Convertible, roadster, cabriolet - whatever you call it, the chances are at one stage in your life you have thought about owning one.
In years past, convertibles have been thought of as summer vehicles, but modern convertibles require far fewer compromises, making them a feasible, yet bold choice for everyday use. Many models can shed their tops in 20 seconds or less, and some convertibles even allow you to raise and lower the top while driving at slow speeds – perfect for when those New Zealand rain clouds roll in.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a short list of convertibles you’re likely to see cruising with their tops down over the coming summer months.
Lighter and more streamlined than ever, the open-top MX-5 brings car and driver together in the true spirit of “Jinba Ittai” - the philosophy of “horse and rider as one”.
The entry level soft-top is powered by a SKYACTIV-G 1.5L petrol engine that produces a reasonable 96kW @ 7000rpm. This small four cylinder engine is coupled to a traditional 6-speed transmission and with a fuel economy of just 6.1l/100km it’s easy to see why this attractive roadster generates so much attention.
The MX-5 Roadster is available from just $40,995 + on-road costs.
Ford Mustang GT Convertible
When the Ford Mustang right hand drive variant was introduced back in 2015 it caused quite a stir. Now, New Zealand’s top-selling convertible has even more to offer. The convertible is available in two engine variants, a powerful and nostalgic 5L V8 producing 339Kw @ 7000rpm, or the smaller, more economical 2.3L GTDI EcoBoost unit with 224Kw @ 5700 rpm. Both models are coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission, so if you’re a tried and true manual-only driver, you’re going to have to put the top back on with the Mustang GT Fastback.
The Mustang EcoBoost convertible starts at just $67,990 + on-road costs and you’ll be looking at $84,990 + on-road costs if you opt for the GT V8.
Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet
In last year’s NZ Car of the Year Awards the C-Class Cabriolet won the ‘Safest Car’ award. This was the first time ever a ”soft-top” vehicle won the award, demonstrating the outstanding work being put into the innovation and development of safety technology in Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Under the hood of the entry level C200 you’ll find a 4-cylinder 1.5L engine producing an impressive 135kW. Not enough power for you? The C-Class Cabriolet is also available in V6 and V8 AMG variants.
One stand out option available on the C-Class is the innovative Aircap and Airscarf heating systems. Airscarf keeps the driver and their passengers warm in the cooler weather while still enjoying the fresh air generated with the roof down without the necessity of a scarf. The warm air is released from the headrests creating a pleasurable sensation of warm air being gently blown on your neck. The Aircap system stops draughts and minimises pesky air turbulence within the cabin.
The Mercedes C200 convertible starts at $91,400 plus on-road costs.
If you’ve previously thought of buying a convertible but had some misgivings, it may be time for a rethink. With so much on offer and summer just round the corner, if you start your search now you’ll beat the summer rush of sales that comes with these suave cars.