Published: 28 Aug 2013
As a driver, few things are better than being able to hit the open road with the top down, feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Modern hardtop convertibles offer everyday transportation and enjoyable recreation in equal measure, with much better practicality in terms of security and comfort than soft-top alternatives.
If you are in the market for a hardtop, there is certainly no shortage of choice. Convertibles come in various shapes and sizes and with drastically differing price tags, but which is the best? Jennings Motor Group has the stunning New Mazda MX-5 as part of its flagship range.
The best hardtop for you might not necessarily be the best for the next person, as needs, preferences, and budgets will all differ greatly. However, in an effort to cater to everybody, here are the cars we believe to be the best hardtop convertibles in each price range – under £20,000, under £40,000 and over £40,000.
Citroen DS3 Cabriolet
If you are looking for a classy ride at an affordable price, few cars can match the DS3 Cabriolet. Citroen’s Mini Convertible-rival is sleek, stylish and powerful, providing strong performance and excellent handling. Starting at £15,205 for the two-door 1.2 VTi, the DS3 is a great entry-level convertible that will bring joy to any owner. Citroen offers a choice of seven body colours and three roof colours with this car, as well as the option of colour-coded mirrors, panels, and alloys. In terms of overall power and performance, the 1.6 THP DSport is the best of the DS3 models and still comes in at under 20k. The Used Mazda MX-5 is available at Jennings Motor Group as an alternative convertable.
Audi TT Roadster
Arguably, the best hardtop convertible on the market and winner of Whatcar’s Open-Top Car of the Year 2013, the Audi TT Roadster is a pretty fantastic beast.
With prices starting at just a shade under £25,000, the Roadster offers everything that we have come to expect from Audi’s range of TT’s – speed, power, comfort, and reliability. This hardtop comes in a range of engine choices, with the 2.5-litre 335 bhp five-cylinder turbo and 2.0-litre petrol 208 bhp versions particular standouts. Entry-level models aside, each of the Roadsters comes with four-wheel drive, although the front-wheel drive models do seem to be the most popular.
As always, space is hard to come by in a TT and the top-of-the-range models do not hold their value as well as we would like; however, this is still a standout motor in almost every department.
Ferrari 458 Spider
No other car brand has the ability to wow like Ferrari. With the Spider, the Italian manufacturer has created a car that is breath taking. Okay, so it’s not perfect – poor visibility angles, a slight lack of stability with the top down and too many steering wheel buttons mean that the TT Roadster is probably a better all-round car for the price – but this is a real performer. Speed is an obvious selling point of the 458 Spider, but it’s not all about the 4.5 V8 engine, 198 MPH top speed and 0-60 MPH in 3.4 seconds; the handling is second to none in its grip, speed and sharpness, making it easy to drive and it’s also pretty great in terms of safety and security.
When it comes to Ferrari, you definitely get what you pay for; the only downside is that you have to part with £198,000 to realise it!
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