Real-world MPG: most economical convertibles and cabriolets

The summer is here, so what better time to buy an open-top car? Here are ten options that all beat 35mpg in our real-world tests

Words ByDarren Moss

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True MPG convertibles

What Car?’s technicians drive new cars every week to capture our True MPG fuel economy data. Unlike official Government figures generated by a laboratory test, the numbers we publish are gained from real-world conditions.

This week we’re looking at the most economical convertibles and cabriolets we’ve tested so far. If you want an impressive drop-top that should do more than 35mpg in real-world driving, these ten models should be on your shortlist

10. Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet 1.2 TSI

Official 47.9mpg; True MPG 35.8mpg

The Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet is not the most entertaining car to drive, but its styling will more than justify any handling niggles for most owners. Otherwise, it’s a comfortable, refined place to be. Don’t expect to use it as a full-time four-seater, though, because the rear seats are cramped.

Read our full Volkswagen Beetle review

Want to buy a used Volkswagen Beetle? Click here to read our used car review

9. Audi TT 1.8 TFSI S-line

Official 43.5mpg; True MPG 40.7mpg

The latest Audi TT is great to drive and thanks to a practical interior is also surprisingly easy to live with. The 1.8-litre petrol engine recommended here is the entry-level option, but it doesn't feel underpowered and it's happy to be revved hard. There aren't any rear seats in the TT, and not much room to store belongings either, so if you're heading for a weekend away it's best to pack light.

Read our full Audi TT review

Want to buy a used Audi TT? Click here to read our used car review

7. DS3 Cabriolet 1.6 VTi

Official 49.6mpg; True MPG 45.2mpg

Small convertibles don’t come much more stylish than the DS3 Cabriolet, although the retractable fabric roof is more of a big sunroof than a full drop-top. Still, it can be put back in place at up to 74mph. The DS3 is good to drive, with this 1.6 VTi engine being the best match for leisurely motoring.

Read our full DS3 Cabriolet review

Mini Cooper Convertible 1.5

Official 57.6mpg; True MPG 46.1mpg

As small convertible cars go, the Mini Cooper Convertible is one of the most sought-after models around. It's fun to drive and is powered by a range of strong and flexible engines, and the four-seat cabin is a nice place to be. There's also plenty of tech inside, including BMW's excellent iDrive infotainment system. Be wary, though, because with the roof up rear visibility is hampered, and space in the rear is tight.

Read our full Mini Cooper Convertible review

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