Top 8 Best Convertible Cars
Convertibles are sleek, sexy and perfect for hot summer road-trips across the verdant countryside. Pair the right convertible with the right driver and you’ll be on track for a seriously stylish, carefree cruising experience. Convertible cars are an experience in and of themselves.
Synonymous with luxury, a convertible car isn’t something you need – it’s a high-class accessory associated with a certain level of prestige. 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 – there are roadsters, phaetons and pickup trucks with a removable soft-top roof. Then there are T-tops and Targas where only part of the roof retracts.
Each model presents a different image. Some are bright, bubbly, and fun, others ooze sophistication and some are dark and broody. In fact, the hardest part to choosing a convertible is arguably finding the perfect model to suit the driver.
Below is a comprehensive guide to the best convertibles on the UK market, each model having its own distinctive personality – just like you. And since convertibles often yield a hefty price tag, we’ve made an effort to cover a diverse price range to suit every budget.
The best 8 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
Mazda MX-5 Roadster
The Mazda MX-5 is arguably one of the best two-seater sports cars on the market, and definitely one of the best convertible cars to buy in 2019.
At just under £20,000 brand new, the MX-5 has no direct competitors in its price bracket. And even if it did, it’d be a tough act to follow. Here’s why.
Since its debut in 1989, the MX-5 has been revered for its intricate balance, ultra-responsive handling and unique driving experience.
It’s cost-effective, easy to maintain and has never lost sight of what it is: a small and elegant sports car designed to achieve oneness between car and driver.
Mazda’s MX-5 offers commendable speed and intricate balance for a 1.5 litre two-seater convertible but its low maintenance costs and cost-effective fuel consumption make the model one of our best convertibles to buy in 2019.
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 an all-round versatile car. It’s one you can learn in, race in, cruise in or simply chill out and watch the world go by.
Prices start at: £19,995
- 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
MINIs are notoriously responsive, playful and engaging, with communicative steering and a penchant for hard 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.
The interior is kitted out with a six-inch infotainment system complete with visual boost audio, DAB tuner, six speaker audio and a USB interface 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 S model has a 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which generates 136 hp and comes with a choice of manual and automatic transmission. The former comes as standard; the latter’s an optional extra.
The automatic transmission makes A to B travel a breeze but if an extra £1,250 isn’t on the cards, the manual transmission is famously forgiving.
Other options include the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models – both with 1.4-litre engines producing 192 hp and 231 hp respectively, and there are three style trim levels to choose from too: Classic, Sport and Exclusive.
The MINI convertible is an easy to understand car with minimal potential for surprise. It’s easy to maintain, cost-effective and fun to drive, as well as being iconically stylish.
For these reasons, MINI’s soft-top is one of the best convertibles to buy in 2019. It’s a fun, quirky model with a fully retractable roof and a long lineage of happy owners.
Prices start at: £20,085
- Fun and engaging to drive
- Bags of personality
- Great for beginners and seasoned drivers alike
- Boot space is on the small side
- The fact it’s a convertible means slight chassis wobble
- Not as fast as some competitors
Audi TT Roadster
Since 1999, the Audi TT Roadster’s been the go-to car for stylish fashionistas everywhere.
It’s practical, good-looking and easy to drive, with a high quality interior to boot – supportive leather sport seats are standard on many trim levels. But is it the best convertible car?
The car itself is quick and cheap to run. The entry-level 1.8-litre engine combines linear power delivery, peppy performance and affordable running costs in one well-crafted package. The TT Roadster also manages 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds and produces 177bhp.
Offering strong grip, body control and swift, predictable reactions from the steering, gearshift and throttle, the TT feels nimble, responsive, consistent and doesn’t wobble on account of its firm chassis. The result is a smooth, comfortable ride.
With the roof on, 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 are a simple fix.
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 – talk about easy to use.
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 and an impressive 39.8 miles to the gallon.
Prices start at: £34,460
- Well-designed interior
- Effortless overtaking
- Easy to drive
- Exciting performance
- Expensive options
- Some competitors are more reliable
BMW 4 Series Convertible
The entry level BMW 4 Series Convertible is another great option if you’re planning to buy a convertible in 2019. It has lots to offer, including a smooth ride, sturdy chassis and optional extras galore.
Along with its luxurious interior and well-constructed retracting roof, the 4 Series Convertible comes with a smooth running petrol engine that produces up to 189bhp with very little noise.
The standard automatic transmission is slick and easy to manoeuvre, while steering is both accurate and responsive. Combine the two for long, leisurely drives that are both hushed and tranquil.
When it comes to convertibles, there are more luxurious options, sure. But arguably, none are as comfortable as the 4 Series.
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 capacity and there’s plenty of room to take the whole family out for a bumper shopping spree.
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.
Prices start from: £41,495
- Comfortable ride
- Even standard models are well equipped
- Practical for everyday use
- Not as sporty as some competitors
- Heavier than you might like
- Some alternatives are more luxurious
Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT
The Ford 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 TV show Knight Rider.
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 288bhp, or the supersized V8, which produces a whopping 444bhp. The former offers better mpg while the latter does 0-62mph in just five seconds.
With its slick and mechanical six-speed manual gearbox, the car itself is pretty practical with supportive, well-positioned front seats and ample legroom. The Mustang Convertible even comes with two rear seats and a decent 337 litre boot.
There’s also a wide variety of easy-to-master digital features that come as standard.
These include keyless entry and start, 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 fun. 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.
Prices start 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
- Harder to control around corners
Porsche 718 Boxster
The Porsche 718 Boxster is the cheapest convertible in Porsche’s 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.
The entry level 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 affect the loading bay, 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.
Prices start at: £47,283
- Holds its value well
- Excellent gearbox shift action
- Superior handling to many competitors
- Minimal spec levels
- Costs more to run than some competitors
- Wild driving can take some toll on brakes and tyres
Jaguar F-Type Convertible
Jaguar believes their cars should be fast, poised and rewarding. They must be as much luxury goods as they are natural athletes. And you know what? The Jaguar F-Type is just that, making it one of the best convertibles to buy in 2019.
The entry-level model uses a 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine, with a maximum power output of 335hp. It can go from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 161 mph.
With over 25 different driving modes, the Jaguar F-Type can be programmed to suit different road conditions and styles. The steering is direct and responsive, the suspension is strong and stable and the car itself handles like a dream.
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.
Prices start 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
Mercedes S Class Cabriolet
The Mercedes S Class Cabriolet is an impressive, high performance luxury cruiser with a price tag to prove it.
Its competitors include the Bentley Continental GTC and Rolls Royce Dawn which, despite being more expensive, are on 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 passengers are 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.
Mercedes’ cabriolet also comes with an updated version of Magic Body Control, which allows the car to tune and ready its dampers according to deformities in 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 activation or relaxation. Spoiler alert: the front seats also have a built-in massage function.
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.
Prices start at: £117,725
- State-of-the-art safety equipment
- Limousine-level luxury
- Handles its size beautifully
- Price tag isn’t exactly budget-friendly
- Expensive running costs
- You’d be afraid to take it anywhere in case you scratched it
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, too. Maybe you plan to go green this year with an electric or hybrid vehicle, or perhaps you’re in the market for a used car but aren’t sure how to get the best deal.
Maybe you’re a new driver looking for your first car, or at a stage in your life when the family’s growing and an estate car is on the horizon. Whatever your motoring goals, we can help – check out a selection of our guides below: