What Car? Personal Shopper: best convertible car for £30,000

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Mazda MX-5 front

Buying new

  • Our recommended choice: Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav+
  • List price: £22,295
  • Target Price: £21,100
Mazda MX-5 front

For three decades, the Mazda MX-5 has stood for low running costs and big driving thrills, and in its latest iteration, it's better than ever. In fact, we've just named it as the best sports car you can buy for less than £30,000.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine you get here is our recommended choice; it guarantees heady performance, with 181bhp on tap and a 0-62mph sprint time of just 6.5sec. And yet the MX-5 won't cost you a lot to run, because official fuel economy is 40.0mpg and CO2 emissions a very reasonable 156g/km.

Although it has only two seats, the MX-5 is reasonably practical, too, with enough space in its boot for a couple of weekend bags or a medium-sized haul of groceries. Plus, Mazda's infotainment system is easy to get along with and, as its trim name suggests, this version of the MX-5 comes with sat-nav.

Find a great Mazda MX-5 deal or read our full Mazda MX-5 review

  • Also consider: Audi A3 Cabriolet 35 TFSI Sport
  • List price: £29,985
  • Target Price: £27,800
Audi A3 Cabriolet

This open-top version of the Audi A3 family hatchback is great to drive and fantastic to sit in, with one of the best interiors you'll find in this class. It will also hold onto its value well. The 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine you get here is our recommended choice; it pulls strongly from low speeds.

Find a great Audi A3 Cabriolet deal or read our full Audi A3 Cabriolet review

  • Also consider: BMW 2 Series Convertible 218i Sport [Nav]
  • List price: £29,840
  • Target Price: £27,388
BMW 2 Series Convertible

This open-top sibling of the 2 Series Coupé offers a comfortable ride, sharp handling and strong performance, as well as a high-quality interior. It's not quite a class leader, but it is fun to drive. This petrol-engined version is highly efficient and doesn't feel slow, despite it having only three cylinders.

Find a great BMW 2 Series Convertible deal or read our full BMW 2 Series Convertible review

Next: our recommended used car choice >

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