Top 10 Best Convertible Cars
Convertibles are sleek, sexy and perfect for hot summer road-trips across the scenic countryside. Pair the right convertible with a great driver and you’ll be on track for a seriously stylish, journey to remember.
Synonymous with luxury, a convertible car isn’t something you ‘need’ – they’re often a high-class accessory associated with a certain level of status. But which convertible should you buy?
If you’re looking to compare the best convertible cars, this UK market guide is for you. Read on for convertible buying ideas…
Convertibles come in different shapes and sizes – from small roadsters, to coupes and models with folding roofs others with soft tops. Then there are T-tops and Targas where only part of the roof can be removed.
Each model presents a different image. Some are poser central, while others you could use daily throughout the year. In fact, the hardest part to choosing a convertible is arguably finding the perfect model to suit you, the driver.
Below is a comprehensive guide to the best convertibles on the UK market, each model having its own distinctive personality. And since convertibles often yield a hefty price tag, we’ve made an effort to cover every budget.
The best 10 convertible cars to buy in 2019:
- Mazda MX-5 Roadster
- Mini Cooper Convertible
- Audi TT Roadster
- BMW 4 Series Convertible
- Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT
- Porsche 718 Boxster
- Jaguar F Type
- Mercedes S Class Cabriolet
- BMW Z4
- Bentley Continental GT
1. Mazda MX-5 Roadster
Mazda’s MX-5 is arguably one of the best two-seater sports cars ever with a long history dating back to 1989, it’s definitely still one of the best convertibles in 2019.
At just under £20,000 brand new, the MX-5 has just one direct competitor in that price braket, the Fiat or Abarth Spider. Which is an MX-5 underneath a pretty skin and powered by totally different engines.
Since its debut in the MX-5 has been revered for its intricate balance, ultra-responsive handling and unique driving experience.
It’s value for money, easy to drive and has never lost sight of what it is: a small and elegant sports car designed to achieve maximum fun between car and driver.
Mazda’s MX-5 offers either a 1.5 litre engine with 132PS or a more potent 2.0 litre with 184 PS. While the 1.5 is a decent engine it feels somewhat lacking in a car of this ilk.
Make sure you opt for the 2.0 litre if you like a car with a bit more shove, it will also be a hell of a lot more fun down your favourite country lane.
The question is: who would look good driving it? The answer is: anyone under six feet tall.
If you’re tall, broad or both, we recommend you try before you buy. The MX-5’s interior is quite cosy – especially for drivers over the six foot mark.
But aside from the somewhat diminutive interior, the Mazda MX-5 is great little convertible, just make sure you pack light as the boot is pretty dinky.
Price: Starts at £19,495
- Excellent handling
- Great value for money
- Low cost of ownership
- Very responsive
- Boot space is on the small side
- Some competitors are faster
- Falls a little short on comfort
2. MINI Convertible
MINIs are notoriously responsive, playful and engaging, with communicative steering with a penchant for corners – and the convertible model is no exception.
Awarded the coveted title of Convertible car of the Year by Auto Express in 2018, the soft-top MINI isn’t only a great drive but also comes packed with features.
Inside is kitted out with a six-inch infotainment system complete with a ‘visual boost’ radio which includes DAB, six speakers and a USB socket for your smartphone.
There are plenty of optional extras too, including the MINI TLC Service plan, which covers all servicing requirements for three years (or 36,000 miles). Not bad for a £299 one-off payment.
The base MINI Cooper ‘Classic’ model has 136 HP which will give you a 0-62 time of 8.8 seconds, nippy for the starting model. There’s a choice of manual and automatic transmission, but the latter will cost you £1,400 more.
Other options include the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models – both with 2.0-litre engines producing 192 hp and 231 hp respectively, and there are three style trim levels to choose from with the S model; ‘Classic’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Exclusive’.
It’s been said the super hot JCW treatment is wasted on the convertible. Due to it’s lack of roof the MINI is far softer and wobbly than it’s tin top brother. So maybe stick with the S and save yourself £5,000 in the process.
If you’re after a fun convertible to use daily then the MINI brings it’s retro chic appearance to the drop top loving masses, what’s more is it’s affordability.
Price: Starts at £20,085
- Fun and engaging to drive
- Bags of personality
- Boot space is on the small side
- The fact it’s a convertible means slight chassis wobble
3. Audi TT Roadster
Since 1999, the Audi TT Roadster has been the go-to car for style lovers everywhere.
It’s fairly practical as convertibles go, good-looking like it’s coupe counterpart and great to drive.
Inside is high quality, as you’d expect with an Audi. Supportive leather sport seats are standard on many trim levels. But is it the best convertible car?
With an entry-level 2.0-litre ’40 TSI’ engine combines decent power delivery, and peppy performance from its 197 HP. It will also manages 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds.
You can opt for a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre, one that produces 245 HP, that will hit 62 from a standstill in just 6.1 seconds.
Whereas some convertibles suffer without having a solid roof above them, Audi have worked hard to strengthen the chassis to try and get rid as much of that wobble and shake as possible.
With the roof up, the Audi TT is arguably the quietest convertible in its price bracket. And while it can be a bit blustery once the roof goes down, the optional wind deflectors help to negate being blown to pieces.
Inside, you’re met with Audi’s signature minimalist interior. The main interface can be found behind the steering wheel while a few buttons sit neatly on the fascia.
Buyers can also purchase Audi’s optional technology pack which includes a satnav, eight speakers and plenty of other premium features.
Other selling points include ample legroom, a spacious boot; but that is due to losing the Coupe’s rear seats.
Price: From £33,915
- Well-designed interior
- Effortless overtaking
- Exciting performance
- Expensive options
- No rear seats
4. BMW 4 Series Convertible
A BMW 4 Series Convertible is another great option if you’re planning to buy a convertible in 2019. It has lots to offer in terms of granular spec, so you can truly make it your own.
Along with its luxurious interior and solid metal retracting roof, the 4 Series Convertible comes with a choice of petrol or diesel engines.
There are three diesel to choose from the 420d, 430d and 435d, they produce 190, 258 and 313 HP respectively. The 435d is only available with xDrive all-wheel drive.
Petrol engines have a slightly narrow choice, with the 420i, 430i and 440i. Power ranged from 184 HP all the way up to 326 HP. You can’t however spec xDrive or a manual gearbox with any petrols.
The model’s infotainment interface is intuitive and easy to learn. The front seats are supportive, comfortable and fully adjustable. If you purchase the £710 comfort pack, you’ll get your neck warmed too.
Add to all that comfort the 370 litre boot space and there’s plenty of room for a weekend away.
There’s no need to worry about breaking down, either – you’ll be protected by BMW’s standard three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty. This includes emergency services cover.
The entry level Sport trim even comes with front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights and a 6.5-inch infotainment system as standard. Choose the right engine and your miles per gallon could range from 34.5 to 44.5 respectively.
Price: Starts from £41,495
- Comfortable ride
- Even standard models are well equipped
- Practical for everyday use
- Heavier than you might like
- Some alternatives are more luxurious
5. Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT
Ford’s Mustang achieved celebrity status in the 1960s through well targeted placement in various films and television shows, including the 1964 James Bond classic Goldfinger, 1974’s Gone in 60 Seconds and, of course, the iconic film Bullitt.
For decades, the Mustang has been synonymous with brutish power and machismo – an All-American muscle car. But then, something amazing happened…
Ford put the steering wheel on the right side of the car. Suddenly, the Mustang’s worldwide appeal skyrocketed – especially here in the UK.
The Mustang Convertible comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.3-litre four-cylinder unit with 288 HP, or the supersized V8, which produces a whopping 444 HP. The former offers better mpg while the latter does 0-62mph in just five seconds.
Where most drop tops suffer is practicality, not so in the ‘stang. Up front you’ll find supportive, well-positioned seats with ample legroom. It even comes with two rear seats and a decent 337 litre boot.
Standard kit is high and includes keyless entry and start, a selectable drive mode switch, LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, dual zone climate control, rear parking camera and limited slip differential.
Running costs might set you back a pretty penny, but that’s all part of the muscle car experience. The official figures for the V8 barely break 25 MPG, while the 2.3-litre Eco engine averages around 31MPG. It’s also £5,000 cheaper.
Price: Starts at £42,810
- Best convertible in its price range for size and performance
- Sounds great
- Intuitive tech that’s easy to master
- Low MPG
- Not as much rear legroom as competitors
- Doesn’t corner well
6. Porsche 718 Boxster
Porsche’s 718 Boxster is the cheapest convertible in the brands line-up. It’s a two-seater, rear-wheel drive mid-engine sports car with a strong engine, sharp handling and an excellent gearbox.
It’s also thousands of pounds cheaper than the rival Jaguar F-Type.
In entry level form the 718 Boxster generates 295bhp and goes from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds. The handling’s responsive, the steering’s precise and there’s not a single bit of body roll.
Buyers also have the choice of a standard six-speed manual gearbox and an automatic alternative. The former is better for racers; the latter for day-to-day life – the choice is yours.
Inside, you’ll find well-positioned pedals, supportive seats and a seven-inch touchscreen interface fitted to an upright dashboard. Features include Bluetooth, DAB and Apple Play.
For an added cost you can also get personalised floor mats and contrasting leather trim on the already stylish front seats. If you wanted to, you could even buy a vehicle document folder made of carbon. Yes, you read that right. Carbon.
And since the roof mechanism doesn’t intrude into the boot space, the front and rear boot capacity will always stay the same. This means the Porsche 718 Boxster can hold way more than its competitors – not bad for a sports car.
Price: Starts from £46,651
- Holds its value well
- Excellent gearbox
- Superior handling to many competitors
- Minimal spec levels
- Costs more to run than some competitors
7. Jaguar F-Type Convertible
Jaguar reinvented the sexy convertible with the F-Type, making the world wait decades between it’s predecessor the gorgeous E-Type.
It was worth the wait, Jaguar have produced one of, if not the best looking convertibles of the last 20 years.
The entry-level model uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 300 PS. It can go from 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.
If you want even more power there are two 3.0 litre V6 options which up the power to 340 PS and drop the 0-62 sprint down to 5.1 seconds if you go for the auto, 5.4 if you like a manual gearbox.
There’s also a 380 PS version with all-wheel drive and a fire-breathing V8 model if you have nearly £100k to spare.
Inside, you’ll find adjustable sports seats, leather upholstery and Jaguar’s eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, complete with satnav and a 170W Meridian sound system.
For an extra £13,000 you can retain the V8’s adaptive suspension, add a mechanical limited-slip diff, 19-inch wheels, cruise control and the option of an active exhaust.
If you’re planning to a buy a Jaguar F-Type Convertible brand new, it might be worth saving your money until you can afford the extras – trust us, you won’t regret it.
Price: Starts from £57,790
- A comfortable cruiser with ample power
- Perfect, balanced grip
- Luxurious interior
- Not the cheapest to insure
- Limited boot space
- Costly to run
- Pricey extras
8. Mercedes S Class Cabriolet
The Mercedes S Class Cabriolet is an impressive, high performance luxury cruiser with a price tag to match.
Its competitors include the Bentley Continental GTC and Rolls Royce Dawn which, despite being more expensive, are on a pretty equal footing.
The entry-level S Class Cabriolet is a grandiose cruiser which, thanks to its advanced air suspension, glides over imperfections with cloud-like grace.
There are three engines to choose from, including an entry-level 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 (which goes from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds), a bi-turbo 5.5-litre V8 and a staggering 6.0-litre turbocharged V12. But since the S 560 costs nearly £120,000, it’s fair to say that there’s nothing entry-level about it.
Passengers of all shapes and sizes are accommodated with seats that are equal parts supportive and comfortable.
It’s back seats can be tricky to access at first, but once in there’s ample head and shoulder room.
The S560 comes with heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, full leather upholstery, intelligent climate control, 19-inch alloys, front and rear LED lights, AMG body styling and a satnav.
This Merc cabrio also comes with an updated version of Magic Body Control, which allows the car to tune and ready its dampers according to the stat of the road surface. There’s also an extra function called Active Curve Tilting, which improves cornering.
And if that’s not enough to satisfy your comfort craving, Mercedes even offers a premium equipment package.
For an extra £5,000 you can get full Nappa leather upholstery, a fragrance generator with perfume flask (not of the drinking from kind) in the glove compartment and a choice of six high-quality fragrances.
Additionally, you’ll benefit from the Energizing Comfort feature, an innovative system that links together the climate control, seating, heating and music systems.
By doing this, drivers have the option to choose between six carefully tailored, expert-made programmes for attention or relaxation.
Fancy add-ons aside, the S Class Cabriolet is as expensive to run as it is to insure. But then again, if you’re looking for the best convertibles to buy in 2019 and have that kind of money, it’s fair to say that the model should be in the running.
Price: From £118,105
- State-of-the-art safety equipment
- Limousine-level luxury
- Handles its size beautifully
- Price tag isn’t exactly budget-friendly
- Expensive running costs
9. BMW Z4
After the world was Z4-less for many years BMW announced they were to reintroduce their topless two seater in 2018, and there’s no arguing it’s one of the most gorgeous cars on our roads.
There are three trim levels to pick from, ‘Sport’, ‘M Sport’ and ‘M Models’, with prices starting at £37,115 going all the way up to £49,185 for the most powerful M40i version.
Power comes in the form of either the entry level sDrive20i with 197 BHP, the sDrive30i with 258 BHP, moving up to the top ‘M Models’ trim and you can opt for the M40i with 340 BHP and a 0-62 time of 4.5 seconds.
In development since 2013, BMW’s cooperation with Toyota and the Supra is no secret. Although the cars share a common platform they handle and perform completely differently.
You can only have a folding soft-top fabric with the Z4, in fact the whole car was pretty much built around this principle. Inside, there’s plenty of arm and legroom, you sit a bit lower than the outgoing generation positioning you out of the wind just enough.
If you like performance then the engine to get is the M40i model, the straight six packs plenty of punch with it’s turbo’s wanting to pull you into the distance infinitely.
Infotainment is well looked after thanks to BMW’s new ‘Live Cockpit Professional’, this is a digital instrument display like you’ll find in most Audi’s these days. It’s matched with the ‘BMW Operating System 7.0’ infotainment system, there’s also a head-up display.
One thing that sets it apart from the 718 Boxster is how big it feels on the road, whereas the Porsche is compact, tight and nimble, the BMW is somewhat lacking in agility.
Blisteringly quick it can be, but there’s just a little something missing.
Price: From £37,115
- Spacious inside
- Cutting edge tech/infotainment
- Lacking that playful nature of the Porsche
- No manual option
10. Bentley Continental GT
We couldn’t round out our top 10 without having a super luxury, money no odds option on the list, and starting from £175,000 the latest generation Bentley Continental GT ticks that box with ease.
Gaining nearly five stars whenever its been reviewed, Bentley have hit the nail on the head with this drop top Conti GT.
There are two engines to pick from, the beasty 6.0 litre twin turbo W12 which is good for 626 BHP, or a smaller 4.0 litre V8 that makes 542 BHP. The latter hits 62 from a standing start in 4.0 seconds, whereas the bigger 6.0 litre manages it in 3.7 seconds.
So you’ll have to weigh up whether frugality or outright refinement are what you’re after. In terms of performance you’ll be splitting hairs.
One thing to say is that the V8 weighs 65kg or 10 stone less than the W12.
A new system packs away the four layered fabric roof in just 19 seconds, it does so in near silence too at speeds of up to 31 MPH.
Hopping inside and you’ll find the infotainment screen hidden behind a plain rotating panel, you can also have a trio of dials if you so desire. The seats are superbly sumptuous as you’d expect at this price, and the cabin is hailed as one of the best in any modern car.
Refinement is top notch with the roof up, almost comparable to its tin topped coupe counterpart. Raise the wind deflector and you can drive with the roof down without any bluster.
There is a bit of scuttle shake to be had here and there, even though the big Bentley soaks up even the worst our British roads can throw at it with ease. Steering is also well weighted, but it lacks any feedback as most modern cars do.
Price: From £167,000
- Stunning looks
- Unparalleled occasion
- Only for the affluent
- Incredibly expensive to run
Convertible not for you? Prefer a car with a proper roof?
Did you find your best convertible car or are you looking for something else? If you take one thing from this guide let it be this: a convertible is a luxury item. It’s the kind of thing you drive on a hot summer day with nothing to do but enjoy yourself.
If you’re looking for something different, we can help there, check out a selection of our guides below: