Summer driving is the best, especially beneath the open sky of a convertible where you can get a bronze tan. Whether manual or automatic, hard or insulated cotton, having a top that disappears brings joy to warm evenings. From affordable to extravagant, here are five classics that will have you in awe of breezy rides.
VW Beetle Convertible
It’s going away again after 2019, so get one quick. Classically cute, it looks best in Safari Uni beige or Stonewashed Blue with unique final edition wheels, diamond-stitched seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. A power top, push button starting, and Bluetooth add convenience while crisp Fender audio and automatic climate control enhance comfort. Step into the peppy 2.0-liter turbo-four’s 174 horsepower and frugal 26/33-MPG city/highway fuel economy. A blind spot monitor and cross path detection come standard.
Base price: $25,995
Mazda MX-5 RF
Get in touch with your soul. The classic soft top deploys in seconds, but the RF’s power retractable targa roof is the one to get. Once deployed, rev up the 181 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and click through six speeds with a delightful shifter. Handling is divine. Fuel economy of 26/35-MPG city/highway goes easy on the budget. Inside, classic gauges, Bose audio, automatic climate control, navigation, and heated seats dress it up. Rear fenders add appeal, but you’ll pack light because the trunk is best suited for gym bags.
Base price: $32,345
Rip off your top, flex your muscles, and head for the trails. Not you, the Jeep. Recently redesigned, a new soft top replaces the previous erector set and deploys in seconds. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and classic gauges invite fun that’s backed by the choice of a 285 horsepower V6 or 270 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine with eTorque hybrid, the latter best for hard core off-roading. A diesel option is imminent. Lock in four-wheel-drive, strap in, and head for the trails – whether rugged dirt or paved to shop.
Base price: $27,945
Here’s your classic Mercedes roadster fully realized. The SLC transforms from a closed coupe to open convertible with the press of a switch. Choose the glass roof with Magic Sky Control to electrically adjust tinting. Get it with a 241 horsepower turbo-four or 385 horsepower biturbo V6. Flash 0-60 mph in just 4.5s (V6). Being a Mercedes, it’s built safe with built-in roll bars, active brake assist, and blind spot warning. In spring or fall, crank up the Air Scarf and stay cozy with your special someone.
Base price: $48,950
Have you ever really seen the stars? If not from the bespoke leather interior of a Rolls-Royce, then no. There’s nothing like enjoying a heavenly summer evening while gazing hood-long at the Spirit of Ecstasy. The four-seat cabin is further enhanced by polished timber, polished chrome, and cherubic audio. There’s a 563 horsepower 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine behind the massive grille. Fuel economy is disgusting…and nobody cares. Sport-minded drivers will select the Aero Cowling that covers the rear seats with a carbon fiber tonneau.
Base price: $346,300
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