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Best convertible cars 2021

Explore the UK’s best range of convertible cars in 2021, including the best hard top convertible cars and four-seater convertible cars.

Here in the UK, we love a convertible. We love them so much, that in 2015, after Germany, the UK was Europe’s biggest market for them. The sale of used convertibles too, has seen an increase between 2013 and 2020.
Whether you want your convertible as a special occasion car, a city run-around, or even family transport, there are plenty of options to get your vitamin D/ intense grey cloud fix. Here are Auto Trader’s six favourite convertibles.
  • • Bentley Continental GT Convertible – the luxurious convertible car
  • • Lexus LC Convertible - the beautiful convertible car
  • • Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible - the fashionable convertible car
  • • Aston Martin Vantage Roadster – the noisy convertible car
  • • Mazda MX-5 – the fun convertible car
  • • Porsche Boxster – the enthusiast convertible car
Bentley Continental GT Convertible – the luxurious convertible car
The Continental GT Convertible is the ultimate open-top luxury grand tourer. It combines power with incredible refinement and provides a luxurious experience for all occupants with wood finished cabins available in single or double veneer options, heated seats, neck rests and armrests, and a four-layer hood available in seven colours.
The GT Convertible is available in Speed, V8 or Mulliner models. The convertible version of the Continental GT costs an additional £25,000, plus endless personalisation extras such as customisable paint, upholstery, colour splits and veneer options, and new trim options like an ‘Engine Turned Aluminium’, and a choice of three different audio systems. The optional Blackline Specification makes the Convertible look even more premium with its high gloss black paint. Honourable mentions: Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible Rolls-Royce Dawn
Bentley Continental GT Convertible
Bentley Continental GT Convertible rear
Lexus LC Convertible - the beautiful convertible car
Lexus introduced its LC Coupe in 2017 in a hybrid and V8 version. To add to the V8’s superior performance and handling, Lexus released its convertible version to offer further appeal.
The convertible comes in two trims – the LC 500 Convertible and LC 500 Convertible Sports+. Designed to be ‘the most seductive convertible’ in the market, the LC Convertible comes with heated leather seats, a 10.3-inch display, a four-layer soft top and alloy wheels, along with various options to customise the convertible’s leather interiors, alloy wheels and body paint.
Lexus LC Convertible
Red Lexus LC Convertible
Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible - the fashionable convertible car
If you’re looking for a convertible that’s fun and stylish, look no further – Volkswagen’s T-Roc Convertible offers everything you can wish for and more with its eye-catching mash-up of the previous Beetle Convertible’s spirit and modern SUV style.
There are some practical compromises compared with the regular T-Roc on which it is based but this statement car makes the perfect companion for some fun in the sun. It comes with a power folding roof, stylish cabin, touch-screen infotainment and various safety features like a radar-monitored cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a pop-up rollover protection. Honourable mentions: BMW 2 Series Convertible Fiat 124 Spider
Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible
Yellow Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible
Aston Martin Vantage Roadster – the noisy convertible car
Based on Aston Martin Vantage, the Vantage Roadster is a powerful convertible that delivers a maximum speed of 190mph and goes 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Arguably one of its finest features is the muscular sounding twin-turbo V8 engine, the ability to enjoy the fabulous noise it makes with the roof down setting the Roadster apart from its coupe brother.
It’s not just the acceleration that’s fast – the power-operated roof can fold at the touch of a button in less than seven seconds, meaning you can easily drop it while waiting at traffic lights for maximum pose value. Thankfully you can put it up just as quickly if the weather suddenly turns for the worse. Honourable mentions: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertible Bentley Continental GT Convertible
Aston Martin Vantage Roadster
Purple Aston Martin Vantage Roadster
Mazda MX-5 – the fun convertible car
The Mazda MX-5 has been the world’s best-selling sports car for more than 20 years, and with good reason. It’s a fantastic little car that gives you a great driving experience. It’s light and fast enough to thrill, without being silly. It offers nimble handling from a traditional rear-wheel drive chassis in a compact package that makes it particularly well-suited to Britain’s country roads.
While some of it is quite un-fussy, with a manually operated fabric roof, no driver modes and a naturally aspirated engine, you still get plenty of modern tech, with SE-L Nav getting you climate and cruise control, sat-nav, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. Honourable mentions: Audi TT Roadster Jaguar F-Type
Red Mazda MX-5
Red Mazda MX-5 on the road
Porsche Boxster – the enthusiast convertible car
When it comes to convertibles that can handle, the Porsche Boxster has to be on the list. The latest 718 Boxster is no exception, thanks to a mid-engined configuration that helps the car feel balanced and poised at all times. Turbocharged four-cylinder engines deliver a powerful punch while the new GTS 4.0 offers a welcome return to Porsche’s classic ‘flat six’ engine to keep the purists happy. They will also like the option of the old-school manual gearbox, though most buyers prefer the ‘PDK’ auto.
The fabric roof can be operated at speeds up to 31mph, and with a front and rear boot, both big enough to take a couple of weekend bags, you could even call the 718 Boxster practical… ish. Sharp steering and agile handling show Porsche’s sports car expertise and the 718 is, in some ways, even better to drive than a 911 and also easier to place on the road thanks to its more compact size. As ever with Porsche keep in mind you’ll need to spend big on optional equipment to make your 718 Boxster a happy place... you don’t get all that much on the base spec. Honourable mentions: McLaren 720S Spider Ford Mustang Convertible
Red Porsche Boxster front
Red Porsche Boxster rear

What is the difference between a convertible and a cabriolet?

Cabriolet is a French term for the word convertible. The word 'cabriolet' originates from 1800s France. It was originally used to refer to light, two-wheeled horse-drawn carriages. Like a convertible, the top could be pulled over if needed.
There’s no real difference between a cabriolet and a convertible. They are different names for the type of car and are often used interchangeably. Both convertible and cabriolet refer to a car that can ‘convert’ from a car with a roof to one without and be driven in both scenarios. Some manufacturers prefer to call their cars cabriolets (or cabrios) because it is an older, more traditional term. American manufacturers, however, are more likely to refer to their cars as convertibles. Shop electric and diesel convertibles

Types of convertible car

There’s a wide range of convertible cars on the market including two, four and five-seaters.
Beyond the standard soft and hard-top convertible cars, there are other varieties like:

Semi convertibles

Semi-convertibles, sometimes called cabrio coach or targas, are cars that have all the bodywork up to the top of the door – it’s just the roof that retracts. These cars retain most of the original car’s structure and can look almost identical to their hardtop equivalents when the roof is up.

Roadsters

Roadsters, also called spiders or spyders, are sporty two-seaters, like the Mazda MX-5.

Four door convertibles

Four-door convertibles are relatively rare because they are expensive for manufacturers to build. One example of a four-door is the Jeep Wrangler.

Convertible car roof types

Soft-top convertibles

Many convertible cars have roofs made of fabric, which is usually multi-layered to keep the cabin as quiet as possible when the roof is up. These are called soft-top convertibles.

Hard-top convertibles

Hard-top convertibles have roof panels made of rigid material like metal, plastic, carbon fibre, glass or combinations thereof. Hard-top convertibles can have a roof of two types:

Retractable hard-tops

Convertibles with retractable roofs tend to be much quieter than those with fabric roofs when it comes to road and wind noise. In some cases, they can be as quiet and secure as a regular hard-top car. But folding hardtops tend to be heavier, which can affect fuel economy, and the mechanisms used to retract the roof can take up a lot of boot space when compared to convertibles with fabric roofs.

Detachable hard-tops

Some convertibles also offer a detachable hardtop. While some of these can be stored in the car’s boot, many can’t and so have to be left in a garage or storage. With so many improvements in retractable roofs, detachable hardtop is much less common nowadays but can be a useful semi-permanent fixture over the winter months.

Expert reviews

Here's what our team had to say about the convertible cars available in the UK:

What is the best hardtop convertible car?

Take a look at... Mazda MX-5 RF BMW 4 Series Convertible Mercedes-Benz SL

What is the best four-seater convertible car?

Take a look at... Audi A3 Cabriolet Bentley Continental GT Convertible Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertible Mini Convertible

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