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If you love driving along the open road, nothing can beat the rush of the wind from a convertible. While sales are declining, most car makers still produce a convertible model just in time for the summer road trip, with luxury brands and Japanese marques alike taking advantage of the latest developments in metal construction and electronics to create lighter, more agile convertibles with faster transition times that can double as an everyday vehicle. You can find a wide range of convertibles and other specific cars for sale at vehicle website AutoTrader, and if you’re keen to drive with the top down this summer, here are a few choice beauties to keep a look out for.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
This two-seater has the profile of a luxury roadster, but under the hood is a classic 2.0-litre Mazda engine available with either a manual or automatic transmission. Much of the body is constructed from aluminium, keeping the car light and agile on sharp turns, and drivers can choose from a cloth top or a power-folding Targa roof. With a top speed of 129 mph, the Miata ranks at the top of this list for its balance performance, style and price.
The classic Bug has been available as a convertible since the 1950’s, but it doesn’t mean VW have stopped making improvements. The new Beetle has a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine and manual transmission, with an automatic option for casual drivers. The soft-top roof folds down with the touch of a button at speeds up to 31 mph, which makes for an easy transition if you get caught in the rain.
Smart German engineering and an upgraded engine make this a high-style beast on the roads. A direct-injected 2.0-litre engine spits out 220hp. The convertible comes in a soft-top only, to keep the weight down and speed up. While some drivers may yawn at the TT’s now familiar profile and styling, it’s become a familiar silhouette that’s unmistakably Audi.
It doesn’t have the class or luxury price tag of its Italian rivals, but the Corvette is well and truly one of the great sports cars of the age. A 6.2-litre V8 engine generates a whopping 455hp, and 0-60 mph takes just 3.9 seconds. With a fuel economy rating of just 16-21mpg, you might not get far from the city before the fuel tank runs out, but make no mistake – you’ll get there fast.
Possibly the ultimate convertible, the 911 holds a special place in the heart of auto enthusiasts for its classic styling and booming engine. A rear-mounted 3.0-litre twin turbo engine generates 370hp, with the GTS model churning up to 450hp. 0-60mph takes just 3.3 seconds, and the convertible has a top speed of 187mph. Like all iterations of the 911, this model has intuitive steering and handling, along with a brilliant roar from the engine. The car also comes with a Targa body style, for those wanting something a little different from their convertible experience.