If you’re here, then you’re already in the right mindset. Convertibles rule, and we have all the best convertibles listed for you further below. Driving around with the top off is an experience you need to live to fall in love with. When the weather’s right, you’re on a proper bit of road, and the car you’re in is a good one, few automotive experiences can top it. The experience is extra special when you have a musical exhaust note filtering directly into your ears and echoing off the landscape around you. And while rolling the windows down and opening a moonroof can get you part of the way there, it's nothing like feeling the wind wash over you with absolutely no roof overhead.
The downsides can be just as harsh as the upsides when you’re in the wrong conditions, though. Convertibles are typically worse to live with in cold climates, and driving around with the top up frequently means you might be subject to more road noise and worse visibility than an equivalent coupe. And when it comes to pure performance, convertibles are inherently compromised from a weight and structural rigidity perspective. All that said, we still think the upsides outweigh the compromises if your number one objective is to simply have fun.
It’s a good thing then that there are a ton of great convertibles for sale these days. And no, the list of possibilities isn’t as long as it used to be. Long-running standbys like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and C-Class Convertibles are gone (replaced by the one CLE-Class). And so are others like the Audi TT Roadster, Fiat 124 Spider and Nissan Z Roadster.
Nevertheless, opportunities abound from the ultra-cheap and fun, to physics-defying supercars and everything else in between. We’ll give you options for which new convertibles we think are the best below, so read on to find out.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Pros: Lightweight and compact; great engine and transmission combo; one of the most raw and pure driving experiences out there
Cons: Not great for tall people; infotainment is dated; tiny trunk
Miata is always the answer, right? In this case, that rings even more true than usual. In fact, you could stop reading this list right here and go buy a Miata and you’d likely be just as happy driving it around as you would be in any of the more expensive offerings that follow. That’s just the magic of the MX-5. Its diminutive size, super-low curb weight, rev-happy engine and delightful six-speed manual transmission make it one of the best enthusiast machines you can buy today. Plus, you can put its manual top up or down faster than any electrically-operating top out there, and that has to count for something. The RF hardtop convertible is there for you if you really want that electric power, but it hardly matters which version you get, because if you’re going for a drive in a Miata, you’re guaranteed to have a blast.
Ford Mustang Convertible
Pros: Muscle car looks are superb; wicked-good engines; available manual (on the V8); great interior tech
Cons: Price is on the rise; cowl shake with performance suspension; no manual with the four-cylinder
Alright, fine, if you really want the ability to carry around more than two people on the cheap with no roof, the Mustang Convertible could be the one for you. It comes in either the thrifty EcoBoost four-cylinder version or with the rip-snorting 5.0-liter V8 in the GT. The performance-to-dollars ratio on the Mustang GT Convertible is an ideal setup for acceleration junkies who need to feel the wind in their hair. And yeah, the Mustang Convertible suffers from a good amount of cowl shake should you option its stiff-riding Magnetic suspension, but the performance you get out of this beast is undeniably impressive. Ford’s interior tech is top-shelf stuff, and the exterior design speaks for itself. This Mustang Convertible is a good one, and it deserves a place on this list.
Pros: A trim for any type of off-roading; convenient roof removal and storage; stellar design inside and out; great, modern tech
Cons: Very expensive as you move up the trim ladder; poor fuel economy
There aren’t many SUVs that you can remove the roof from out there, but the Ford Bronco is one of them, and it sure is an off-road treat. It’s also one of the few “convertibles” on this list that you’d be happy to have come wintertime thanks to its four-wheel drive and massive ground clearance. Then when the sun comes out in the spring, you can take the roof off and do your best Mustang Convertible impression. Vehicles like the Bronco and Wrangler (the next entry in this list) allow you to strip the doors off with ease, too, making for an even more open-air experience than most traditional convertibles. It’s also worth noting that the Bronco is either one of the more affordable or one of the more expensive options on this list, because the price varies widely based on how much off-road performance you want.
Pros: Off-road performance is fantastic; design is timeless; great interior tech available; V8 and PHEV models available
Cons: Gets expensive quick; poor on-road ride; noisy and annoying to use as daily driver
If you don’t care too much for the Bronco but still want an SUV you can remove the roof from, the only other answer is going to be the Wrangler. Sure, the GMC Hummer EV has removable roof panels, but it’s prohibitively expensive compared to a Bronco or Wrangler, and your immersion with the outdoors is going to be much greater with something like a Wrangler. Just like the Bronco, Jeep’s long-running Wrangler comes with multiple roof options that vary in difficulty to remove and reinstall. It also features similar price fluctuations depending on the level of off-road capability you desire. Even including vehicles like the Wrangler and Bronco on this list are a little odd when you look at the convertible car segment as a whole, but if you want a convertible, can only have one car, need true passenger/cargo utility and live in a climate where an SUV may be advantageous, both the Wrangler and Bronco are going to be your go-to options.
Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Pros: Performance bargain of the decade; lots of utility with trunk and frunk; a legitimately nice interior
Cons: Convertible doesn't offer much more openness than the standard coupe/targa roof; exterior design is either hit or miss
Any Chevrolet Corvette can technically lose its roof, though the most open version of the C8 will still be the Convertible version. It also benefits from a powered top as opposed to the manually removable targa top that the coupe uses. Why the Corvette is a part of this list should be self-explanatory at this point. It offers up near-supercar levels of speed for a fraction of the price of a supercar, and it does so without a cheap or cut-rate-feeling interior. Pick the regular Stingray, maniacal Z06 or the sneaky-fast E-Ray; you’re going to have a riot in any of them.
Porsche 718 Boxster
Pros: What you get when performance and the driving experience are king; great engines and even greater transmissions; shockingly good utility
Cons: Pricey, especially when you add options; four-cylinder versions can't match the flat-six sound; tech is dated
This is what you buy if you’re the type who likes the Miata, but your bank account has some extra zeros in it. The Porsche 718 Boxster is one of the most pure driver’s cars in existence, offering both punchy turbocharged four-cylinder engines and a screaming naturally aspirated flat-six. Performance levels vary widely from a base Boxster all the way up to the Spyder RS (pictured above), but there isn’t a single bad option in the bunch. And despite the Boxster just being a two-seater, it’s one of the most utilitarian convertibles on this list thanks to its mid-engine layout allowing for a sizable trunk and a very deep frunk that’ll give you enough luggage room for a weekend getaway.
Pros: Surprisingly good driving experience; luxurious interior with great tech; beautiful color options inside and out
Cons: Design is polarizing; far pricier than its Toyota GR Supra platform mate
The BMW Z4 plays in the same space as some of the more entry-level Boxsters, but it sings its own tune and is shockingly good. All the performance is there, particularly if you spring for the M40i with its turbocharged inline-six, and BMW’s luxury features and tech tie it all up into a neat bow. The only angle we don’t necessarily love when it comes to the Z4 is its exterior design, but if the look is calling to you, this convertible will emphatically check every required box that makes it a great convertible.
Porsche 911 Cabriolet/Targa
Pros: The most well-rounded convertible lineup out there; sets the standard for sports cars everywhere; no real sore points
Cons: It's predictably expensive; could be difficult to find an allocation to buy
Porsche makes some stupendous cars, and that’s why there’s a second one on this list that is technically a two-fer. While the 911 Cabriolet is the full convertible experience, the 911 Targa is just as qualifying as the Corvette is by way of its whole roof swiveling out of the way. Both body styles are available in a wide range of performance levels from base Carrera all the way up to Turbo S if you stick with the Cabriolet. The 911 sets the standards for luxury sports cars that everybody else must live up to, so it’s no surprise that the drop-top versions do the same for the luxury sports car convertible segment, too. Hell, the Turbo variants are so quick and capable that they’ll even take the fight to supercars from a pure performance standpoint. Of course, you’re going to pay the price with a sky-high sticker on a 911 Cabriolet or Targa, but we can safely say that these cars are worth every penny of the asking price.
Lexus LC 500 Convertible
Pros: One of the prettiest cars on sale today; the 5.0L V8 is a work of art; is a sneaky-good performance car
Cons: Doesn't win a specs war; on the expensive side of things; very little cargo space
The Lexus LC 500 Convertible is going to lose most fights against equally priced convertible performance cars, but none of that really matters when you’re staring at it in the driveway or listening to the 5.0-liter V8 climb its way up the rev range. The LC 500 Convertible is one of the most beautiful cars on sale today, money no object. It’s also one of the most fun-to-drive cars on the road you can buy thanks to the incredible soundtrack and excellent chassis. The drop-top definitely takes a few steps back in this area versus the coupe version of the LC 500, but listening to the exhaust echo back to you through the forest just once will make you glad to be in the roofless version. And we haven’t even gone into how gorgeous the interior looks yet – suffice to say, the LC 500 Convertible is one of the most-fun cars you can buy one sale today.
Bentley Continental GTC
Pros: The maximum amount of luxury; still excellent and fun to drive; the most stylish way to enjoy top-down driving
Cons: Price limits entry to only the ultra-wealthy; tech is good but not bleeding edge
Much of this list has skewed to the performance side of things, but the Continental GTC takes a step back to prioritize luxury. When you have an unlimited budget, want to be seen in a stunning car and have no interest in compromising on maximum luxury, the Continental GTC is going to be your answer. Its W12 engine may be going away, but the V8 is an utter delight, too. Bentley’s customization programs mean you can design your Continental however you care, and it’s practically guaranteed that you won’t find a more decadent interior in a convertible than this one right here. If Rolls-Royce still produced the Dawn, this Bentley would have some competition, but it’s standing in a rather empty space for the time being.
McLaren 750S Spider
Pros: Blistering performance; a no-compromise convertible thanks to its carbon fiber monocoque; eye-catching design
Cons: Tech can be a bit clunky; prohibitively expensive price
Read our McLaren 720S Review (while we await our chance to drive the 750S)
We haven’t actually driven the 750S or the 750S Spider yet, but considering it’s essentially a heavy refresh of the 720S, this supercar is going to blow minds everywhere. All of the very-fast cars on this list can be chopped down by a 750S Spider, and that’s as it should be considering the supercar price you’ll be paying for this level of performance. The Ferrari SF90 Spider could just as easily be on this list, and whenever the Lamborghini Reveulto gains a convertible version, it will likely be deserving, too. All that said, the 750S is right at the top of the mountain when it comes to convertible performance, making it an easy choice for one of the best convertibles out there.
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