Best convertibles 2024 – the best and worst drop-tops named

When the sun comes up, the roof can come down. Here are the very best convertibles on sale today - and the worst...

Author Avatar
by
Will Nightingale
Updated19 January 2023

Despite a dwindling number of convertible options available to the new car buyer, Britain still loves a drop-top. For those rarest of occasions when the temperature allows it and the sky is blue, there's little more thrilling than the feel of the wind in your hair.

The best models offer more than just limitless headroom. They also manage to be great to drive, despite needing extra body strengthening to support them once the roof has been taken away, and look fantastic. Some of them are surprisingly practical, too.

And after driving every single convertible on sale, our expert team of road testers agree that it's the BMW 4 Series Convertible that is the very best of breed.

Best convertibles Mercedes SL-AMG, Lexus LC Convertible

Below we list our current top 10 best convertibles – and reveal the one we suggest you avoid. If any of them take your fancy, just click on the relevant link to find out more or see how much you could save with our free New Car Deals service.

Our pick: 420i M Sport 2dr Step Auto

0-62mph: 8.2 sec
MPG/range: 41.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 154g/km
Seats: 4
Boot: 385 litres
Insurance group: 32E
Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Range-topping M440i is seriously rapid
  • More fun to drive than direct rivals
  • More room in the back than you might imagine

Weaknesses

  • Some wind and tyre noise
  • Back seats don't split and fold down
  • Divisive looks

The greatest compliment that we can pay the BMW 4 Series is that on its journey from coupé to convertible, it has remained thoroughly excellent to drive – something that’s so often not the case, given the extra weight and strengthening which a convertible car needs.

In the 4 Series, however, it retains the sharp handling and punchy performance which we so enjoy in the coupé. Plus, the 4 series features the kind of high-tech, comfortable interior which will make even long journeys a breeze, and it’s even relatively practical for your family.

In fact, our testers described the 4 Series Convertible as a near-flawless car, especially with the adjustable suspension of our favourite model, the M Sport Pro.

Read our full BMW 4 Series Convertible review

Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Decent range between charges
  • Great interior
  • Fun to drive around town

Weaknesses

  • Tiny rear seats
  • Noisy to travel in
  • Pricier than Mini Convertible

No small electric car comes with more Instagrammable looks than the Fiat 500C Electric, but beyond its cutesy style, there's plenty of substance on offer here too.

You get a 42kWh battery pack that's officially capable of taking you up to 199 miles between charges – that's more than the rival Mini Electric Convertible can manage – while the 117bhp electric motor offers enough punch to make driving on tight urban streets a breeze.

There's not a lot of space inside the Fiat 500, but we still managed to fit a couple of carry-on suitcases into the boot when the convertible hod was folded down.

Read our full Fiat 500 Electric review

 

Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Powerful engines
  • Relatively practical
  • Four-wheel drive improves V8’s all-weather driveability

Weaknesses

  • Disappointing build quality
  • Rear seats are only for short trips
  • Fiddly infotainment system

The Mercedes-AMG SL has been the go-to luxury convertible for more than 50 years, but the latest generation is more sporting than ever.

In fact, the 55 version we recommend has a storming 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine under its bonnet, which delivers 469bhp to all four wheels – enough to get the SL to 60mph in just 3.7sec.

Even so, the SL is still more of a grand tourer than an out-and-out sports car, with composed handling aided by four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.

It's even relatively practical if you ignore the slightly cramped rear seats, with more space in its boot than the rival Lexus LC.

Read our full Mercedes AMG SL review

New car deals
New car deals
Target Price from £102,665
Save up to £5,500
or from £878pm

Our pick: 500 5.0 [464] 2dr Auto [Mark Levinson]

0-62mph: 4.6 sec
MPG/range: 24.1mpg
CO2 emissions: 275g/km
Seats: 4
Boot: 149 litres
Insurance group: 50E
Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Amazing V8 sound
  • Beautifully made interior
  • Sporty but still comfortable and quiet

Weaknesses

  • Awful usability of the infotainment system
  • Tiny rear seats and boot
  • A Porsche 911 is a better driver’s car

If you want your convertible car to turn heads, few options are better than the Lexus LC Convertible – not only because of its looks, but also due to its thunderous 5.0-litre V8 engine.

That engine ensures you won't be lacking for outright pace, but the LC Convertible impresses by being quiet when you need it to be. You also get to enjoy it from a high-quality, eye-catching interior which is surprisingly spacious for your passengers. 

It's just a shame the infotainment system isn't easier to use – the screen in the rival Porsche 911 Cabriolet is easier to get along with.

Read our full Lexus LC Convertible review

Our pick: 114kW 42.2kWh 3dr Auto

0-62mph: 7 sec
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Seats: 4
Boot: 185 litres
Insurance group: 23D
Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Peppy in-town performance
  • Sharp steering
  • Fun around town

Weaknesses

  • Limited real-world range when driven in a spirited manner
  • Rivals are quicker in a straight line
  • Tiny rear seats

Abarth is Fiat's performance division, so it should come as no surprise that the 500e Convertible shares many of the same positive attributes as its Fiat sibling. That means it's good to drive easy to weave in and out of city traffic.

What the 500e gains over its sibling is more power – in fact, it's boosted from 117bhp to 153bhp, resulting in a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.0sec. That's marginally quicker than the petrol-powered Abarth 595.

Inside, unique touches include sport seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, contrasting stitching and aluminium pedal covers.

Read our full Abarth 500e review

Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Massive performance
  • Beautifully crafted interior
  • More fun to drive than most of its GT rivals

Weaknesses

  • Limited rear-seat space
  • Boot could be bigger
  • As a cruiser, there are softer-riding alternatives

Okay, so the Aston Martin DB12 Volante is ultimately less practical than many of the other cars on this list, but in terms of outright driving thrills, it walks over almost any other rival.

It offers massive performance courtesy of a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG, plus a beautifully crafted interior.

As a grand tourer, the DB12 Volante is as good as it gets, blending comfort with sporty handling in a way that few rivals can match.

Read our full Aston Martin DB12 review

 

Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Strong engines
  • Smart interior
  • Cheap by drop-top standards

Weaknesses

  • Tight rear space
  • Small boot
  • Firm ride

If you like your convertibles small and cute, look no further than the Mini Convertible.

You get the same smart styling and good driving dynamics as the modern Mini hatchback, but there's also an electric folding fabric roof for when the sun is out.

Just bear in mind that there isn't a great deal of space for rear passengers.

Read our full Mini Convertible review

 

Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Solid build quality
  • Class-leading infotainment
  • Effortless performance

Weaknesses

  • Ride is firm for a luxury cabriolet
  • Not as involving to drive as sportier rivals
  • Rear space is poor given the size of the car

If you have deep pockets and want your convertible to be luxurious as well as thrilling, then the BMW 8 Series Convertible is likely to end up on your shortlist.

The 840i model we recommend might be the entry point in the range, but it's likely to offer all the performance you need. Plus it'll be cheaper to run than the V8-engined M850i.

Inside you get to enjoy BMW's excellent iDrive infotainment system, which is very easy to get along with, plus more boot space than you'll find in the Lexus LC Convertible.

Read our full BMW 8 Series Convertible review

New car deals
New car deals
Target Price from £72,715
Save up to £21,488
or from £797pm
Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Huge performance
  • Luxurious and beautifully built interior
  • A genuine four-seater

Weaknesses

  • Range-topping W12 sounds flat
  • Not as comfortable as coupé
  • Missing some safety kit

We know most owners of the Bentley Continental GT Convertible will find themselves driving along a beautiful coastal road while heading to their Summer bolthole in Southern France on a picture-perfect day. However, at the wheel of the Bentley, it's easy to imagine yourself doing so.

Of course, any car wearing a Bentley badge needs to be luxurious, and the Continental GT offers this in spades, with just about every surface trimmed in polished wood or soft leather – in fact, the interior of the rival Aston Martin DB12 Volante feels positively cheap in comparison.

When it comes to engine choice, we’d take the ‘entry-level’ V8 engine over the flagship W12, because it sounds better and is happier to rev.

Read our full Bentley Continental GT Convertible review

Our pick: 1.5 TSI EVO Style 2dr

0-62mph: 9.6 sec
MPG/range: 44.8mpg
CO2 emissions: 142g/km
Seats: 4
Boot: 284 litres
Insurance group: 24E
Driving
Interior
Practicality
Buying & Owning

Strengths

  • Comfortable with roof up or down
  • Generous equipment levels
  • High-up driving position

Weaknesses

  • Extra weight blunts performance
  • Touch-sensitive controls can be awkward to use
  • Body flexes over bumps

Open-top SUVs are a pretty rare sight on UK roads, but there are lots of reasons to enjoy the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet.

For one, there's the sheer enjoyment of having the raised ride height and chunky looks of an SUV, mixed with the open-top thrills of a convertible. The T-Roc Cabriolet is a comfy choice, and there's a good range of petrol engines to choose from. The 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine, in particular, offers punchy performance.

Other plus points include proper space for adults on the rear seats, and space for six carry-on suitcases in the T-Roc Cabriolet's boot.

Read our full Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet review

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Fiat 500C Hybrid

The Fiat 500C Hybrid has a desirable image and is easy enough to drive around town. However, it is difficult to get comfortable in and generally outclassed in all areas by the more grown-up Mini Convertible. Read our review