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Best convertibles and cabriolets of 2022
Sunny skies, a warm breeze and long stretches of tarmac devoid of traffic are what drop-top driving dreams are made of. Well not if you’re British apparently. Despite our distinctly non-convertible friendly weather, we often top the convertible sales charts compared to most European countries. Whether it’s out of sheer stubbornness or simply our nature to see the light at the end of even the darkest cloud cover, we have selected the best convertibles and cabriolets on the market for you to indulge your rain-drenched drop-top fantasies.
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Convertible cars FAQs
According to the dictionary of Google… there’s not much difference between a convertible and a cabriolet. A convertible is "a car with a folding or detachable roof". A cabriolet means a "car with a roof that folds down". Then there are roadsters, which are two-seater convertibles and are also sometimes called spiders – or spyders. Sounds confusing but essentially they all mean the same thing – a car that can drop its roof.
Interestingly, originally a cabriolet was a type of horse drawn carriage. It was a two-wheeled carriage with a soft hood and was pulled by a single horse. Cabriolet is from the French word cabriole which means 'goats leap', so called from the motion of the carriage.
Hybrid convertibles seem like the perfect combination, offering silent EV progress while cruising along your favourite high street (or beach drive), then bursting into a V8 crescendo as you head out on the open road. Yet they are few and far between, and none come with anything quite as exotic as a V8, in fact the now discontinued BMW i8 was the only true hybrid convertible on sale and it matched its EV powertrain with a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine. Cars like the Mercedes-AMG E53 Cabriolet offer what is termed mild-hybrid setup which incorporates a small electric motor to aid the internal combustion engine, but these cannot drive on pure EV power alone.
A pure electric convertible seems like another great idea, yet this is another area where there are precious few entrants. In fact, currently there are just two; the miniscule Smart EQ fortwo cabrio and the insane Ferrari SF90 Spider. A juxtaposition of offerings if ever there was one.
The tiny little Smart EQ is perfect for tight city streets but not great pretty much everywhere else. The SF90 meanwhile is best sampled on a racetrack by a trained professional. We hope to see some more attainable and balanced entrants in this segment soon, such as the VW ID.3 convertible which was teased back in 2021 with a potential 2022 launch date.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to tow a caravan or trailer with a convertible, however, as with any tow car it will need to be officially approved for towing by the manufacturer. This can usually be confirmed on the manufacturer’s website.
Another rule to follow is that the total weight of the caravan should not exceed 85% of the tow car’s kerb weight. This applies to any vehicle, regardless of whether it has a convertible roof or not.
A convertible vehicle tends to weigh and cost more than its hardtop equivalent. Most also lose a bit of handling sharpness and will be a bit slower against a stopwatch thanks to that extra weight.
Unless you are planning to take your car regularly to track days, the dynamic differences are hard to notice in daily driving conditions. Interior space tends to be compromised but if that isn’t a concern then the feel-good factor of drop top motoring more than makes up for any potential shortcomings. In summary, if you want one get one!