You know that summer must be on the way when you begin to see all the top convertible cars appear on the road with their roofs down.
Along with the sound of lawnmowers and the smell of barbecues, there’s nothing that tells us that the British weather is on the up more so than the sheer number of open-top cars.
And why not? Despite the weather getting more changeable, we as a nation value sunshine like no other country on earth. Every time the sun shines, gardens and beaches fill up, DIY stores sell out of outdoor furniture and our roads are full of motorcycles, cyclists and convertible cars.
It’s hard to beat that feeling of driving along with nothing between you and sunshine except a whole lot of warm air. The wind in your hair, the stereo playing something upbeat and the road ahead. There are few pleasures quite like it. But what are the top convertible cars in the UK? What car should you buy?
If you’re in the market for such experiences, Swansway Group dealerships have some of the best convertible cars around. Variety really isn’t an issue here, but choosing between some of these awesome drop tops might be a challenge!
Here are just a few of the best convertible cars available through Swansway Group with the input of our resident Motoring Journalist John Swift!
The new Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet combines the heritage of the Beetle with the style and substance of the modern VW brand. The convertible is one of the coolest looking open-tops on the road and is a firm favourite of young, trendy drivers and those who just love a classic!
With awesome reliability, fantastic build quality and the famous VW mechanicals, this is a car for those who like dependability and style and are willing to pay a premium for it. It earns a well-deserved place on our list of best convertible cars.
John’s Verdict 7/10
Likes: Makes a virtue of its lineage with the original.
Dislikes: Slightly heavy looks, lack of body strength sometimes felt on poor road surfaces.
The Audi range includes a model suited to everyone’s needs. The small and swift Audi A3 Cabriolet is ideal for those who want the benefit of a convertible with the practicality of a small car. An excellent engine, well-built interior and superb drivetrains make this a contender in any list of ‘best convertible cars’.
The larger Audi A5 Cabriolet is one of the most recognisable convertibles on the road. Having taken over from the long-lived A4 Cabriolet, the A5 is a luxury soft top with all the features and benefits you would expect. Excellent engines, smooth gearbox and an exceptional ride makes this car one of the best affordable luxury convertibles on the market.
For the ultimate convertible car, look no further than the Audi R8 Spyder. An exhilarating V10 engine, slick automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with the benefit of a drop top. Wrapped up in one of the best sports cars available anywhere in the world, this car is ideal for someone who loves driving for driving’s sake, and who values quality and precision over brand power.
John’s Verdict 7/10
Likes: The A3 hatchback is a great car, dropping the roof back adds yet more fun factor.
Dislikes: You pay a lot for the badge vs others in this sector.
The Citroën DS3 Cabrio is equally suited to the young and funky driver or the savvy city rider. One of the most economical cars (boasting up to 83.1 MPG), it combines uptown chic with creative elegance to deliver one of the coolest looking, affordable convertible cars on the road right now. If you like looking good, being a little different to the norm while hiding practicality under a youthful exterior, this is the best convertible car you could buy.
It isn’t all about surface style though. The new DS3 range is well built and features some tried and tested engines that deliver decent power with low emissions. All for a very competitive price.
John’s Verdict 8/10
Likes: All the DS attributes but with the open-air option.
Dislikes: Roof can look a bit like a rolled up duvet on the back when lowered.
Fiats are synonymous with cool. This Italian marque has created amazing designs for decades and continues to deliver cars that are great to look at and young at heart. The Fiat 500 is one of the funkiest superminis to grace Britain’s roads, placing it firmly on our list of best first cars. As a convertible, it is also considered to be one of the best small cars and sells exceptionally well. The hatchback is a regular sight in our cities while the Fiat 500C convertible can be seen in all the trendiest places.
The new Fiat 124 Spider takes legendary Italian style and mixes it with solid mechanicals to deliver one of the best sports cars that not only looks great, but drives fantastically well too. For the driver who loves the idea of a roadster but likes to be different, this is definitely a car to consider.
If you love the quirkiness of the Fiat 500 or the stylish sportiness of the 124 Spider, you’ll love the Abarth 595 Convertible or the Abarth 124 Spider. Both contain sporty upgrades that maintain the unique character of both cars while elevating the driving experience into something truly special!
John’s Verdict 10/10
Likes: Fiat’s version of the Mazda MX-5 is a softer car and nicer on our roads. Gorgeous styling.
Dislikes: Very little. Anything in fact.
The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a truly unique car for someone who loves the shape of the Evoque but longs to be closer to nature while driving. New for 2017, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible takes the roof off the exceptionally popular SUV!
The result is the best looking Range Rover model ever and one of the few truly off-road capable convertible vehicles in the world.
As you would expect from Range Rover, the engines are powerful and reliable, the gearbox smooth and capable and the suspension and driving experience second to none. Perfect for the driver who demands style with their substance.
John’s Verdict 7/10
Likes: An unusual offering in this market.
Dislikes: There is probably a reason for that. Challenging looks. Back seat passengers can feel a little exposed with the top down.
The unstoppable Jeep Wrangler is the other 4×4 with genuine off-road ability and convertible cool. This vehicle is ideal for the serious outdoor enthusiast or city worker who wants to escape the rat race at the weekend. It is an iconic design with reliable drivetrains combined with a presence that looks at home on the road or up a mountain.
The ability to have the Jeep Wrangler as a hardtop throughout the winter and remove the roof once the sun comes out is a very neat trick. If you’re serious about going off road, the Wrangler is one of the best convertible cars in which to do it.
John’s Verdict 6/10
Likes: If you truly want to explore the wild, this car will take you there. Marmite looks.
Dislikes: Is that enough to compensate for its ride and dated interior?
The Jaguar F-Type Convertible is widely regarded as one of the best sports cars in the world. The spiritual and direct successor to the iconic Jaguar E-type, this is one of the few models to build on existing heritage in all the right ways. It looks fantastic, drives exceptionally well and has to be heard to be believed.
It is rare that the word ‘beautiful’ is universal in design as we all have different perspectives. Yet the F-Type is truly beautiful – certainly one of the top convertible cars. The flowing design, sumptuous interior and amazing V6 or V8 engines all deliver beauty in different ways. The Jaguar F-Type Convertible is for the driver who has taste, who loves the Jaguar heritage and appreciates its full modernity and respectful nod to its history.
John’s Verdict 10/10
Likes: Awesome styling, excellent chassis, new entry level 2.0 engines a good choice. But we’d all like the V6 wouldn’t we?
Dislikes: I’ve got three kids and it’s only got two seats.
John’s Choice: Another easy one, the Jaguar F-TYPE. Or if the budget didn’t stretch that far, the Fiat.
Why Brits Love Convertibles
In a country where weather is a constant source of conversation and frustration, it is perhaps surprising that we like convertible cars so much. But if you dig a little into our thinking, the reasons we like them are actually quite simple. The number of truly sunny days we have are limited, so we value them greatly. When the sun does shine, we like to get outside and make the most of it because we never know how long it will last!
One way we like to enjoy the sunshine is to drive a convertible somewhere nice and make the most of the good weather. With thousands of beautiful places to visit on our little island, what better way to get there than in a convertible? The drive becomes part of the experience rather than something to be endured. Even traffic doesn’t bring the mood down when you’re sitting there with the top down on the way to a perfect BBQ!
What About Safety And Security?
Just like their saloon or hatchback equivalents, newer convertibles are packed with safety and security features. All convertibles sold in the UK have to include some kind of rollover protection which is usually a hoop behind each seat. Side airbags and rigorously tested seatbelts ensure driver and passenger safety.
While security may have once been an issue with soft top cars the introduction of advanced immobilisers and alarm systems means it is almost impossible to gain unwanted access to any modern car – with or without a roof. As with all other vehicles, avoid leaving tempting morsels in view and your pride and joy should be as safe as any other car.
Some convertibles come with foldable hardtops, combining the benefits of a saloon with the freedom of a drop top. Rather than having a fabric roof, an aluminium or composite roof folds into multiple pieces to expose you to the elements.
Have you made your choice? What is the best convertible car and why? Get in touch with us here at Swansway Group via Twitter or Facebook to let us know. Then get yourself down to your local Swansway Group dealership to book a test drive and take advantage of that summer sunshine!