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Best used convertibles
It may be winter outside, but in our hearts, it's spring. If you fancy buying a used convertible now might be a good time, because demand should be lower. Here's a list of our top 10 favourites...
You might think that UK drivers wouldn’t particularly care for open-top cars but, despite the climate, we actually buy more than most European countries. That's good news if you want one as it means there’s a good number of very affordable used examples available.
What’s more, there’s a used convertible to suit every taste – from practical and family-friendly four-seaters to small, sporty two-seaters. And if you buy one now, in the bleak mid-winter, you may even be able to negotiate yourself a bargain.
So, to tempt your palate, here are our top 10 favourites. Follow the link below each car and you could put one on your driveway sooner than you think.
BMW 4 Series Convertible
This recently replaced version of the BMW 4 Series Convertible follows in the footsteps of a long line of classy BMW drop-tops. In SE spec it’s very much a comfortable cruiser, with soft suspension giving it a smooth ride. M Sport versions feel sportier to drive, especially when paired with the 326bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine in the range-topping 440i version. Inside, you get a classy dashboard, one of the best infotainment systems around and a leather-lined interior that feels very posh indeed.
We found: 2017 BMW 4 Series Convertible 440i M Sport, 36,000 miles, £23,000
Find a used BMW 4 Series Convertible for sale here
- Lots of equipment
- Comfortable ride
- Security of folding hard-top
- Small boot with roof down
- Not as sharp to drive as coupé
- Limited space in rear seats
Jaguar F-Type Convertible
Elegant yet purposeful, the Jaguar F-Type is one of the most desirable used convertibles around. This soft-top sports car is available in turbocharged four-cylinder, supercharged V6 and V8 form. All variants, especially six and eight-cylinder cars, sound amazing and drive like a dream, with fun handling and impressive performance. Not cheap to run, but there are plenty of bargains out there, offering great value for money. Prices start at just £24,000.
We found: 2015 Jaguar F-Type 3.0 V6, 46,000 miles, £29,000
Find a used Jaguar F-Type Convertible for sale here
- Good performance
- Attractive styling
- Lots of fun to drive
- Tiny boot
- Fiddly infotainment
- Not cheap to run
BMW 2 Series Convertible
The compact BMW 2 Series is a great all-round convertible. It's comfortable and terrific fun to drive, comes with good petrol or diesel engines and has sharp handling. It’s also reasonably practical. It feels classy and sporty throughout, and buyers can choose from relaxed SE to sportier M Sport, which has stiffer suspension. It has proved reliable too, coming fifth out of 15 models in the coupés, convertibles and sports cars class of the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey.
We found: 2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible M240i, 32,000 miles, £20,900
Find a used BMW 2 Series Convertible for sale here
- Compliant ride
- Sharp handling
- Strong performance
- Cramped rear seats
- Diesel engines noisy
- Mid-spec trims not so well equipped
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
A drop-top with the three-pointed star on its nose is a covetable thing indeed, and the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is no exception. Clever aerodynamics and an innovative heating system that blows warm air at your neck to help prevent the chilling effect of wind buffeting helps to keep occupants warm. The E-Class Cabriolet is well built, supremely smooth and comfortable. It's also refined to drive with the top down and gives you a big boot for extended holidays.
We found: 2017 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet E350d AMG Line, 30,000 miles, £23,995
Find a used Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet for sale here
- Well equipped
- Low levels of wind buffeting with roof down
- Decent boot for a convertible
- Some models have pricey tax bills
- Not the sharpest to drive
- Rear seat space not as good as some rivals
The latest Mini is one of the more accessible convertibles on the market, with some of the lowest prices of the lot. Those compact dimensions also mean it’s very easy to drive around town. With excellent build quality, great looks and some of the most fun driving dynamics around – not to mention a choice of impressively efficient engines – it's a very compelling cabrio.
We found: 2016 Mini Convertible 1.5 Cooper, 35,500 miles, £9995
Find a used Mini Convertible for sale here
- Strong engines
- Smart interior
- Good refinement
- Tight rear space
- Rear visibility isn’t great
- Small boot
Any example of the latest Z4 is a striking, suave, plush sports car inside and out, but we highly recommend going for the M40i over its lesser variants – the 20i and 30i – if you can afford it. With its 335bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, it's the version that best delivers the performance and driving thrills you want from such a car. It's expensive new, at around £52,000, but used examples look very well priced.
We found: 2019 BMW Z4 M40i M Sport, 48,000 miles, £33,000
Find a used BMW Z4 for sale here
- Strong six-cylinder M40i
- Luxurious interior
- Four-cylinders are lacklustre
- Subpar sports car handling
- Inconsistent brake feel
Wait, what's this? Surely this isn't the latest 718 Boxster but the one before? You're right, but in many ways, we prefer this older car, thanks to it coming with the delightful flat-six engine rather than the later car's four-cylinder unit. It feels light, agile and quick on its feet, not to mention its 3.4-litre engine produces a healthy 311bhp (in S guise) and is great fun. That being said, even standard cars with the 261bhp 2.7-litre engine are a joy to drive.
We found: 2016 Porsche Boxster 2.7, 48,000 miles, £26,000
Find a used Porsche Boxster for sale here
- Brilliant handling
- Surprisingly comfortable ride
- Classy interior
- Not as well equipped as some
- Fuel consumption heavy
Audi A3 Cabriolet
A high purchase price (thanks to its strong residuals) is the only reason the Audi A3 Cabriolet didn’t finish higher up our list. It’s a cracking all-rounder, with the same sublime balance between ride and handling as any hard-top A3. The 1.4-litre TFSI is our favourite because it blends excellent performance with impressive economy. You get a gorgeous interior, an impressively big boot for a car of this type, and enough room in the back for two adults. Used prices start from around £9000.
We found: 2017 Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TFSI Sport, 45,000 miles, £14,000
Find a used Audi A3 Cabriolet for sale here
- Beautifully finished interior
- Ride and handling balance
- Well equipped
- Sport and S Line are more refined than SE cars
- Poor rear room
- Optional automatic is jerky
Audi TT Roadster
You might be surprised to find out how cheap the third-generation Audi TT is these days, with prices from £12,000. In fact, considering how good it is to drive, we’d say it’s something of a bargain. The TT gives you agile handling, quick, direct steering and, on higher-spec models, the grip and traction of four-wheel drive. True, you’ll have to make do with two seats, but if that’s all you need and you want a premium feel, the TT is about the best there is.
We found: 2017 Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI Sport, 39,000 miles, £16,750
Find a used Audi TT Roadster for sale here
- Fabulous interior
- Crisp handling
- Efficient engines
- Stingy equipment
- Some wind noise at speed
- Not the cheapest convertible
If you can live with only two seats, there's little to dislike about the latest Mazda MX-5. It's great fun to drive, but cheap to buy and run, and very reliable. The compact dimensions make it great around town – it never feels out of its depth on a motorway either – and the soft suspension gives it a brilliant ride. You’ll have a dependable and fun little sports car – one that makes for the best used convertible in the biz.
We found: 2016 Mazda MX-5 1.5 SE-L, 30,000 miles, £12,000
Find a used Mazda MX-5 for sale here
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- Outstanding ride and handling balance
- Performance suited to UK roads
- Low running costs
- Wind noise at speed
- Limited storage
- Driving position lacks adjustment
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