Affordable convertibles prove you don’t always have to spend a fortune to feel the wind in your hair. We’ve pulled together a list of desirable drop-tops can all be had for less than £20,000.
- Mazda MX-5
- Mini Convertible
- Fiat 124 Spider
- Toyota Aygo X-Wave
- Peugeot 108 TOP
- Citroen C1 Airscape
- Fiat 500C
- Renault Twingo
- Smart ForTwo Cabriolet
- VW Beetle Cabriolet
1. Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 is one of the most stylish convertibles on sale thanks to its sharp lines and attractive curves. This striking two-seater now comes with the choice of a soft-top or folding hard-top in RF guise – both options offer up room for two people and enough luggage for a weekend away.
The MX-5 is competitively priced, too – entry-level versions with a 130hp 1.5-litre engine cost less than £18,500. It’s not the fastest convertible out there but its lightweight body and peppy engine make for a fun driving experience.
2. Mini Convertible
The Mini Convertible mixes the quirky style, well-built interior and fun handling of the standard Mini hatchback with a soft-top roof. As an added bonus, it can seat four in relative comfort – although passengers on the back may feel a little claustrophobic with the roof up.
Costing £18,500 in base model trim, the Convertible is a little pricier than some rivals – a great range of engines and equipment helps balance the books, however. The 215-litre boot is smaller than many similarly priced rivals, too, but the Mini’s stylish looks and retro charm make it one of the most desirable compact convertibles on the market.
Check out our Mini Convertible review for more details on this car.
3. Fiat 124 Spider
The Fiat 124 Spider has an effortlessly cool look – it blends the original 124’s retro character with a thoroughly modern design. It matches its stylish looks with a strong range of punchy engines and a brilliant chassis shared with the excellent Mazda MX-5.
It’s not the most spacious car, however. Anyone taller than six-foot may feel a little squashed and the 140-litre boot, although more spacious than the Mazda’s, isn’t particularly impressive. Its attractive £19,545 entry-level price does, however, make it a particularly attractive offering.
4. Toyota Aygo X-Wave
The Toyota Aygo X-Wave convertible brings a further splash of fun and flexibility to the standard Aygo. With the normal car’s striking styling, decent interior space and cheap running costs – plus the bonus of a fabric roof – it’s an attractive little car.
The X-Wave doesn’t feature a conventional drop-top but its fabric roof can be pulled back to give the cabin a much airier and spacious feel. As a result, it’s just as practical as the standard hatchback and features the same 197-litre boot. The Aygo convertible is good value too, with entry-level models costing just £12,830.
5. Peugeot 108 TOP
The Peugeot 108 TOP is the second car on our list formed in the supermini convertible mould. It shares both its platform and engines with the Aygo X-Wave and Citroen C1 Airscape but sports a familiar Peugeot face with more mature styling than its funkier siblings.
The Peugeot’s folding fabric roof doesn’t eat into driver or rear passenger headroom but rear legroom does fall a little short of other cars this size. It does, however, undercut key rivals in terms of price – base models will set you back just £11,085.
6. Citroen C1 Airscape
The Citroen C1 Airscape is a quirky convertible supermini built on the same platform as both the 108 TOP and Aygo X-Wave. To help it stand out from the crowd, however, it’s offered with a huge range of personalisation options including special paint jobs, vivid roof colours and special decals.
The soft-top folding roof brings a welcome airy feel to the Citroen’s cabin that would otherwise feel a little claustrophobic – especially for people taller than six feet. It’s also one of the cheapest cars on our list – entry-level models cost just £11,835.
7. Fiat 500C
Four people should be fairly comfortable on short journeys, although a little bit of headroom is lost by fitting a soft-top roof. This Fiat can’t quite match the Mini for driving enjoyment but the highly customisable 500C is a cheaper option – entry-models cost from £13,700.
8. Renault Twingo
It’s not a convertible in the traditional sense, but the Renault Twingo’s retractable fabric roof adds a touch of wind-in-you-hair fun to this compact French supermini.
Passenger space is generous although the folding roof does eat into the available headroom. The small car comes with enjoyable, nippy handling and a tiny turning circle, making it extremely easy to park. In Colour Run trim – the only version to come with a fabric roof as standard – the Twingo costs from just £10,645.
9. Smart ForTwo Cabrio
The Smart ForTwo Cabrio is undoubtedly one of the smallest cars on sale. Its tiny dimensions mean the car is incredibly easy to park – perfect for inner-city drivers. It features a well-equipped interior, a surprisingly spacious 340-litre boot and enough room inside for two to travel in comfort.
The ForTwo Cabrio feels a little underpowered on motorways and the ride quality isn’t great but it excels in busy traffic and the fabric roof folds away in just 12 seconds so you can make the most of even the briefest spots of sunshine. The cheapest models available will set you back a reasonable £13,265.
10. VW Beetle Cabriolet
The VW Beetle Cabriolet is one of the more expensive models on our list but it’s large enough to seat four in relative comfort. Its distinctive looks give it bundles of character and its well-built interior is strides ahead of the old model.
The Beetle soft top features a little less headroom than the standard version and the boot is a little cramped and, according to some testers, oddly shaped. The driving experience isn’t quite as strong as some rivals but it’s good enough to sneak into tenth place on our list. Go easy on the optional extras, however, or its £19,775 entry-level price can jump quite quickly.
Save money on your new convertible
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