Convertible cars for sale

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

Murray Scullion
Sep 28, 2018

Sales of convertibles in the UK have slumped 23% in the last four years, according to the latest statistics.

These findings, provided by automotive data analysis company, JATO, show that in 2013, the people of Britain bought 5306 convertibles. Since then, the figures have been on a downwards spiral, plummeting to 4311 sales in 2017.

And there’s more bad news for convertible lovers too. In 2013 there were 60 different convertible models to buy. By 2017, numbers fell to 52.

In short then, there’s a decline in convertibles in both availability and demand.

And while this may sound like the start of the end for convertibles, lovers of top-down thrills need not despair. In recent years we’ve actually jettisoned heavy and wobbly convertibles, all while keeping the best.

Case in question; the Mercedes SLK. While not a bad car per se, it morphed in to the much better SLC in 2016. The ancient and slightly decrepit MG TF was still hanging around in 2013. That’s been lost, and Fiat has since gained the 124 Spider. Which is great to drive, beautiful, and can be leased from £200 a month. We've also seen the death of the Peugeot 207 and 308 convertibles. These two cars are not being missed by anyone.

Although, there are also cars like the Jaguar XK convertible that are missed. It was replaced by the F-Type in 2013. And while the F-Type is brilliant, there’s no denying that the XK still looks beautiful today.

In 2018 there are fewer choices for people on the search for a new convertible, however, the choice out there is better.

The best new convertible cars for sale

Mazda MX-5

Best new convertible for value for money thrills

MX-5 Exterior

Latest Mazda MX-5 deals from £10,995
Finance from £176 per month

The Mazda MX-5 has long been the default convertible for those who like wind in the hair thrills and sporty driving dynamics, but don’t want to spend the earth.

A fabric roof stows neatly (and manually, saving weight) behind the passengers. But, if you prefer your Mazda electrically operated there’s the RF, with a folding hard top.

Both cars have recently received a new 2.0-litre engine bumping the power up from 158hp to 181hp. While these are the quickest, the smaller 1.5-litre engine loves to be revved and is easily as keen, if not ultimately as fast.
Mazda MX-5 buying guide

Audi A5 Cabriolet

Best new convertible for a grown-up interior

Latest Audi A5 convertible deals from £15,499
Finance from £247 per month

Audi’s A5 convertible is a very different prospect to the Mazda above. It’s for people who want to cruise in luxury with the roof down in the sun, but don’t need or want a traditional sports car.

It absorbs bumps almost as well as the A5 coupe too, not an easy task, as when you chop the roof off a car, it loses structural rigidity. In short, this usually makes a car feel more wobbly - not so with the A5.

This might sound like heresy, but going with a diesel engine is the way to go with an A5 Convertible. The 2.0TDI Ultra is powerful and smooth, as well as frugal. The roof is electrically operated and made of several layers of fabric to reduce noise when it's up. It takes 15 seconds to fold if that’s the kind of thing that impresses you, too.
Audi A5 buying guide

Porsche 718 Boxster 

Best new convertible for sports car thrills

Porsche Boxster 718 deals from £34,915
Finance from £485 per month

The Porsche Boxster is pound for pound one of the quickest cars around, as well as one of the most fun to drive.

This latest model saw Porsche switch the engine from six cylinders to four, much to the annoyance of purists.

In layman's terms, the new engine doesn’t sound as good, but it’s still plenty quick. It has 296hp in regular form, and 345hp in Boxster S flavour. It’ll even crack around 38mpg with the manual gearbox.

Jaguar F-Type

Best new convertible for British charm 

Latest Jaguar F-Type deals from £30,000
Finance from £403 per month

Stunning, isn’t it. Not only is the F-Type one of the best convertibles on sale today, it’s one of the prettiest cars on sale full stop.

It has a fabric roof that can fold away in twelve seconds, and is generously appointed with leather on the inside. It’s weight is split evenly between the front and rear of the car, making it nimble to drive too.

Best of all, it comes with a four cylinder, V6, or V8 engine and rear-wheel or four-wheel-drive.
Jaguar F-Type buying guide

Aston Martin DB11 Volante 

Best new convertible for supercar power

The Jaguar above is pretty, but this is something else. Yes, it is around £160,000 from new. But, it does come with a stonking great 4-litre twin-turbo V8 that’ll get from 0-62mph in 4.1secs.

Even with the roof down, very little wind noise gets into the interior, thanks to a wind deflector that works above 50mph. This Aston is made for crushing continents and is available in different driver modes depending on how the moment strikes you.

In its most aggressive race mode it will scare supercars on a track, but in comfort, it makes it easy to waft along to the south of France on a warm summer’s day.

The best used convertible cars for sale

Mazda MX-5

Best used convertible for bargain thrills 

The MX-5 has been around since 1989, so there are floods of them on the used market. For this specific purpose we’re writing about the Mk3, made from 2005-2015.

While it’s not quite as fast as the new model, it still delivers an astonishing amount of grin for the price.

The steering is sharp, and either 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre engines are keen to rev and be enjoyed. You can even make it quite tail-happy if you really want to.


Best used convertible for the office car park

Used BMW Z4 deals from £13,950
Finance from £171 per month

It’s a good looking thing the Z4, and quick enough too. That BMW badge also brings with it the ability to blend into the corporate world. So you won’t feel out of place in it hurrying off to business meetings.

Handling isn’t as sharp as a Lotus Elise, but it’s still a sporty steer. It’s comfortable too if you avoid the M Sport suspension.

Mercedes SLK

Best used convertible for the interior quality 

Latest Fiat 500 deals from £4,495
Finance from £83 per month

This is the third and final iteration of the SLK before it became the SLC. They are more top-down on a sunny day cruisers than track day monsters, and befittingly, the majority for sale are diesel.

Inside there’s lashings of leather, and if you go for an AMG Line model, you can have all of the show of an AMG without the fuel bills.

Jaguar XK

Best used convertible for style

Jaguars know how to make stunning looking convertibles (like the F-Type above). All models come with a meaty V8, so even base-spec cars are quick.

The fastest versions, designated XKR, have a supercharged engine topping 502hp. It sounds like thunder and moves like it too.

Once again, it’s not exactly the be all and end all of cornering prowess but it is massively comfortable thanks to big soft seats and even softer suspension.

Bentley Continental

Best used convertible for luxury

This one is a bit avant-garde for some tastes.

Although, one should remember that these commanded a price of £110,000 when they were new.

The convertible was released in 2006 and is mechanically similar to the GT coupe and four-seat Flying Spur. When it was unveiled, it was a kick into the modern era for Bentley, and it’s a dead cert for classic stardom too.

A 6.0-litre W12 engine with a pair of twin turbos strapped to it ensures it will keep up with most Aston Martins, while it’s comfortable enough for long trips away too. Word of warning, they might be relatively cheap to buy now, but they still command Bentley-like servicing prices.


Read more about:

Latest advice

  1. New car delivery times: cars with the longest waiting lists

  2. Scrappage Schemes 2020 - don't scrap, buy used

  3. What should you do when driving in fog?

What our customers say