Convertible cars for sale

The number of convertible cars for sale may be dwindling, but it's not all bad news

Simon Ostler
Jul 20, 2021

At your best when you're basking in the sun? You're missing out if you don't have a convertible car. We think driving a convertible on a sunny day is one of the more pleasurable things in life. If you agree, you're going to want to take a look at this list of some of the best convertible cars you can buy on the used market.

Most of these are at the very top end in terms of luxury appeal and price, but there are a couple of more affordable options here that are by no means any less desirable. Purchasing a used Mazda MX-5 may well be the best thing you ever do, for both your personal enjoyment and your bank account.

Convertible cars may not be as common on the roads these days as they once were, but there are still plenty of used models available on BuyaCar, and there is nothing better to drive when it comes to enjoying the countryside in the height of summer. They might not be the most practical either in some cases, but that's not really the point of these cars. You drive a convertible for the enjoyment rather than its boot space, although some of these models do still offer enough luggage space for a luxurious weekend away.

So if you're keeping an eye out for the perfect convertible car for you - one that's exciting to drive but most importantly allows you to feel the wind in your hair - then we've got eight excellent cars here with some great value prices to go with them.

The best convertible cars for sale

1. Mazda MX-5

Best new convertible for value for money thrills

Used deals from £13,995
Monthly finance from £257*

The Mazda MX-5 has long been the default convertible for those who like wind-in-the-hair thrills and a sporty driving experience, but are keen to keep costs down. It's one of the cheaper options on this list, but it's also one of the more enjoyable, and there's little wonder it's been so popular car since it first arrived in the UK more than 30 years ago.

In the latest version that's been on sale since 2015, there's a choice of either a cheaper soft-top convertible roof or a more expensive hard-top model called the Mazda MX-5 RF. The soft-top can be put up and down manually, while the hard-top is powered electrically, but whichever way you go the MX-5 promises a simple and straightforward experience from behind the wheel. That means you can spend your time focusing on what really matters - driving it.

The MX-5 is small and light by design, so while the engines on offer might not sound particularly powerful compared to others on this list, they offer more than enough performance to make the little Mazda feel like a capable sports car. The 1.5-litre option is slightly slower, but it sounds more exciting when you put your foot down, the more powerful 2.0-litre version offers outright performance if you prefer substance over style.

MAZDA MX-5 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Audi A5 Cabriolet

Best new convertible for a grown-up interior

Used deals from £16,199
Monthly finance from £297*

The Audi A5 Cabriolet is a very different prospect from the MX-5 above. This is a much more balanced and refined affair for drivers who prefer to bask in the sunshine while cruising in luxurious comfort. It's not light and nimble like the Mazda, but it's still a joy to drive thanks to the level of quality on offer inside the cabin and under the bonnet.

Audi is well known for its upmarket interiors, and the A5 Cabriolet is a beneficiary of that reputation. The multi-layered fabric roof helps to keep the weight down but is engineered to reduce exterior noise to a much better degree than many cheaper soft-tops. It's also electrically powered and can be raised or lowered in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph, so there's little worry about being caught in the rain either.

The list of interior tech is good throughout the A5 Cabriolet range, the latest versions on sale since 2019 feature a cutting edge media system, and the fact there are four seats makes this a very usable family car. 

In terms of engines, there's a brilliantly smooth and economical 2.0-litre diesel engine available across the range, while a selection of similarly impressive 2.0-litre petrol engines are also on offer if you prefer - the 45 TFSI version is also fitted with four-wheel drive for added stability in wet conditions.

AUDI A5 BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Porsche 718 Boxster

Best new convertible for sports car performance

Used deals from £33,750
Monthly finance from £567*

Porsche is one of those household names that even non-car people have heard of, and there's a pretty good reason for that: it's produced arguably some of the very best sports cars of all time. So if you're able to get your hands on a Porsche, it's likely to be pretty good.

There are two versions of the 718 Porsche, the Cayman coupe with its fixed roof, and the Boxster convertible we're looking at here. Both are geared towards delivering peak performance, and while the Cayman might be the better car if you're looking to maximise your lap times around a track, you can't put the roof down like you can with the Boxster. 

Everything about the Boxster just screams that this is sports car royalty. The cheaper 300hp 2.0-litre engine makes a great sound compared to a run-of-the-mill hatchback and offers plenty of punch that brings about 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds. Spend a bit more money on the Boxster S and a 2.5-litre engine producing 350hp drags the 0-62mph time down to 4.9 seconds.

Aside from the engines, everything about the Boxster has been engineered to make it extra grippy round corners, yet still relatively comfortable when you're after a bit of relaxation. If you can afford the extra money, this is the one you should pick if you're after that sports car edge.

4. Jaguar F-Type

Best new convertible for British charm

Used deals from £44,856
Monthly finance from £634*

Stunning isn’t it. Not only is the Jaguar F-Type one of the best convertibles on sale today, we think it’s one of the prettiest cars on sale full stop. The good thing is, the F-Type is just as good on the inside as it looks on the outside.

The interior is well equipped and comfortable, rivalling the Audi A5 Cabriolet in terms of quality, but the F-Type does only have two seats, so the luxury is exclusive to yourself and a chosen other.

Much like the Mazda MX-5, the F-Type's engine is positioned at the front with power being sent to the rear wheels, this helps to make the car feel more balanced at speed, meaning there's plenty of potential for some excitable driving experiences if you're keen to explore the limits of what the car can do.

In terms of engines, there are three on offer that each cater to a different audience. The cheapest 2.0-litre still produces 300hp and does help to reduce the price of what is an inherently expensive car. If you're keen to splash a bit more cash, however, the rewards are worth it. Whether you opt for the V6 or the V8, the noise and performance will be enough to keep you entertained for the rest of your driving life.

JAGUAR F-TYPE BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Aston Martin DB11 Volante

Best new convertible for supercar power

Used deals from £97,990
Monthly finance from £1,278*

The Jaguar above is pretty, but the Aston Martin DB11 Volante is another level entirely. Sure it's an awful lot more expensive, but if you can afford it then it might be pretty difficult to look away.

Aside from its glorious style and prestigious name, the DB11 packs some serious engineering punch. The engine is a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that sounds fantastic and produces 510hp and sprints from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds. The eight-speed automatic gearbox works well, too, so there are no distractions or frustrations in the way of a pretty exciting driving experience.

But it's not even all about the power; the Aston is so smooth and comfortable - even with the roof down - that it's easily one of the best long-distance cruisers on this list. There's a surprising amount of room inside, too, although the convertible roof does limit boot space a touch, so the Coupe version might be better suited to weekend trips away.

6. BMW Z4

Best used convertible for the office car park

Used deals from £13,000
Monthly finance from £294*

It's funny, all of these convertibles seem to have good looks in common. Maybe that's just our bias for drop-top thrills showing through. The previous-generation BMW Z4 is another sleek and well-built convertible. When it was brand new, it was a direct rival to the Mercedes SLK below, but it represents a great value deal these days because prices have reduced more akin to what you'd expect to pay for a cheaper Mazda MX-5.

With the hardtop roof, this version of the Z4 competes well with the RF version of the latest MX-5, with 50 litres of extra boot space when the roof is down. The interior befits that of a more expensive car, too, with dual-zone climate control, sat-nav and leather sports seats available across the range (these won't be present on all used models - but keep an eye out for these features if you'd like them).

There is also a much wider choice of engines to choose from; initially, the Z4 was only built with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine producing 210, 260, or 310hp. Later versions introduced a cheaper 2.0-litre variant producing either 160 or 190hp. There's also a twin-turbo six-cylinder 3.0-litre '35iS' model with 340hp, if you're looking for something with explosive performance.

The Z4 is geared more towards speed and excitement than the SLK, but there is still plenty of comfort on offer if you ever fancy a day off from being a racing driver.

7. Mercedes SLK

Best used convertible for the interior quality

Used deals from £14,500
Monthly finance from £238*

This is the third and final iteration of the SLK before it became the SLC. It competes against the BMW Z4 in terms of quality and price, but Mercedes played a joker when it introduced a diesel version of this convertible.

The SLK is less exciting to drive than many of the other cars on this list, the Mazda MX-5 is more engaging for the driver, the BMW Z4 and the Porsche Boxster are both faster and more exciting to drive, but the Mercedes is focused more on comfort and in the case of the diesel version, efficiency - but that doesn't mean it's slow.

There is a choice of three petrol engines. First is a 2.0-litre option that can bring up 0-62mph in either seven seconds in the SLK 200, or 6.6 seconds in the 250 model. The second is the 3.0-litre V6 which completes the sprint in 5.6 seconds. There's also a strikingly quick V8 version - the SLK 55 AMG - which offers huge amounts of power but is much more expensive than the standard model. 

If you are keen to save on those fuel bills though, the diesel option is a very viable one. It's easy to see why it was so popular when it was new, the 2.2-litre engine was faster than both of the 2.0-litre petrol options, but unquestionably cheaper to run.

Along with that added efficiency, the SLK also has a typically high-quality Mercedes interior. It looks dated now compared to some newer models on the market, but there is still air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone and digital radio. The SLK also features the Airscarf system, which blows warm air onto your neck to keep you warm in the winter months if you're brave enough to put the roof down.

8. Bentley Continental

Best used convertible for luxury

Used deals from £90,000
Monthly finance from £1,596*

If luxury is everything to you, and you have the money to spend, the Bentley Continental GT Convertible is perhaps the pinnacle when it comes to wind-in-your-hair driving thrills.

It's expensive, but everything about it justifies that price tag. It's spacious and comfortable, crammed with luxury and cutting-edge tech, and wonderfully refined at any speed, while the choice of engines is mouth-watering, to say the least.

The interior is clad almost entirely in leather and every element is beautifully crafted and implemented. From new, there are also options for a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats and cruise control, so it's worth double-checking the used model you're looking at if any of these are important to you. The fabric roof is also one of the very best when it comes to insulation of exterior and road noise.

In terms of engines, the latest models on sale since 2019 are 'only' available with a 4.0-litre V8 producing 550hp, but older models were also built with a monstrous 6.0-litre W12 producing 570hp and achieving 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds. An older version of the V8 model produced 507hp was almost as quick (0-62mph in 4.7 seconds) as the W12, and the fact it remains a whole lot cheaper on the used market makes it a pretty sensible choice - we think it sounds better, too.

 

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