Best Of

Best convertible cars

Despite the weather, Britain loves a convertible. Here are our top picks...

Words by: First published: 18th April 2018
Here in the UK, we love a convertible. We love them so much, that after Germany, the UK is Europe’s biggest market for them. Whether you want your convertible as a special occasion car, a city runaround, or even family transport, there are plenty of options to get your vitamin D/intense grey cloud fix. Here are Auto Trader’s five favourite convertibles.

  • Mazda MX-5 – the fun one
  • Audi A3 Cabriolet – the four-seat one
  • Porsche Boxster – the enthusiast one
  • Mercedes SL – the posh one
  • Mini Convertible – the popular one
Mazda MX-5 – the fun one
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 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, rear-wheel drive 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.
Audi A3 Cabriolet – the four-seat one
Based on the Audi A3 saloon, the A3 Cabriolet is handsome and has typically great Audi quality. It’s available with big car infotainment features, is fun yet comfortable to drive, and it’s roomy enough to seat four adults. It’s also one of those convertibles that looks as stylish with the roof up as it is does down, which in the UK, will probably be most of the time.

The three-layer fabric roof offers impeccable refinement, eliminating wind noise, and thanks to the optional wind deflector and heated seats, it’s a genuine all-season convertible. The roof can come down at the touch of a button at speeds up to 31mph.
Porsche Boxster – the enthusiast one
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-engine configuration that helps the car feel balanced and poised at all times, plus a range of turbocharged engines that offer entertaining and accessible performance, even on the most boring drives.

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.

Thanks to sharp steering response and agile handling, the 718 is a sports car that you’ll be able to place on the road with incredible precision and enjoy every corner. That said, 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.
Mercedes SL – the posh one
The Mercedes-Benz SL is a luxurious two seat convertible that’s as adept at grand touring as it is city cruising. The combination of accurate steering, adaptive suspension and supremely comfortable seats in a beautifully appointed interior make this Merc a joyous place to be. It’s also loaded with gadgets, from massaging and ventilated seats that can blow warm air onto your neck, to the latest active safety equipment.

It also boasts more than enough glamour to park outside the finest Park Lane hotel, and that’s before you show off its party piece roof. Strangely, you have to begin this process from a standing start, after which the unfurling process is able to continue at speeds up to 25mph.

The V6 engine and relaxing nine-speed automatic gearbox work in silky smooth harmony, although if you’re after ultimate bragging rights, you could choose one of the bonkers Mercedes-AMG versions.
Mini Convertible – the popular one
You’ve probably seen a lot of Mini Convertibles on the road. That will be because it’s one of the most popular convertibles in the UK.

Everything that makes the Mini Hatch a good little car – sharp steering and body control, style, high quality details – is all present and correct in the Convertible.

Allegedly it’s a four-seater, but the rear two seats are only really acceptable for children. It’s quite pricey when you compare it with other retro rivals like the Fiat 500C or the DS3 Cabrio, but it’s got strong resale prices and is a better car overall. Rear visibility isn't great, roof up or down, but you do get rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard to help.