Few things beat the experience of driving a convertible. With the roof down, some good tunes and a clear road stretching ahead, there's a sense of freedom and excitement in a convertible that's hard to match. If you fancy taking to the road without a roof, we've put together details of seven outstanding convertibles currently on sale. From the majestic and magnificent to the quaint and quirky, our "best of" includes a convertible that's suitable for almost every driver.
1. Mazda MX-5
The MX-5 has won around 200 awards since its introduction in 1989. It's a perennial favourite that offers an attractive combination of high performance and great good looks for a reasonable price. That said, at $37,700 the starting price for 2022, it's less of a bargain than in previous years).
To create the MX-5, Toyota took inspiration from the classic '60s roadster. The rear-wheel-drive, lightweight design, well-balanced chassis and front-mounted engine combine to provide a car that's a pleasure to drive and very easy on the eye. The 2022 version benefits from a 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated 2l engine (135kW, 2095Nm). This is teamed with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Whilst those aren't the biggest numbers out there, the vehicle's light weight means there's more than enough power available.
Reviewers rave about the MX-5's nippy handling and responsiveness - if you like to drive, this is a great option. Drivers can choose from a soft-top, fabric roof, or folding hard-top roof that can be folded down or up as required.
2. Mercedes-AMG SL
Newly incarnated for 2022, the Mercedes-AMG SL was voted one of the "Classics of the Future" in a readership survey conducted by Motor Klassik magazine. A high-end, luxury roadster, it's a joy to drive as well as to look at. With a starting price of $279,000, the AMG isn't cheap, but drivers are unlikely to be disappointed.
A 4l twin-turbo V8 (350kw/700Nm) engine sits beneath the long bonnet, teamed with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Features include Nappa leather seats and an 11.5" Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible infotainment screen. Keyless entry and an impressive suite of autonomous safety features are further benefits.
As desirable now as it was when first introduced way back in 1954, the Mercedes-AMG SL is a timeless classic.
3. Fiat 500C
If you're in the market for a small, runaround that also boasts convertible credentials, the Fiat 500C is a strong contender. Benefiting from inimitable Fiat 500 styling, the perky 1.2l 4-cylinder petrol engine (51kw/102Nm) is more than sufficient to take this little car wherever it needs to go. Fuel efficiency is around 4.9l/100km, which makes for economical driving.
This Fiat benefits from a 7" touchscreen infotainment display. It also has autonomous safety features, LED running lights and the option of leather seats and tinted windows if required.
Prices start at $25,650.
4. Ford Mustang
Powered by a meaty 5l V8 engine (339kw/556Nm), the Mustang's roar provides an appealing soundtrack to any road trip. The Mustang is a car that's designed to get noticed. Owners can select from an eye-searing paint palette. A black mesh grille and slit-eyed LED headlights complement the classic long bonnet roadster styling. This is a car that's built to drive - it shines on the open road, less so in an urban environment. A retro interior is updated with a state-of-the-art infotainment screen and other modern features.
If you're a driver that prioritises safety and/or fuel efficiency, the Mustang may not be for you. The car has an ANCAP 3-star rating and 13.9l/100km average fuel consumption. For die-hard muscle car fanatics, the Mustang convertible offers a driving experience that's up there with the best.
Prices start at $51,490 in 2022.
5. BMW 220 Series
The BMW 220i is a compact convertible that's ideal for drivers seeking a second car for weekend fun. It manages to pack plenty of driver excitement into its small-sized frame. Understated exterior styling ensures widespread appeal. Features include LED headlights, and rear lights, as well as a selection of light alloy wheel choices.
The 220i is powered by a 2.0l four-cylinder turbo petrol engine (135kw/300Nm). This is teamed with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Owners can choose from a range of interior options, including leather upholstery and a choice of dash colours.
Reviewers love the infotainment offering. This is an easy-to-use, 10.25" touchscreen featuring BMW's new operating system. Other features include dual-zone climate control and ambient lighting. BMW enables owners to customise their 220i with one or more packages. For a further cost, drivers can buy the Comfort package or the Technology package. These packages include features such as a heated steering wheel and lumbar back support, electric front seats, storage for a wireless charger, parking assist and proximity unlocking.
Fuel efficiency is around 6.3l/100km, which makes the 200i economical to run.
The vehicle benefits from a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, as well as a good selection of autonomous features.
Prices for a BMW 220i convertible start at around $59,900.
6. Fiat Abarth 595 Competizione
Are you looking for an unforgettable convertible? If small, zany little cars are your passion, the Abarth 595 Competizione could be your convertible of choice. This pocket-sized Fiat features a 1.4l turbo petrol engine, with manual or auto transmission. Designed primarily for urban driving, it delivers fuel efficiency of around 6.0l/100km. Retro exterior styling is updated with alloys and polyelliptical headlights. Inside, owners can customise their surroundings. Options include leather upholstery, sports pedals, powered windows and a height-adjustable driver's seat.
Reviewers love the funky, nostalgic styling that's got a marked Italian design vibe, in keeping with Fiat's ancestry. They're less impressed with the noise and comfort of the Abarth - we recommend a test drive before you consider purchasing.
Not to be confused with the other Italian Competizione on the market (the $775,000 Ferrari 812 Competizione), the Fiat Abarth 595 C (Competizione) starts at around $31,450.
7. Audi A5 Convertible
Beautifully understated, the A5 cabriolet is a powerful beast that's also elegant and refined. The A5 is engineered to rival options such as the BMW 430i and the Mercedes-Benz C300. The exterior is designed along classic lines. It incorporates all the technological refinements you would expect from a luxury vehicle. Inside, leather-appointed sports seats provide exceptional comfort. Shift paddles enable drivers to make faster gear changes. A considered layout results in a driver experience that's comfortable and well-appointed.
The engine is a 2l turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine (183kw/370Nm), teamed with a 7-speed S Troic transmission. It includes mild-hybrid technology, helping to keep average fuel consumption down to a very respectable 7.4l/100km.
Owners can buy packages to augment the basics. 5-star ANCAP rated, the A5 incorporates a good selection of autonomous and static safety features.
Reviewers rave about the driving experience and high-end interior. They are less enthusiastic about the number of quite basic features that need to be purchased as extras. These include electric front seats with lumbar support and keyless entry.
Prices start at around $71,900.
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