Everyone loves the time when it comes to changing a car – whether it’s frivolity or out of necessity, the buzz of securing that new ride is always an exciting moment. Now summer is just around the corner, it’s the best time of the year for car dealers to promote their stock of convertibles. As a buyer it’s also a good time to trade in or sell your old car and go topless.
You know the old cliché about ‘wind through the hair’ and all that, well it’s true, and whether you are buying new or used, that buzz is just the same. Driving with the top down is nothing but exhilarating (I’ve owned two and speak from speak from experience), so if you are selling because you fancy a change, trading in out of necessity, or you simply need to locate the nearest damaged car buyers site, then make the transition a thrilling one and go topless this summer.
To make life even easier for you I’ve listed some of the hottest convertibles around today, offering an eclectic mix to ensure all bases are covered.
The little Mazda MX-5 has been at the top of the small sports car range for over two decades. Its simplistic layout and design leaves you with nothing but driver experience. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a small RWD sports car that handles well. The MX-5 isn’t massively powerful – no turbo or supercharger – but it’s 2.0-L engine is more than capable offering that joy you get from throwing a car into corners and knowing you have the ability to tame it should the rear decide to wander. When it comes to buying, there’s an infinite pit of MX-5s out there – from brand new to used examples going back two decades, from fully transformed track cars to beaten up drift missiles, the MX-5 will do it all.
Mercedes SLK 350
I’ve chosen this particular model, as I happened to own one. Mercedes gave the rather feminine SLK of old a much-needed facelift to give a more muscular presence. The 350’s 3.5-L V6 (276-bhp) is powerful enough to not be classed as a ‘hairdressers car’, but it’s just under the AMG monster that may not be to everyone’s taste.
Classy, fast (0-62-mph in 5.5-secs) and effortlessly sophisticated, the Mercedes SLK also has a great mechanical roof that folds away at a touch of a button. It features a great neck warmer in the seat – warm air is channelled up and out of a vent under the headrest, so even if a summer evening is starting to chill, you can still drive under the stars.
Porsche Boxster (S)
German, good-looking, solid and fast – the Porsche Boxster is a few steps up from the MX-5 but you get a few steps up in performance and looks too. You have a choice of either the 2.7-L or the 3.4-L S engine. The latter offers a solid 295-bhp that powers the car to 60-mph in 5.4 seconds. The Porsche badge gives you that ‘serious car’ status, whilst driving with the top down and experiencing its amazing handling will have you making excuses to go out for a drive. Whilst this is a serious bit of kit and reliable enough to be a daily driver, servicing will cost a lot more than the Japanese makes.
The Honda S2000 is known for its superior handling and it’s 2.0-L VTec engine. It produces 240-bhp and is just under a second slower to 60-mph than the Boxster S – not bad for a 2.0-L. The Honda is very stylish and has won awards for the best sports car thanks to its chassis. If you are looking for performance this summer and don’t want to pay Porsche prices, the S2000 is a great option.
Alfa Romeo Spider 3.2 V6
Easily one of the best sounding and looking out of the bunch is this Italian beauty. The Alfa Romeo was known for terrible reliability and rust, but since 2001, when they bucked their ideas up, they have been nothing but spot on – I have owned one and loved every minute of it. You can pick one up for a great price, and for that price you get Italian style, an amazing interior, and a sound track that will have you right-foot-heavy all day long. The 3.2 V6 engine has been hailed as one of the greatest engines ever built, and if you open the bonnet, you’ll see why – it’s a piece of polished art.
These are some of the best convertibles out there, chosen for their combination of looks, performance, reliability, running costs, but more importantly, because they are all topless.