Best four-seat convertibles

Put the roof down and bring the family along: these are the best four-seat convertibles

BuyaCar team
May 10, 2017

There's no need to forego the joys of driving with the roof down if you find yourself with more than one passeger in tow.

There are plenty of convertibles that can carry at least four people - and we don't just mean two adults in the front and two toddlers in the back. We've found the best open-top cars that have proper rear seat space.

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That said, you'll often find that there's a reduced amount of legroom because the folding roof requires greater boot space. Headroom, for obvious reasons, is not a problem - as long as you lower the roof.

Another thing to consider is that many four-seat convertibles can't be fitted with wind deflectors when all four seats are filled. This apparatus is typically installed over the rear seats. When the side windows are raised, it creates a bubble of air inside the car which considerably reduces the air buffeting when you drive along. 

Best four-seat convertibles

Audi A5 Cabriolet

The all-new A5 Cabriolet is a truly classy convertible, combining solid build quality, powerful engines and a superb interior.

As well as the hi-tech options available in the A5 Coupe, the Cabriolet also has microphones in the seatbelts for clearer hands-free phone calls and a neck-heating system.

The roof is made of several fabric layers to reduce noise when it's up. It folds in just 15 seconds, while you're driving at speeds of up to 31mph.

Rear seat space is reasonable but headroom is tight, at least when the roof is up. The boot is impressively large: 320 litres with the roof stowed or 380 litres deployed.

It’s not the most nimble of convertibles but does absorb bumps well. Like most convertibles, you can feel slight wobbles in the car's structure because of the lack of a fixed roof, but it’s nothing serious. Audi’s 2.0 TDI Ultra diesel engine is a cracker: powerful, smooth and frugal.

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BMW 4 Series Convertible

This convertible has a metal folding roof as opposed to a fabric one, which makes the car quite heavy and certainly not as sprightly as its lighter and stiffer coupe equivalent.

The advantage is that it's much quieter when up, and the car is more secure too.

Given the car's weight, the diesel engine is a good choice, for its stronger pulling power, which makes accelerating away feel smoother and less strained.

The 4 Series convertible is a handsome car with an equally attractive and well-built interior. There’s plenty of space in the front while legroom is pretty generous in the rear. Headroom at this end of the car is pretty tight, though, when the roof is up. The boot is a decent size at 370 litres but when the roof is down, this shrinks to 220 litres.

SE trim brings leather seats (the driver’s is electrically powered), a DAB digital radio and a sat nav. BMW’s iDrive dashboard software, which is the best and easiest to use, is standard.

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Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

Like the Audi A5, the hood on the good-looking C-Class Cabriolet is a fabric affair that blocks out all but the worst wind noise.

Extra support, to make the car more rigid, has been added to the car to take into account the loss of the fixed roof. This has eliminated most wibbles in the car's structure, but adds 120kg to the car's weight.

This does mean that the C-Class Cabriolet crashes into potholes with more force than the fixed roof Coupe, but this can be fixed by opting for the optional air suspension, which restores the smooth ride.

Another effect of the extra support is that the car responds sharply when you turn the steering wheel, giving it a sportier feel than the roofless versions of the BMW 4 Series or Audi A5 

The interior is as stylish as the exterior with lots of artificial leather and aluminium. A sat nav is standard but the infotainment system is not quite as intuitive as BMW’s iDrive equivalent.

It has the company’s Airscarf neck-warming system as standard. Front seat space is generous but those in the back won't feel quite so well provided for since head and legroom are in short supply. A 4 Series is roomier.

Roof up, the Mercedes’ boot is bigger than the BMW’s and can be made larger still by dropping the rear seat backs. However, folded, the boot is much smaller.

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Range Rover Evoque Convertible

It's expensive, unnecessary and heavy, but if you're looking to make a statement, then the Range Rover Evoque Convertible certainly stands out.

The convertible sport utility vehicle (SUV) is the only car of its type on the market and retains the rugged build and off-road ability of the standard Evoque. So it can drive through water that's half a metre deep, crawl up and down mountains, and navigate deeply rutted tracks.

It's clear that the convertible was designed after the other versions of the Evoque, which means that it's quite compromised, with a small boot that has a tuny letterbox-shaped opening, and extra support to make the car more rigid, which increases the car's weight noticeably.

As a result, it doesn't feel sporty ot nimble: it's best to put the roof down, cruise along smoothly and soak up the glances - admiring or not.

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Vauxhall Cascada Elite 2.0 CDTi 170PS

When Vauxhall launched the Cascada the company claimed that the car was so well-made and luxurious that it would draw customers from the likes of Audi.

Inevitably, it didn't happen, and the rarity of the car on the roads indicates that it hasn't been the success that Vauxhall hoped for.

But the spacious and comfortable convertible is still worth looking at, particularly if you're a second hand buyer: used Cascada prices are cheap.

The cars are well-equipped with heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel and rear parking sensors as standard, and it does feel solid and well-built, if not close to Audi levels.

It's been engineerd for a comfortable ride, which means that the car will leab uncomfortably if you try to take corners quickly. As with many of the cars on this page, the Cascada is best driven smoothly.

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