Best cabriolet cars

Fancy upping your excitement by lowering the roof? We’ve selected seven affordable cabriolet cars and a super-luxurious eighth one

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Jul 21, 2021

Britain is one of the cabriolet capitals of Europe. Many of us like to lower the roof when the temperatures rise, or feel the wind in our hair on the days when the sun decides to shine. For others, it’s about looking good with the top down.

Today’s cabriolets are better than ever. The best convertibles include the latest safest technology to protect you and your loved ones - roof up or roof down - the comfort and security to use them all year round, and roofs that can be lowered and raised in a matter of seconds.

Best of all, buying a cabriolet needn’t send your household budget through the roof. BuyaCar has hundreds of cabriolets for sale from as little as £150* per month on PCP finance, so you can enjoy those hot summer days without fear of a rainy day.

Keep reading for our selection of the best cabriolets from compact models that are perfect for cruising around town in comfort to high-riding SUV models and more sporty options that offer more excitement from behind the wheel.

Best cabriolet cars for the summer

1. Citroen DS3 Cabrio

Best cabriolet for a low price

Used deals Limited stock

The Citroen DS3 Cabrio is the most affordable cabriolet on the BuyaCar website. We see it as a French Mini Convertible, with the same fun-to-drive spirit, gorgeous styling and a chic interior. It’s also a little cheaper than the Mini.

You can enjoy the roof in one of three ways: closed, open or partly retracted. Press the button once, and the electric canvas roof opens like an extended sunroof. Press it again, and the roof drops down behind the heads of the rear-seat passengers.

You can operate the roof at speeds of up to 70mph, so there’s no need to panic if you’re caught in a sudden downpour. The DS3 Cabrio was offered with an array of personalisation options, and the level of standard equipment was high, even on the entry-level version. Later models lost the Citroen badge and are known simply as the 'DS 3 Cabrio' and benefited from wholesale changes across the board, making them even more desirable.

DS 3 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Audi A3 Cabriolet

Best cabriolet for low-cost luxury

Used deals from £12,299
Monthly finance from £254*

Buy an Audi A3 Cabriolet and you’ll stand out for all the right reasons in the gym car park. You won't need to, ahem, work out how to lower the roof, because it’s all done at the touch of a button.

The roof opens or shuts in just 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph, so you won’t have to stop if the weather turns a bit ‘British’, either. And because the A3 Cabriolet looks just as good with the roof up, you won’t feel like its cramping your style when the sun isn't shining.

It’s also reasonably practical, thanks to a boot large enough for a couple of small suitcases, even with the roof down. Standard specification is excellent across the range, but it’d be worth finding an A3 Cabriolet built after the 2016 update, as these are more desirable and don't cost much more than older versions.

AUDI A3 BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

Best cabriolet for some retro cool vibes

Used deals from £15,795
Monthly finance from £289*

If you want to stand out in a cabriolet, look no further than the Volkswagen Beetle. The retro styling will ensure that you turn heads, whether you’re cruising along the coast or commuting to the office.

It’s not as practical as the regular Beetle, but the drop-top version is more spacious than you might think. There’s room for four adults, with enough headroom in the back for a pair of tall adults. The boot is big enough for a large suitcase, and unlike most other convertibles, the lowered roof doesn’t eat into the luggage capacity.

Volkswagen was a bit Scrooge-like with the features, so avoid the entry-level Beetle Cabriolet and keep an eye out for models with lots of optional extras fitted to get the best deal. These optional extras don’t increase the value of a used example much, so bag yourself a bargain by tracking down one with the extras you want already fitted.

VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Best cabriolet for venturing off-road

Used deals from £28,280
Monthly finance from £392*

You’ll have the neighbour’s net curtains twitching if you have a Range Rover Evoque Convertible delivered to your door, especially if you opt for the bold Phoenix Orange colour scheme - as shown above. Other more muted colours are available if this is a bit too bold for you.

Not that you’ll ever blend into your surroundings, because the Evoque Convertible looks like it just stepped off the catwalk. It’s also brilliant at stepping off-road, as this is one of the few convertibles you can take over rough ground. All models are fitted with Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which provides maximum grip, regardless of the conditions.

This was an expensive car when it was new, with prices starting from £45,000. Here’s some great news, though: you can save around £20,000 on BuyaCar with a used model that looks just as striking as it ever did. Your neighbours will be green with envy. Or should that be Phoenix Orange with rage?

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE CONVERTIBLE BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Best cabriolet for seating four people in comfort

Used deals from £15,971
Monthly finance from £353*

The E-Class Cabriolet is arguably the best Mercedes convertible you can get. More practical and spacious than the smaller C-Class, yet with the luxury and style of the significantly more expensive S-Class, it offers the best of both worlds.

Best of all, an E-Class Cabriolet registered in 2015 or 2016 could cost less than the price of a new Ford Fiesta. That’s exceptional value for a genuine four-seater with the quality and class you’d associate with a Mercedes.

The multi-layered fabric roof opens in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph to reveal a cabin with a quality feel throughout. There’s 385 litres of luggage capacity with the roof up - which makes it pretty practical for this type of car - but you’ll have to pack a little more carefully if you intend to lower the roof, as doing that reduces boot space.

MERCEDES E-CLASS CABRIOLET BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Audi A5 Cabriolet

Best cabriolet for style and quality

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

You’ll forgive us for featuring a second Audi on our list of the best cabriolets, because the A5 offers something different to the A3. It’s based on the larger Audi A4, so there’s room for four adults and their luggage.

It feels like a class act, with very little wind and road noise, even with the roof down. Comfort levels are good, but we’d avoid the larger alloy wheels or S line trim to retain the most comfortable ride quality.

There are a couple of optional extras to look out for if you intend to use your A5 Cabriolet throughout the winter. The wind deflector is great for reducing buffeting at high speeds, while the neck warming system is a must-have on cold days. It blows warm air from the head restraints to take the chill off when on a top-down winter drive.

AUDI A5 CABRIOLET BUYERS' GUIDE

7. BMW 4 Series Convertible

Best cabriolet for driving fun

Used deals from £17,199
Monthly finance from £313*

Most convertibles prioritise posing over driving fun, but the BMW 4 Series Convertible is a little different. It’s as good to drive as the coupe version, regardless of whether the roof is up or down. We like to see it as a more practical alternative to the BMW Z4 sports car.

There’s lots of room in the front for two adults, with the rear seats offering enough space for a pair of teenage children. Headroom is a bit tight, but our response to that criticism is quite simple: lower the roof!

You also get a metal folding roof, which offers more security than a fabric roof, so this might be a bonus if you leave your car parked on the street. There’s a range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from, but the 3.0-litre six-cylinder in the 440i is the pick of the bunch - if you can live with the slightly high fuel bills - as it offers very strong performance and sounds beautifully sporty.

BMW 4 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Rolls-Royce Dawn

Best cabriolet for pushing the boat out

Used deals Limited stock

Have we taken leave of our senses? Perhaps, but there’s nothing wrong with a little window shopping. The Rolls-Royce Dawn is the best cabriolet for a lottery winner or anyone who decides to downsize from a house to a car.

Put simply, this is the best luxury four-seat cabriolet in the world. Thanks to a six-layer fabric roof, it’s as quiet and comfortable as the metal-roofed Wraith with the top up, but the real joy begins when you lower the roof. The Dawn is a Hollywood take on the convertible recipe, but made in Goodwood.

Power is sourced from a supersized 6.6-litre engine with no fewer than 12 cylinders, making it supremely powerful and enabling it to offer the performance of a lightweight sports car. As for the running costs - if you have to ask...

 

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