After another brutal Midwestern winter, warm weather is finally upon us once more. This makes convertibles top of mind, and here’s a list of our favorite ones.
Whether you’ve got a middle-class budget or can afford six-figures, there’s a wide range of droptop cars available from manufacturers all around the world. Underscoring this point, here are 10 of our favorite convertibles, an eclectic list with a little something for everyone.
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Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
And we start in Italy with the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. What other car offers such dramatic styling and purity of purpose for the same money? Starting at less than $70,000, it truly is a reasonably attainable exotic. Not a convertible in the traditional sense because it has a removable fabric roof section rather than a contraption that folds away like a piece of origami, it nonetheless provides an open-air driving experience, allowing you and one lucky passenger to see the sky above and listen to its 237-horsepower engine crackle and churn with every gear change.
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Neither the fastest nor fanciest car available, the Mustang is nonetheless an icon, a four-wheeled piece of rolling Americana. Available in fastback and convertible body-styles, Ford’s fabled filly unquestionably deserves a spot on this list thanks to its heritage, affordability and, of course, performance. Droptop models can be had with a thrifty EcoBoost four-cylinder engine or the mighty 5.0L V8 endowed with 460 horses.
Aston Martin DB11 Volante
Aston Martin’s DB11 is, hands down, one of the prettiest cars available today. With a long nose, clean flanks and perky rear, it’s a stunner from just about every angle. And even the convertible Volante version is gorgeous, losing none of the coupe’s elegance when engineers chopped the top. A 503-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 borrowed from the folks at Mercedes-AMG makes an equally compelling argument.
Next up, the Jeep Gladiator. Wait, hold on, hold on. Why is a JEEP of all things on this list? Well, it turns out every version of this off-road-focused pickup is a convertible. And just like a taco you can have either a hard shell or soft – removable rigid panels or an easily folded fabric roof. Gladiator is our wild-card pick here, melding the go-anywhere capability of a Wrangler with the versatility of a midsize truck. It looks nice, drives well for what it can do, and is far more versatile than anything else presented here.
As it has been for generations, Chevrolet’s Corvette coupe is an unfathomable performance bargain, delivering near-supersonic speed at an entirely blue-collar price. For droptop aficionados, the convertible version is similarly affordable, starting at less than $62,000. Even in bargain-basement guise, it packs heat in the form of a 455-horsepower small-block V8, which enables it to hit 60 miles an hour in as little as 3.7 seconds. And if the Corvette is still out of your budget, the more affordable Camaro is also available as a droptop.
What’s not to love about the Jaguar F-Type? This British performance machine comes in both coupe and convertible formats, is clothed in gorgeous styling, and offers a multitude of drivetrain configurations. You can get a base turbo-four, a potent six or even a fire-breathing supercharged V8 with up to 575 horsepower in the range-topping SVR model. No matter the model, this Jag is one of our favorite droptops.
Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster
The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is a Germanic take on the classic convertible formula, with more angles and hard edges than, say, Jag’s F-Type. With an almost impossibly long hood and a curt rear end, this Benz is all drama, especially when you pop the hood. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is standard, delivering either 469 horsepower in “base” form or a stout 550 in the GT C model. Unfortunately, it ain’t cheap, starting north of $125,000. Mercedes also offers many other convertibles if this is out of your budget — the C-Class Cabriolet, E-Class Cabriolet, and SLC Roadster are all great options.
Mazda MX-5 Miata/RF
But no convertible compilation would be complete without the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This car proves you don’t need 500 horsepower or a second mortgage to have a blast behind the wheel. In fact, a mere 181 ponies and about $25,000 is all that’s required. Small, lightweight and surgically precise, this droptop will absolutely dance in the hands of even less-than-perfect drivers. Maximizing the open-air fun, you can get a lid that’s either soft or hard, so take your pick.
Porsche’s 911 is one of the most hallowed automobiles in production today. Including it on this list is simply a no-brainer. The 911 is offered in a huge variety of models. Of course, there are plenty of convertible options, from the base Carrera Cabriolet to an open-air version of the 911 Turbo S, there’s plenty to choose from, especially if you count the Targa models. But no matter which one you lust after, this Porsche is guaranteed to please. In fact, we’re sure even the good doctor himself would be proud (that’s Dr. Porsche). If the 911 is a bit too rich, Porsche also offers the more affordable 718 Boxster, which is definitely one of our favorite convertibles as well.
Audi R8 V10 Spyder
Now, unquestionably, one of our favorite convertibles available today is the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. In high-output “Plus” form this Teutonic speed-machine brandishes 602 horsepower and can hit 60 miles an hour in a breathtaking 3.5 seconds. Not quite as fast, the car’s skimpy cloth roof opens or closes in about 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 MPH. Base price for a standard model is around $180,000, grab a Plus and you’re closer to 210. YIKES! If you’re looking for something more affordable, Audi also offers the A3 and A5 Cabriolet and the TT Roadster.
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