As the sun begins to shine on towns and cities up and down Britain and the faint whiff of barbequed meat begins to fill the air, it's safe to say we're finally in convertible season. For this reason, we thought it appropriate to take a look at some of the best vehicles currently in the class; both in terms of affordability, style and general driver enjoyment.
Convertibles have certainly enjoyed a resurgence over the last few years and vehicles falling into this bracket are now some of the most desirable in the market with this demand reaching pressure-point during the summer months.
Volkswagen Golf Convertible
The Volkswagen Golf is unarguably one of the world’s most desirable cars. With its hatchback layout combined alongside a thrilling open-top ride it’s one of the best choices you can make when it comes to getting a convertible, as well. The Golf has some quality engines with a bit of interior luxury thrown in for good measure and it’s also exceptionally fun.
A top-down ride is all about enjoyment and the Golf certainly ticks all the boxes on this front. The 1.4-litre TSI SE is not recommended for those looking to push higher mileage figures but is still tremendously efficient and should be packing enough for most drivers. If not, there’s always the 2.0-litre BlueMotion SE diesel which is both highly affordable and incredibly economical meaning you won’t rack up extensive running-costs.
You’ll also get swanky alloy wheels, a fresh interior layout and a multi-adjustable steering wheel. The Golf might not be the most fashionable of the models but it more than makes up for it with affordability and economy and it certainly gets our vote.
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Audi A3 Convertible
Audi have always been top-notch when it comes to convertibles, in fact it’s become one of their most defining selling-points under the steadying hand of VW. The A3 Convertible has undergone perhaps the most striking renovation of all their vehicles which shows their clear commitment to the convertible-cause. First of all, it feels very good and extremely comfortable as well as combining Audi’s traditional bespoke performance. You won’t be short of room either, there is 320-litres of boot space when you put the roof up and if you bring it down it will only take 18 seconds and still provide 275-litres. There a range of trims to choose from but all offer superior performance meaning you truly make the most out of that open-top ride.
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Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
Mercedes wading into the convertible scene is always a good ign, probably not for their rivals, but definitely for the market. The manufacturer always brings a certain excitement and verve that spices up the market and keeps things interesting. Merc are always very proficient when it comes to engines and it’ll come as no surprise that the E-Class Cab is one of the more powerful convertibles on the market. The most ravenous delivers 328bhp with the *least* powerful providing 168bhp – that’s still considerably more than many of it’s rivals. There’s a 7-speed gearbox which makes driving more exciting and less of a chore and all of this makes for a very, very smooth ride. A classy cabin is helped by a fabric roof which will score points with drivers who find the hard-tops unsightly and there’s also plenty of safety kit available – the E-Class got five stars from EuroNCAP.
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The MINI Convertible looks good. It’s probably one of the most attractive convertibles that MINI have ever produced and they’ve produced some really striking models, that’s for sure. But that’s not where it’s quality ends, the Cooper has a seriously strong set of engines epitomized by a 100bhp, 1.6-litre diesel that is both steely and very economical. There’s 70mpg to be gained and while it’s more energetic brother the Cooper D has a bit more pulling-power – 0-62mph is attainable in 7.3 seconds - it still doesn’t do anywhere near the former in terms of economy.
If this has piqued your curiosity, be sure to have a look at MINI Convertible rates
Citroen DS3 Cabriolet
Citroen’s DS3 was an inspirational vehicle, and it’s not often one of these glorious specimens can be described in such glowing terms. It’s fully deserving of it, though. The DS3 was the vehicle that made Citroen branch out into DS and arguably resulted in a strong upturn in fortunes for the manufacturer. The DS3 is a nifty hatchback, but it’s just as competent as a convertible. It’s roof has caused a little consternation, but take nothing away, this is a class vehicle. Bold 17-inch alloys are carried over and the drive is both smooth and very fun, as it was in the hatchback and you don’t have to worry about slowing down if the rain hits to change the roof – it’s possible to lower or raise it at upto 75mph.
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Porsche 911 Cabriolet
At the opposite end of the spectrum, in terms of price anyway, is the Porsche 911 Cabriolet. It’s sleek and smooth exterior design is both likeable and easy-on-the-eye. As its a Porsche, there are no half-measures – the punchy 911 converts very well into a convertible with virtually zilch of it’s performance compromised. You don’t need to worry necessarily about upgrading your trim, even the very basic model has a top-speed of 178mph and does 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds.
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