Everyone loves a convertible…
… Especially when the sun is shining. We’re feeling hot, hot, hot, so here’s a list of our favourite drop-top models for this summer.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet is a super stylish, sophisticated convertible that ticks all the boxes; inside, out and under the bonnet.
As you’d expect of a car built by Audi, the A5 Cabriolet is relatively quiet and refined with the roof up, particularly if you go for the optional ‘acoustic roof’. Two decent-sized rear seats and a well-designed, generous boot mean it scores high for practicality too – something drivers must usually surrender when choosing a topless model.
Audi A5 Cabriolet buyers can choose between four diesel and two petrol engines. The 177bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine packs the most punch and would be our first choice – it delivers plenty of power and performance but doesn’t cost too much to run.
The Mercedes E-Class enjoys a standing as an admired frontrunner of the executive saloon market, selling in huge numbers and offering luxury, comfort and lots of flashy in-car technology. If you’re a gadget-fan, it’s definitely a great choice.
Most E-Class drivers opt for a diesel engine for their car. The E220d strikes a good balance between performance and economy: its 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds is paired to 64.2mpg fuel economy, while CO2 emissions of 114g/km mean road tax is only £30 a year.
It’s also worth mentioning that while the E-Class diesels are economical, they’re also slightly noisy – but if you love a growling engine, this one’s a great choice.
The Audi TT is a sleek, chic coupe, with its curvy lines and bending body. Inside you’ll find one of the nicest-looking interiors of any car and although TTs are notorious for being pricey, a used Audi is an affordable option. Running costs are also surprisingly low.
Inside, the TT has an ambiance of understated cool. Audi’s signature attention-to-detail is evident; the circular air vents feature smart temperature displays in the centre and the smooth, silky dashboard is crafted from first-class materials.
By far, the most distinguishing characteristic of the TT’s interior is the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ fitted to all models. This comprises a 12.3-inch screen that sits behind the steering wheel, replacing the traditional speedometer and rev counter. It’s a unique, contemporary design feature that’ll make any driver feel like a fighter pilot.
If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for us. Jaguar’s famous XKR is a drop-dead gorgeous sports car that offers its lucky owner thrilling pace, superb handling and a comfortable ride.
Not only is the Hollywood-worthy XKR one of the most beautiful cars on the road, it’s also fantastic to drive and surprisingly accommodating. Production has now officially finished but it hasn’t aged badly at all, in fact it’s like a fine wine. Under the bonnet you’ll find a ferocious 5.0-litre V8 engine, offering stunning straight-line pace. This car handles beautifully thanks to suspension that strikes a perfect balance between comfort and sporty performance. Machine guns and ejector seat not included.
Boasting a roaring engine range and second-glance good looks, the BMW Z4 is a high-class, desirable sports car that’s quick and comfortable to drive.
This classic two-seater convertible roadster goes head-to-head with other desirable drop-tops and with a long, sweeping bonnet, compact boot and power-folding hardtop metal roof, it certainly looks the part. It’s fantastic to drive too, giving a quiet and refined experience – when the roof is up, that is. Your best bet? Top down, foot down, and hear this baby roar.
The 207 CC is a sporty and stylish offering from the French marque. This drop-top supermini is comfortable when driving long distances, which let’s face it, is no mean feat for a compact convertible.
The Peugeot 207 CC replaced the Peugeot 206 CC and addresses many of that model’s flaws. The newer car offers a good balance between a sporty drive and a comfortable ride, while build quality also feels much improved. An appealing range of engines is offered, including a turbocharged petrol and a fuel-efficient diesel. A great all-rounder, particularly if you’re on a bit of a budget.
The Audi A3 is a well-built, technology-rich family hatchback, with a lovingly designed interior that easily feels like it’s from the class above.
Audi offers the three-door A3 in a tempting array of engines; four petrol and three diesel. This generous offering enables the driver to prioritise economy, performance or a combination of the two. For drivers after a frugal car, the 108bhp 1.6-litre TDI diesel offers impressive fuel economy – this engine can return 74.3mpg and this particular model won’t cost you a penny in road tax. Bonus!
The A3 is also a very safe car, scoring the full five stars in its Euro NCAP crash-tests. All models come with seven airbags and electronic stability control as standard, so it’s great for young families. It’s also one of cartime director Matt Kay’s favourites!