Convertibles. Cabriolets. Soft-tops. Roadsters. Whatever you may call them, come the warmer summer months, the appeal of an open top vehicle to appreciate the hotter climate is a tempting prospect. Below is a top 5 list of what we think are the best buys for 2017. Don't see your favourite? Why not check out our partner site Stratstone, for a list of the best used premium convertibles.
1. Mazda MX-5
You simply cannot compile a 'best convertible' list without the mention of the Mazda MX-5 a.k.a. Mazda Miata. It is, after all, one of the best-selling sports cars ever built. The nimble little sports car may not be the fastest, nor the most luxurious convertible out there, but that's not the point.
No matter which generation of MX-5 you choose, you're guaranteed a great driving experience. This is thanks to a driver focused rear-wheel drive set-up and fine chassis, proving that huge power is not needed to enjoy this peach of a sports car.
The Mazda MX-5 also looks the part, thanks to its classic sports car lines. Being a Mazda, reliability is excellent and used MX-5 models hold their value really well - particularly the special editions.
Economy is pretty good thanks to the cars minimal weight, and relatively small engine choice, which is available up to 2-litres. Early MX-5's can be had for a few thousand pounds, but will be high mileage and are usually imports. Later models with reasonable mileage and kit usually start from a smidge under £10k, rising to around the £20k mark for low mileage examples.
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2. Mini Cooper Convertible
Released after the success of the hatchback, the new Mini Convertible was first launched in 2004 and offers seating for four - including the driver. It offers the same fun factor as the hatchback with go-kart like handling, endless customisation, retro looks, decent economy and a variety of engines, available in both petrol and diesel.
Being from the BMW family, the MINI feels very premium and the interior quality is excellent with infotainment and dials being crisp and clear. The folding roof is quick to operate, so you won't be caught out in the UK's spare of the moment rain showers!
MINI's tend to hold their value rather well, due to their endless customisation options and hugely popular following. Early models can be found for around £5k, with used later models fetching up to £20k. Performance versions such as the Cooper S and JCW can be around £25k due to their enhanced specs and performance. MINI also produce a specific MINI Roadster, which has a sleeker body and more traditional roadster look.
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3. Ford Mustang Convertible
The iconic Ford Mustang had never been made in right-hand drive, until late 2015 when Ford released it into the UK market. Having the iconic Mustang available in the UK was one thing, making it available for around £35k seemed unbelievable, yet Ford managed it.
Available as a Fastback or Convertible, and available with a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine or a 5.0-litre V8 the Mustang has proven hugely popular. Available as a manual or automatic, the convertible is bursting with character - perhaps one of the many traits that have made the Mustang so iconic.
The looks shout true muscle car, and the interior is full of retro details to give you the full-on Mustang experience. Used convertible examples are now available for just over £30k which seems crazy for such an iconic car, with genuine road presence and head-turning looks.
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4. Honda S2000
The S2000 has been around since 1999, and was produced for ten years up until 2009. Despite not being made anymore, it is still regarded as an excellent choice for open-top motoring.
Being a Honda, the S2000 is impressively reliable thanks to its hugely impressive engine - which can rev up to an impressive 9000rpm. It is also an incredible drivers' car, having a high-performance 2.0-litre engine delivering a smidge under 240bhp and a 0-60 time of just over 6 seconds, with the added rear-wheel drive set-up petrolheads crave.
Interior quality is decent, if very minimal and the folding roof can be swapped for a separate hard-top in the winter months. The S2000 is fairly rare nowadays having ceased production in 2009, however used models are highly sort after which has seen the S2000 hold its value extremely well.
£6k gets you a high mileage example, whilst some models can fetch nearly £20k - despite some models being over ten years old. The S2000 has established itself as a well-rounded icon, and can still cut it with much modern-day alternatives, despite not being made anymore.
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5. Citroën DS3 Cabrio
The Citroën DS3 Cabrio was released in 2013, after the DS3 hatchback it is based upon achieved major success. The DS3 Cabrio has a retro look and feel, and was introduced after competitor's success with their retro cabriolets (such as the MINI, VW Beetle and Fiat 500).
The DS3 cabrio looks rather different to the other cars featured in the list, as it uses a fixed profile and at first glance may look like a regular DS3 hatch - which is perhaps part of the appeal for some buyers. The interior is modern and well laid out, and feels of premium quality, which ties in well with the overall retro looks.
As the DS3 Cabrio is based on the hatchback, therefore, the Cabrio drives well and the roof can be closed at speeds of up to 75mph. Engines are typically the 1.6-litre with either petrol or diesel fuel, yet a 1.2-litre petrol is also available. As the Cabrio is fairly new, used values range from around £7k to £12k with higher-spec models fetching a little more.
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