metal folding roof which, when put in place, turns this stylish drop-top into a car which feels just as refined as a standard fixed-roof BMW. A good range of engines only make the package better, while there’s a decent level of space inside.

It all makes the 4 Series Convertible a very easy car to live with on a daily basis as it’s just as comfortable and refined as a ‘regular’ car, but with the added bonus of a folding roof.

Best Features

  • Feels premium inside with lots of great materials.
  • Still looks stylish and fresh today.

Things to consider

  • Expect running costs to be higher.
  • Premium appeal means the 4 Series Convertible still costs more than rivals today.
  • Boot space isn’t as good as the hard top due to the roof.

4. Audi TT - 2015-2023

There are few cars which capture the excitement of a convertible quite like the Audi TT. A mainstay in the German firm’s stable for decades, the original TT broke onto the scene with its eye-catching rounded design and while some of that quirkiness may have shed over time, the latest generation TT still makes for a very exciting used buy.

The interior displays Audi’s trademark high level of build quality and while it may not be the most spacious of options, there’s more room inside the TT than you may expect. Go-faster TTS and TTRS versions are there for drivers after more performance, too.

Best Features

  • Stylish both inside and out, the TT feels special.
  • Build quality is top-notch with good materials used throughout.
  • Plenty of equipment – including Audi’s clever ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital dials.

Things to consider

  • Faster TTS and TTRS versions are prone to being driven hard – make sure they’ve been serviced well.
  • Squeaky brakes were a common problem, so listen out during a test drive.
  • The TT has now been discontinued, pushing used prices (and demand) upwards.

5. Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet - 2016-2021

In a similar vein to the BMW 4 Series Convertible, the C-Class Cabriolet from Mercedes delivers a refined and upmarket driving experience which makes it very easy to live with day-to-day. It’s available with some silky-smooth engines, too, including a number of diesels which could prove ideal for higher-mileage drivers after better fuel economy.

While some of the interior plastics of this generation of C-Class weren’t quite up to the usual Mercedes standards, there’s still lots to like about this drop-top. You’ll find a decent level of roominess, too, and the boot isn’t a bad size either.

Best Features

  • All C-Class Cabriolets come with plenty of equipment as standard.
  • Even with the roof up, the C-Class is quiet and refined.
  • Engine choices offer a good blend of performance and efficiency.

Things to consider

  • Expect the C-Class to cost more than others on this list.
  • Give everything a push and a prod inside – some interior plastics were prone to squeaking.
  • Ride is quite firm on AMG Line versions with larger wheels.

6. Jaguar F-Type Convertible - 2013-present

Jaguar has a long and varied history when it comes to making jaw-droppingly handsome convertibles and it felt that it delivered once again with the F-Type Cabriolet. Transferring some of the excellent design cues from the standard coupe to this soft-top version, the F-Type Cabriolet has a touch of the old-school Jaguar roadster but with plenty of high-end touches.

It’s got a great series of engines to choose from, too, ranging from a surprisingly punchy four-cylinder unit right up to a full-fat supercharged V8. However, thanks to well-sorted suspension, this is a convertible that’ll happily do some big-mileage days without breaking a sweat.

Best Features

  • The F-Type Convertible remains one of the most stylish drop-top options out there.
  • All engine choices deliver superb performance.
  • Interior feels stylish and well-made – we particularly like the cool-looking air vents.

Things to consider

  • Expect running costs for V6 and V8-powered versions to be high.
  • Maintenance will be costly, too – so work this into your budget.
  • Some interior materials do feel a bit flimsy.

7. Range Rover Evoque Convertible - 2016-2019

If you’re after something a little quirkier then boy, have we got an option for you. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible broke onto the scene as one of very few drop-top SUVs ever made, combining the looks of this best-selling high-riding model with a electrically operated fabric roof. It’s just as capable as the standard Evoque off-road, too, while the interior has all of the great functions as the regular model.

It was something of an ill-fated car, mind you, with JLR pulling the plug on the Evoque Convertible after just a handful of years. However, if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd with your next drop-top, this is a great way to do it.

Best Features

  • The exclusivity of the Evoque Convertible means you’re unlikely to pass many others on the road.
  • Still just as practical and usable as the standard SUV.
  • Some great launch colours – including a bright orange – make this a great option for extroverts.

Things to consider

  • A short life means Evoque Convertible numbers aren’t high in the used market.
  • Reliability remains an issue for Evoques of this age.
  • Rear seats are quite snug.

8. Audi A3 Cabriolet - 2014-2020

Think of Audi’s A3 and you’ll likely imagine the standard hatchback – but a convertible version mixed up the usual A3 recipe and brought something new to the table. It’s a great package, however, and thanks to a well-sized cabin and a decent boot, doesn’t bring too many drawbacks over the standard hard top.

With a folding fabric roof the A3 Cabriolet has something of an old-school charm to it, but thanks to the same range of great engines as the regular hatch it’s still very efficient. It has proven a hit with buyers, too, so there’s some good availabilty on the used market – you should be able to find one which fits your budget.

Best Features

  • The A3 Cabriolet is solidly made with lots of good materials.
  • Interior is surprisngly roomy with a well-sized boot.
  • Engine range is great while the overall driving experience is refined.

Things to consider

  • Audi A3 Cabriolets can often have a hard life – make sure that the roof is in condition and not showing signs of wear, particular in areas where it stretches over the frame.
  • Thanks to its good build quality the A3 Cabriolet will likely command a premium over rivals.
  • Can be a bit ‘boring’ for some drivers as it’s very close to the standard A3 in driving style.

9. Porsche Boxster - 2016-present

If sporting pedigree is what you’re after, then you can’t go far wrong with a Porsche. The Boxster remains one the firm’s most popular convertibles, offering everything people expect from this German brand but in a – somewhat – more affordable package. They’re a common sight on the used market, too, which means you might be able to get one for a far more budget-friendly price than you’d expect.

As with any performance cars, the Boxster will need to be properly maintained to keep it in good health but, with regular servicing, this is a convertible that’ll prove very exciting to live with. With its low weight and well-balanced steering, the Boxster delivers everything you’d want from something with a Porsche badge on the nose.

Best Features

  • The Boxster is brilliant to drive, with great control weights and loads of grip.
  • Good availability in the used market means that there’s something for most drivers.
  • All engine choices deliver decent power and performance.

Things to consider

  • Servicing and maintenance costs will be higher than with other cars.
  • As a performance car, the Boxster is often driven hard so make sure that everything feels as it should – look out for worn, soft brakes and a vague gear change.
  • Boxsters can be quite sparsely specified, with some models often missing out on key bits of equipment.

10. Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet - 2012-2019

The Beetle is a car which has always encapsulated the spirit of the Volkswagen brand, with the Cabriolet throwing in a little extra cheekiness along the way. As it’s based on the Golf, this generation of Beetle has a well-specified interior with a decent amount of space while all of the major touchpoints are finished in pleasant materials, though you may find some scratchier plastics lower down.

It’s a car which is a little more focused on comfort and ease-of-use rather than outright driving pleasure, however, but this does make it a great option for drivers who want to take things a little slower while enjoying their surroundings. The folding soft top is easy to operate, too, though it does fall back into a slightly odd arrangement at the back with lots of the material appearing to fold onto itself.

Best Features

  • The Volkswagen Beetle is easy to live with and great to drive around town.
  • The interior is made to a good standard and should look fresh even today.
  • All cars get good levels of equipment as standard.

Things to consider

  • Popular around town, the Beetle can be prone to parking damage or door dings – keep an eye out for them.
  • Some engine can be a little ratty when cold, so listen out when on a test drive.
  • Boot isn’t the biggest.

What should you consider when buying a convertible car?

Convertibles are great for drivers who like to let a little bit of the outside in. With the options we’ve looked at here, there’s a great variety of ways in which to do this, but they all allow you to bring some of the sights, sounds and smells a little closer. There are some things to consider, however. For one – how often will you use a folding roof? If you’re the type of person who frequently drops the windows on a nice day, then a convertible could be ideal – but if you like the peace and quiet of a ‘regular’ car, then a drop-top might not be for you. 

Remember, too, that there’s an extra mechanical aspect to bear in mind – and it’s something which could go wrong. Mazda MX-5 aside, all cars here use an electrical folding roof and, if it malfunctions, you could be in store for a big repair bill. 

Soft top vs hard top convertible cars

There are two schools of thought with the convertible – soft top and hard top. The former is the more traditional, using a lightweight material stretched over a frame to create a roof. The latter, meanwhile, uses metal sections which concertina away when not in use, but combine to create a hard-wearing roof when in place. 

The benefit of a metal roof is that it’ll feel more like a ‘regular’ car when the roof is up. However, they’re more complex and trickier to repair if something goes wrong. When it comes to a fabric roof they’re far simpler in design, but don’t offer the same isolation from the elements when they’re in place. Plus, fabric roofs can often fade over time and can date the car overall.