It’s summer—that means it’s time to bring the drop-top out of your garage. But what if you don’t have one? We’ve compiled a list of choices ranging from affordable to insanely expensive, and from cruiser to bruiser. There’s a convertible for everyone to soak up the sun and feel good conquering your favorite roads or simply cruising around the city.
The quintessential driver’s car gives you plenty of smiles behind the wheel, and it punches way higher than the 2018 model’s 155-hp output might lead you to believe. Available with a traditional soft top, or with a slick-looking targa-like hard top as the RF variant, the current-generation MX-5 Miata blends engaging driving dynamics, a slick-shifting manual transmission, and seductive styling.
Want a little Italian flavor with your roadster experience? The Fiat 124 Spider gives you that and a turbocharged engine for an extra dose of torque. Like the car on which it’s based, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the 124 Spider is agile and easy to maneuver so you can easily devour mountain roads. Opt for the Abarth variant for a better soundtrack and buttoned-down chassis with less body roll, for just under $30,000.
The Porsche 718 Boxster sacrifices the aural drama of its predecessors for improved performance with a range of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The mid-engine roadster bundles together superb driving dynamics, potent power, and daily usability, making it one of the best sports cars around if you can afford the $60,050 base price.
Audi A3 Cabriolet
The A3 Cabriolet is Audi’s smallest convertible and starts at $39,325. Opt for the 220-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four if you’d like that extra kick and all-wheel drive, over the base model’s 186 hp and front-wheel drive. Sadly, you can’t get the higher-performance S3 and RS 3 in convertible guise in the U.S. Read our First Test of the incredibly quick RS 3 sedan here.
Need aural drama to go with your quick drop-top? The Jaguar F-Type will happily oblige while giving you plenty of points for style and flair. The ultimate British road burner is the driftable 575-hp F-Type SVR, or you can opt for the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 if you’d like to shift yourself.
Essentially a German muscle car, the Mercedes-AMG GT also comes in roadster form with a folding soft top. Powered by a hand-built 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 in three power outputs, the AMG GT gives you pops and crackles for epic sensory overload. Opt for the 550-hp AMG GT C or the 577-hp GT R for maximum performance on and off the track.
Despite its retro-inspired looks, the Chevrolet Camaro is no longer just a burnout specialist. It’s a thoroughbred sports car that’s become a world-beater, and was our 2016 Car of the Year. Although you can’t get the 1LE as a convertible, you can get the SS and ZL1 as a drop-top, so you can hear that beautiful V-8 engine roar as you attack your favorite winding roads or simply cruise.
From the EcoBoost four-cylinder engine to the V-8-powered GT, the Ford Mustang was recently refreshed with more aggressive looks and extra power. If you’re a fan of high-revving engines, the Mustang GT should be right up your alley.
Like the coupe and four-door hatchback variants, the A5 convertible has tasteful and timeless styling. Opt for the 354-hp Audi S5 if you’d like more power and sportier handling to go with the wind in your hair and head-turning looks.
BMW 4 Series/M4 Convertible
Prefer a retractable hardtop in your convertible for an extra layer of sound insulation? The BMW 4 Series gives you the wind in your hair, sporty performance, and a folding metal roof to keep you isolated from the elements when the weather turns. Go for the high-performance M4 with its available Competition package if you want more power and track-ready handling.
Mercedes-Benz’s legendary SL roadster is perfect for cruising in all weather conditions but is best experienced with the retractable hardtop down. Available in six-, eight-, and even 12-cylinder guises, the SL is luxurious and powerful, perfect for high-speed cruising. Opt for the AMG SL 63 for a glorious V-8 exhaust note for maximum top-down listening pleasure.
The legendary Porsche 911 gives you two choices for top-down driving: the traditional 911 Cabriolet and the slick 911 Targa with its folding-roof panel. Like the coupe, the 911 Cabriolet is available on all variants except for the GT2 and GT3; the 911 Targa is offered in base, S, and GTS with all-wheel drive standard.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet
If you want to flaunt your wealth, try the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet with its opulent interior and cutting-edge technology. And if the S 560’s 463 hp isn’t powerful enough, there’s always the AMG S 63’s 603 hp and the 12-cylinder AMG S 65’s 621 hp.
One of the best convertibles the 1 percent can use to soak up the sun in opulence is the Rolls-Royce Dawn. Unlike more pedestrian cars, the Dawn can be personalized inside and out so it’s uniquely yours.
Among convertibles, few are as striking as the Aston Martin DB11 Volante. Available with a 503-hp twin-turbo V-8 paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the DB11 Volante combines speed, agility, style, and sophistication in a package that’s sure to turn heads.
Ferrari 488 Spider
Currently one of the most visceral vehicles available, the Ferrari 488 Spider proves that moving to a turbocharged engine doesn’t have to come at the cost of aural drama. With 661 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque, the 488 Spider will give you plenty of smiles when the top is down.
More powerful for 2019, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet gives you twin-turbo power standard on the E 450, and 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque on tap for your cruising pleasure. For something more powerful, the AMG E 53 offers up 429 hp and 384 lb-ft from anew 3.0-liter turbo I-6 that features a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that adds an extra 21 hp and 184 lb-ft for short periods of time.
Available in two- or four-door models and with your choice of a removable soft or hard top, the Wrangler can crawl through the beaten path with little issue. Read our 2018 Wrangler First Test here.
A high-riding boulevardier, the Range Rover Evoque convertible is currently the only SUV that’s available as a drop-top (besides the more rugged Wrangler). Although its off-road chops may not be on par with other Land Rover vehicles, the Evoque is still capable enough to get you far into the wilderness as you work on your tan. Just make sure to pack lightly because cargo space is compromised compared to the standard Evoque.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
The smallest Mercedes-Benz convertible with seating for four resembles a shrunken S-Class, but it’s more agile and efficient. Available with a choice of a turbocharged four-, six-, or eight-cylinder engine, the C-Class Cabriolet offers something for everyone.