There are few pleasures as great as driving with the wind in your hair. Convertibles are usually some of the most desirable cars on sale today allowing you to enjoy motoring al-fresco and feel even closer to the action.
Convertibles typically lose some dynamic sparkle when compared to their hard-top counterparts because the roof is an integral part of a car’s structure, but these days this isn’t really the case. Many convertibles are designed as such, so feature extra reinforcements to maintain body stiffness along with better quality materials and designs.
When judging convertibles we were careful not to confuse them with performance cars, which we already have an award for. A good convertible should be desirable, sound good and deliver an enthralling driving experience.
Certainly the driver’s choice of the convertible crop, the Porsche Boxster has won great praise for its intoxicating engine, epic driving experience and unflappable build quality. The mid-engined car comes fitted with Porsche’s trademark flat-six engine that sounds not too dissimilar to the race cars also wearing the company’s emblem – taking the roof off only adds to this sonic feast.
Older Boxsters were criticised for feeling built down to a price so to not step on the toes of the 911, but this model changes that with a luxurious cabin built sturdily from high quality materials.
Audi A3 Convertible
Much more the cruiser than the other cars in this shortlist – the Audi A3 Convertible is built on the firm’s MQB platform that underpins everything from the upcoming Passat to the current Golf. Unlike the other cars on the shortlist, the A3 can seat four, though those in the back may not want to be there for too long.
Also unlike the other cars, the A3 has been set up to be a more relaxing car to drive – so there’s better sound insulation, a quieter, more efficient powertrain and a more cosseting ride. All of this adds together to make one of the most all-round accomplished convertibles on the market today.
The Jaguar F-Type has plenty of silverware for its cabinet already, but no list of best convertibles would be complete without mentioning it. Its main selling point (frankly does it need any more?) is the way it looks. The stunning lines echo the D-Types and E-Types of the past while also looking like a concept car for the road. Unquestionably this is an immensely desirable car.
Add to this the sonic stimulation from the range of supercharged V6 and V8 engines, and the F-Type becomes a very tempting proposition. The slick eight-speed auto shifts quickly and smoothly and critics love the way it drives.