One of the best ways to make the most of a short British summer is with a cut-price convertible. We’ve put together our list of the 10 best used models on sale to help you pick the perfect second-hand drop top.
View the latest carwow offers on our car deals page or, if you’re not sure what to buy, read our list of the best used cars, our countdown of the best sports cars currently available and our used car buying guide.
1. Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 is one of the sportiest-looking convertibles on the market thanks to its sharp lines and aggressive curves. It’s offered with a soft-top or – in RF guise – a folding hard-top. Both models offer a decent amount of interior space for two people and a fair 130-litre boot.
Even entry-level 130hp 1.5-litre models feel perky and handle brilliantly thanks to a lightweight chassis and sporty suspension setup. More powerful 2.0-litre versions boast 160hp but all models come with a decent amount of standard equipment and represent a fantastic used sports car bargain.
2. Audi A3 Cabriolet
The Audi A3 Cabriolet is a plush four-seater convertible with smart looks and a beautifully-built interior. There’s plenty of standard equipment and seemingly endless gadgets available – including the excellent Virtual Cockpit feature.
A good amount of room for four and a 320-litre boot make it one of the most practical four-seat convertibles on the market. It’s impressively refined, too, and offers a comprehensive range of both petrol and diesel engines. It’s a little pricey but makes for a strong all-rounder in the used soft-top market.
3. Jaguar F-Type Convertible
It’s tough to look past the striking Jaguar F-Type if you’re looking for a gorgeous, sporty convertible. Its interior may feel a little dated, but it’s a comfortable and refined place to be, even with the roof down.
It’s hardly a practical car – its 196-litre boot is only big enough for two overnight bags – but its thrilling V6 and V8 engines will quickly take your mind the luggage you’ve had to leave behind. Not only does it handle well and produce some of the most exciting noises of any car on sale but top-spec SVR models can hit a blistering 200mph top speed, too.
4. BMW 2 Series Convertible
The BMW 2 Series Convertible is the smallest drop-top from the German manufacturer but it still offers enough cabin space for four people and a decent 335-litre boot. Its interior isn’t quite as plush as the A3 Cabriolet’s but the 2 Series still features an upmarket design with loads of equipment – including BMW’s excellent iDrive infotainment system.
The 2 Series is engaging and smooth to drive, with good levels of refinement thanks to its range of punchy yet relatively frugal engines. It feels a little sportier than some rivals and makes for a good motorway cruiser too. Costly manufacturer options can make some second-hand cars more expensive than others, however.
5. Audi TT Roadster
The Audi TT Roadster is one of the best-looking convertibles out there. It isn’t just a pretty face, however. Even entry-level cars have loads of in-car tech, including Audi’s virtual Cockpit system and an attractive cabin with class-leading build quality. There’s a generous amount of room for two people and its 280-litre boot is fairly respectable for a compact convertible, too. A narrow boot opening can make loading bulky items tricky, however.
As pleasant as it is to drive, the TT Roadster can’t quite match the Porsche Boxster for sheer fun on a B-road blast. Drivers looking for a faster, more sporty model will be better catered for by the TTS Roadster and its 310hp 2.0-litre engine. It might be faster, but it’ll certainly cost more on the used car market.
6. Mini Convertible
The Mini Convertible is a charming and quirky four-seater that mixes the hatchback’s enjoyable handling and well-built interior with a simple but effective folding soft-top. Perfect for when you fancy a feel-good cruise on a summer’s afternoon. Kids will have more than enough room in the back, although taller adults may struggle for headroom if an unexpected shower forces you to put the roof up.
The price you’ll pay for the Mini’s retro looks is a particularly compact load bay – its 215-litre boot will struggle to carry more than a few overnight bags. It’s fun to drive and feels impressively refined, however, thanks to its sharp steering and a range of perky engines. It’s a little pricier than similarly-sized competitors but its eye-catching looks, well-equipped cabin and fun handling make it a great used convertible.
7. Mercedes SLC
The Mercedes SLC has classic sports car proportions and a new range of engines to help it keep pace with more modern rivals from Porsche, Audi and BMW. The interior looks typically upmarket and features plush materials and lots of equipment including a seven-inch infotainment screen.
The folding metal roof makes it feel quieter and more refined than some rivals at motorway speeds but it does eat into boot space. With the roof in place, the SLC can still store a fair 335-litres of luggage, however. Behind the wheel, it feels comfortable and composed while its range of strong engines – including new twin-turbocharged V6 – gives it more than enough punch to enjoy a backroad blast with the top down.
8. Fiat 124 Spider
The Fiat 124 Spider looks effortlessly cool – exactly as an Italian convertible should. It blends the original 124’s retro design cues with thoroughly modern styling both inside and out. Its eye-catching looks are matched by a strong range of engines and an excellent chassis, borrowed from the MX-5. As a result, it’s a cracking little car to drive.
It’s fairly roomy inside although, with the roof up, tall people may feel a little squashed. Its 140-litre boot is bigger than the MX-5’s load bay and will easily handle a fair food shop or overnight bag, but there are more spacious convertibles out there. While entry-level cars will cost only slightly more than a comparable MX-5, the hottest Abarth-tuned models will set you back significantly more.
9. Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is a large convertible with room for four – providing you don’t ask your taller friends to jump in the back. Its interior is luxurious, well-built and comes well equipped, too. There’s a large range of steering and seat adjustment, so anyone can get comfortable behind the wheel.
Even entry-level petrol versions provide decent performance but, if you’re looking for a cost-cutting convertible – a frugal diesel is your best bet. It’s one of the more expensive used convertibles on our list but offers a level of luxury few rivals can match for the money.
10. Vauxhall Cascada
The Vauxhall Cascada is a spacious and practical four-seat soft-top that makes a more affordable alternative to the likes of the A3 Cabriolet and 2 Series Convertible. Unlike many rivals, the Cascada’s rear seats are reasonably roomy and even tall passengers will be offered decent headroom, too.
The Cascada’s cabin feels solid but its design is hardly inspiring. It is well equipped, however, and features a large 380-litre boot with the roof in place. It isn’t quite as fun to drive as many other cars on our list but it’s offered with a range of efficient engines including a 2.0-litre diesel unit that can return more than 57mpg.
Save money on your next convertible
Head over to our car deals page to see the great discounts carwow could help you get. Use our car chooser tool to narrow down your search and check out our PCP calculator to get a better idea of how much your car cost per month.