Despite our beloved Britain being one of the rainiest countries in Europe, we’ve reported previously that Brits buy more convertibles than any other nation in the region. It’s that eternal meteorological optimism that makes us who we are! At the slightest sniff of sunshine, we love nothing better than to lower our roofs and catch the rays while we drive.
If you’re looking to join the convertible crowd in 2021, here are the best used drop-tops for a British summer. We’ve listed them in order of affordability from low to high, so you can find the perfect convertible no matter your budget. You’re welcome!
The Fiat 500 C is a chic city car with a two-stage folding canvas roof. Push a button and the top slides open like a giant sunroof, before gliding further back and down behind the rear seats. Technically, that means it’s not a full convertible, as the car retains its fixed sides, but it still gives a delightful al fresco feeling, so we’ll let it off.
If the city heat is getting too much then the Mini Cooper Convertible could be just the car for you. Every bit as fun to drive as the tin-top Mini, its electric roof opens up to the elements in 18 seconds. And that’s important if you want to make the most of a warm British day. The roof doesn’t completely disappear, leaving a pram-like bulge at the back. Price worth paying, we think.
The Mazda MX-5 is the world’s most popular roadster, with more than a million sold in 30 years, and it’s easy to understand why. This lightweight sports car is brilliant fun to drive and it takes a small handful of seconds to open and close the roof by hand from the driver’s seat. For more insulation from the elements, consider the RF version, which has an electric folding hard-top in place of a manual fabric one.
The convertible version of Audi’s TT coupe loses its rear seats in order to provide space for the folding soft-top roof. What you lose in passenger-carrying capacity you gain in luggage space, so swings and roundabouts, as they say. The Audi TT makes a great looking roadster, with the twin roll hoops behind the seats adding a lovely touch. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive is also available for reassuring road holding, year-round.
The whole family can enjoy the open air in the four-seater BMW 4 Series Convertible. It’s stylish, spacious and practical with a wide range of gutsy engines on offer. The latest version comes with an electric soft-top to save weight, while earlier models have a folding metal roof for an added sense of security.
It may be one of the least expensive models in the Porsche line-up, but the 718 Boxster is still completely worthy of the badge. As the drop-top version of the 718 Cayman, the 718 Boxster is light, powerful and extremely agile thanks to its mid-mounted engine. There’s plenty of room for a couple inside and a decent amount of luggage space, making this the ideal car for couples to take the long way to a wind-in-the-hair weekend holiday.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet takes convertible cruising to the next level. With spacious seating for four, a big boot for everyone’s bags and a relaxing ride, it’s an ideal machine for a breezy drive along the coast. It’s quiet, comfortable and beautifully built, plus you’ll arrive at your destination in style.
The Jaguar F-Type is to the 2020s what the E-Type was to the 1960s. It’s arguably the best-looking, and most sporty, driver-focused Jaguar in the range. Beyond its looks, performance and handling is the sensational sound of either a V6 and V8 engine. You’ll want to drop the top at every opportunity just to hear it.
Our second Mercedes of the list feels like it’s built to cruise along the Côte d’Azur. The SL is powerful, refined, and beautifully effortless. The folding hard-top can be raised in under 20 seconds should the mistral suddenly blow in, turning the SL into a coupe that will cocoon you in comfort.
Audi’s supercar may well be at its best in Spyder form. With a glorious V10 engine (one of the greatest engines made, ever) and sensational styling, an Audi R8 Spyder is about as dramatic as cars come. With the roof down, you’re treated to the engine’s 10-cylinder orchestra, which is scintillating at 20mph as it is at high speed.
Which convertible will you choose?
Hopefully, we’ve given you a good and varied choice of convertibles from the small to the large, as well as ones to fit in with most budgets. Now it’s just a question of deciding which ones make the final cut for you - and to make matters more fun, we’ve plenty of other convertibles in stock, too. So what’s it going to be?