What’s the best practical convertible car for me? 

A reader wants a convertible or hatchback with a large sunroof to replace her ageing Seat Leon. What are her best options?...

Audi A3 Cabriolet

I'm looking for a new car to replace my Seat Leon Stylance, which has given me great service since new in 2006.

I’d like either a convertible or a car with a large opening sunroof because I had the latter fitted from new on the Seat, and love it. I don't need much room in the back seats, but I do need a good sized boot.

I have looked at the Mini Convertible, but the boot was miniscule and quite difficult to access due to the dropdown tailgate.

What are the best small to medium sized cars to suit my requirements? 

Chris Giles

What Car? says...

Your need for a practical boot rules out sports cars, such as the Mazda MX-5, and although there aren’t as many drop-top hatchbacks as there were 10 years or more ago, there are still some great options. 

Our top recommendation is the Audi A3 Cabriolet, which is comfortable, classy and great to drive. It’s based on the A3 Saloon executive car and has a beautifully finished interior, good handling and a supple ride as long as you stick with Dynamic rather than Sports suspension. Although there are no diesel engine options, the 1.5 turbo petrol is punchy and pretty frugal because it has a system that deactivates half the engine’s cylinders at certain cruising speeds. While the boot has 320 litres of space with the car’s roof up, that shrinks to 275 litres, and becomes pretty shallow, when the roof is down. 

BMW 2 Series Convertible

The A3’s main rival, the BMW 2 Series Convertible, is another good choice. It also has a compliant ride, sharp handling and decent performance from its petrol and diesel engines. Although its boot is slightly larger than that of the A3 – at 335 litres – access isn’t as good so it’s less easy to get bulky items in and out of. We’d recommend you take a look at both of these cars in the flesh when you can to see which suits your needs better.  

If you’d rather stick with a car with a large sunroof instead, the Ford Fiesta offers the option of a full-length panoramic opening sunroof for just under £1000 extra. It’s our favourite small hatchback to drive, and is well equipped and smart inside.

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