Fancy taking your top off in this weather? Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s a great time to nab a convertible bargain
Summer is the time youâ€™ll usually find features extolling the advantages of convertible cars â€“ the burning sun on your bald spot, the fly in the teeth, the unexpected downpour. Or, to put it another way, feeling the sun on your skin, breathing in the fresh air as you meander through countryside or coastline, feeling connected with the outside world again.
But, whether for Eeyore or Tigger, convertibles have a lot to offer and at this time of year you can gain all the advantages for less money. Which one should you go for? Hereâ€™s our countdown of the top 10.
10. Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet
Top pick: 1.4 TSI 125 SE
This handsome cabriolet may not be quite as totally practical as the normal hatchback, but it has many of the same advantages with the added attraction of being able to put the roof down. Itâ€™s a decent driverâ€™s car too, and if you really do want some clout to go with your fresh air remember you can get an R version with 261bhp.
9. BMW 2 Series Convertible
Top pick: 220d Sport
Itâ€™s stylish, premium, comfy and enjoyable to drive. Itâ€™s also fairly expensive, with prices starting at Â£27,540, but in this 220d Sport guise you get a punchy yet fairly economical engine as well as smart Sport trim.
8. BMW 4 Series Convertible
Top pick: 420d SE
Going up in scale, the 4 Series works beautifully with the 420d diesel engine, and looks totally upmarket. In the lower-end SE trim you gain all you need, especially in the four-seat cabin. And you wonâ€™t get your hair messed up either.
7. Mini Convertible
Top pick: 1.5 Cooper Chili
Minis may not be as mini as they used to be, but this is still a very practical size compared to some on this list. Itâ€™s a good driverâ€™s car with go-kart turn-in and crisp handling. With the fabric roof electrically raised you can make the most of the Chili infotainment tech pack.
6. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
Top pick: C250 d Sport
While the BMW 4 Series Convertible is in eighth place, this C-Class Cabriolet gets two spots higher. The BMW is the better driverâ€™s car but the Mercedes is the more complete package, and is the one youâ€™d choose for long distances thanks to the levels of comfort and refinement on offer. The elegant cabin also comes fully stocked with standard equipment in this model.
5. Rolls-Royce Dawn
Top pick: Dawn drophead coupe
So what does Â£264,000 buy you? It buys you the most expensive car by far on our list, but it is also by far the most refined driving machine here. The surprise is not how gorgeous it is but just how easy it is to pilot this substantial car about the place. Put the roof up and itâ€™s as quiet inside that jaw-dropping cabin as it is in the hardtop Wraith.
4. Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet
Top pick: S500 AMG Line
Take an S-Class, surely the most luxurious saloon in the real world, and then take the roof off, very carefully and with maximum attention to detail. The end result is utterly lovely, leaving you sitting very comfortably in the lap of luxury. A great car to drive â€“ or be driven in.
3. Audi TT Roadster
Top pick: 1.8 TFSI 180 Sport
If you want the wind in your hair while getting the bit between your teeth the convertible version of the fabulous coupe TT is for you. Itâ€™s exciting to drive with terrific engine and handling performances, but youâ€™ll only be sharing the high-tech cabin with one other person as space is somewhat limited.
2. Audi A3 Cabriolet
Top pick: 1.4 TSI 150 Sport
You wonâ€™t find a smaller convertible in the whole Audi range, but the A3 Cabriolet packs it all in. With this 1.4-litre petrol engine you get smooth power as well as decent economy and the Sport trim is mid-range so not too expensive yet it brings all manner of goodies from dual-zone climate control to 17in alloys.
1. Mazda MX-5
Top pick: 2.0 SE-L Nav
If you donâ€™t have the budget or you just donâ€™t have the temperament to drive around in a high-performance, nerve-shredding sports car that is capable of way more than you want to explore, then the MX-5 is the perfect solution. Itâ€™s quick, but itâ€™s not insane, and it handles and feels like it was designed especially for UK roads. It looks good, is practical and comfortable, fairly economical to drive and simply the perfect driving companion, whether the sun is shining or not.