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Best and worst older convertibles for reliability

The summer is finally on the way and what better way to celebrate than to get behind the wheel of a convertible? You won't look cool sitting at the roadside in a broken down car, though. So, to h...

1 Apr 2018 06:00

Best and worst older convertibles for reliability

Best older cabriolets for reliability

In spite of the weather we Brits love our convertibles. They're the perfect partner for blasting along country lanes in the sunshine. They're supposed to be a joy to live with, though, so they need to be dependable, too.

Choose a good secondhand cabriolet and it should provide you with fault-free driving and few repair bills, but the worst could leave you without wheels for more than a week and landed with a repair bill of more than £1500.

To help you choose the most durable convertible, we asked more than 14,200 people to tell us about any faults their cars had suffered during the past 12 months, how long the problem had kept the car off the road for and how much they'd had to pay to get it fixed.

The results of our reliability survey can help you identify the most and least durable convertibles aged four to 10 years old.

Read the full reliability survey results for convertible cars aged 0-3yrs

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Best older convertibles

Porsche Boxster

8. Used Porsche Boxster

Score 63.7%

Even though half of the Boxster owners we heard from had suffered faults with their cars, the vast majority were still very satisfied. Some cars were fixed for free under warranty and no bills exceeded £750. Click through to the next slide to find out which were the problem areas.

Read our full review of the current Porsche Boxster

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Best older convertibles

Porsche Boxster interior

8. Used Porsche Boxster

Score 63.7%

The most common issues related to the engine, followed by the bodywork, brakes, gearbox and clutch. One owner also reported a failed seal letting water into the cabin.

Read our full review of the current Porsche Boxster

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Best older convertibles

Used Mercedes-Benz SLK

7. Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011-2016)

Score 71.7%

The newer version of the SLK appears to be less robust than the car that it replaced - click through the slides to see how durable the 2004-2011 version has been according to owners.

Read our full review of the current Mercedes-Benz SL

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Best older convertibles

Used Mercedes-Benz SLK

7. Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011-2016)

Score 71.7%

Just over 30% of cars had faults, with issues ranging from the bodywork to the gearbox and clutch. More than half the cars were fixed for free and no owners paid more than £100, though.

Read our full review of the current Mercedes-Benz SL

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Best older convertibles

Saab 9-3 Cabriolet

6. Used Saab 9-3 Convertible

Score 84.5%

Only 21% of Saab 9-3s had a fault, with the most problematic areas split equally between the engine, braking system, exhaust, suspension and sat-nav.

Read our full review of the used Saab 9-3 Convertible

Best older convertibles

Saab 9-3 Cabriolet interior

6. Used Saab 9-3 Convertible

Score 84.5%

Gettting problems on 9-3s fixed is a fairly costly affair though, with owners telling us that some repair bills cost up to £750.

Read our full review of the used Saab 9-3 Convertible

Best older convertibles

Audi A3 Cabriolet

5. Used Audi A3 Cabriolet

Score 84.6%

The Audi A3 perfomed well in our newer car survey, topping the convertible chart. It doesn't fare quite as well as it ages, with a third of cars suffering a fault.

Read our full review of the current Audi A3 Cabriolet

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Best older convertibles

Audi A3 Cabriolet

5. Used Audi A3 Cabriolet

Score 84.6%

The most serious problem areas on A3 Cabriolets were with the engine and turbo. Other problems centred on the non-engine electrics, bodywork and exhaust. Some repair bills topped £1500.

Read our full review of the current Audi A3 Cabriolet

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Best older convertibles

BMW Z4

4. Used BMW Z4

Score 86.7%

The BMW Z4 proves pretty dependable as it ages, with only 22% of owners reporting faults on their cars. Minor issues with non-engine electrics were the most common issue.

Read our full review of the current BMW Z4

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Best older convertibles

BMW Z4

4. Used BMW Z4

Score 86.7%

Other problem areas included the gearbox / clutch, and some owners had problems with wheels. All cars were fixed in less than a week, though, and no repair bills exceeded £750.

Read our full review of the current BMW Z4

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Best older convertibles

Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe

3. Used Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe

Score 94.3%

The hard-top version of the MX-5 is pretty durable - only 14% of owners reported issues with their cars. Problem areas included the battery, brakes and non-engine electrics.

Read our full review of the current MX-5

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Best older convertibles

Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe

3. Used Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe

Score 94.3%

The MX-5 is an affordable and virtually hassle-free older convertible to live with - most repairs were done in less than a day and none landed owners with bills exceeding £200.

Read our full review of the current MX-5

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Best older convertibles

Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004-2011)

2. Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004-2011)

Score 95.0%

Just 8% of older SLK owners told us about faults on thier cars - making this generation of the Mercedes soft-top far more durable than the car that replaced it.

Read our full review of the current Mercedes-Benz SL

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Best older convertibles

Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004-2011)

2. Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004-2011)

Score 95.0%

The only problem area were were told about as the battery. Issues were fixed in a day and bills didn't exceed £100.

Read our full review of the current Mercedes-Benz SL

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Best older convertibles

Mazda MX-5 (2005-2015)

1. Mazda MX-5 (2005-2015)

Score 95.0%

The previous generation MX-5 convertible has a spotless reputation for reliability - not one owner who completed our survey had a problem with their car.

Read our full review of the current Mazda MX-5

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Best older convertibles

Mazda MX-5 (2005-2015)

1. Mazda MX-5 (2005-2015)

Score 95.0%

The previous MX-5 is a much better bet than the latest version if your priority is reliability. Unsurprisingly the vast majority of owners told us they were very satisfied with their cars.

Read our full review of the current Mazda MX-5

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The older convertibles to avoid

Volkswagen Eos Coupe Cabriolet

2. Volkswagen Eos Coupe Cabriolet

Score 43.4%

The Eos may look great, but it's not been a pleasure for all owners to live with - 50% of those who completed our survey had suffered a fault with their car. Click through to find out more.

The older convertibles to avoid

Volkswagen Eos Coupe Cabriolet

2. Volkswagen Eos Coupe Cabriolet

Score 43.4%

There were a lot of problem areas including the brakes, engine, electrics, exhaust, gearbox and hood mechanism. Some owners were landed with bills of more than £1500.

The older convertibles to avoid

Used Mini convertible

1. Used Mini Convertible

Score 43.4%

More than half of the Mini Convertible owners we heard from had suffered a problem with their car. The most serious issues related to the engine.

Read our review of the current Mini Convertible

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The older convertibles to avoid

Used Mini convertbile

1. Used Mini Convertible

Score 43.4%

Other areas of concern included non-engine electrics, such as the air-con system and radio, along with faulty hoods and door locks that jammed shut. At least repair bills didn't exceed £300.

Read our review of the current Mini Convertible

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