Best convertible cars and cabriolets 2018

There are lots of convertibles on sale in the UK, but these are our favourites for a long, sunny drive

Although the British climate doesn’t always provide the best conditions for sunny weekend drives, demand in the UK for convertibles has always been strong. Here we’ve listed the ten best convertibles on sale, and while they all fall under the same drop-top banner, there’s actually a very wide range of vehicles to choose from.

Britain’s love-affair with open-top cars stems from the early days of Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, which had hand-made phaeton and landaulette bodies constructed by specialist coachbuilders. The likes of MG, Austin Healey and Triumph followed during the golden era of British sports cars, while Jaguar and Aston Martin both have roots in roofless race cars.

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Today they rank among the most desirable vehicles in the world, among a spectrum of convertibles that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The largest and most expensive on sale is the Rolls-Royce Dawn, while the smallest on sale is the Smart ForTwo Cabrio. Between those two extremes, you’ll find everything from open-top supercars to cabriolets based on hatchbacks, coupes and more.

Vehicles like the Mercedes S-Class Convertible and Bentley Continental GTC pair the drop-top experience with ultimate luxury, while in the supercar category, the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder and Audi R8 Spyder share the same V10 power for devastating levels of performance. Meanwhile, Ferrari offers the 488 Spider, and McLaren has its 650S and 675LT Spiders. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

The Jaguar F-Type is the only open-top model that Jag currently builds, and it competes with the long-standing Porsche 718 Boxster and 911 Cabriolet. All three were developed with roof-down motoring in mind, so you shouldn’t expect much compromise when it comes to driving enjoyment. That’s the same story for the Mazda MX-5, its sister model, the Fiat 124 Spider and the Alfa Romeo 4C, as well as the purpose-built Caterham Seven.

Four seater convertibles come in many forms, although the class was shaken up a little in 2016 when the Ford Mustang Convertible arrived in the UK. Audi has its A3 and A5 drop-tops, which are matched by the BMW 2 Series and 4 Series Convertibles, but the German firm also offers the larger 6 Series, too. Mercedes has nearly as many cabrios as 4x4s on its books, with open versions of the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class coupes, while the 911-rivalling AMG GT Roadster completes the range. One alternative rival for these established models is the Range Rover Evoque Convertible – an open-top SUV.

If you’re on a budget, then some city cars and superminis are available with peel-back canvas roofs: the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108, and Toyota Aygo offer this kind of solution, as does the Renault Twingo.

Our round-up of the best convertibles isn’t a true top ten list, because the sheer diversity on offer means not all these cars can be fairly compared. Instead it’s our pick of the cars that will give you the wind-in-the-hair thrills of open-top motoring, while still delivering everyday usability that means they’re no hardship to run. And who knows? Some of these cars are so effective at keeping the cabin warm on a cold day that you could consider lowering the roof even when it’s cold outside…     

Best convertible cars 2018

  • • MINI Convertible
  • • Mercedes C-Class Convertible
  • • Mazda MX-5
  • • Porsche 718 Boxster
  • • Audi A3 Cabriolet
  • • Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
  • • Porsche 911 Cabriolet
  • • Audi A5 Cabriolet
  • • Jaguar F-Type
  • • BMW 4 Series Convertible

Next: MINI Convertible

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