As the sun comes out, so do the people in their convertibles with the roof down and the music blasting, looking every inch the west coast celebrity. It’s easy to think such an LA-lite look costs a fortune, so you might be surprised to discover just how affordable today’s modern breed of able convertibles actually is.
There’s plenty of variety out there too, meaning there should be something for everyone, no matter what your budget or your demands. Here, we run down 10 of the best used convertibles you should be buying now to look like a Hollywood star in the height of summer.
10. BMW 4 Series
The replacement to the BMW 3 Series is classy and comfortable, set up more for serene driving than doorhandle-scraping handling. The folding hard-top roof is secure and refined, and the interior is smart and solid. BMW’s sat nav system is top-drawer, too.
We spotted: 2014 420d SE auto, full service history, £20,890
9. Jaguar XK
The oh-so classy Jaguar XK looks achingly svelte and swish. Every one has a silky V8 engine, so all of them are fast: the XKR is viciously so. It’s no sports car to drive but is accurate and secure – and the ride is first-rate.
We spotted: 5.0 V8 Portfolio, 34,000 miles, £37,222
8. BMW Z4
The Z4 doesn’t quite ride or handle as well as a true BMW ought, but the rear-drive chassis is still reasonably grippy and good fun, and its engines are generally excellent. It looks distinctive and the folding hard-top roof is practical. The cabin is charismatic as well.
We spotted: 2013 sDrive20i, 17,500 miles, £15,850
7. BMW 6 Series
BMW’s classy alternative to the Jaguar XK comes with six-cylinder and V8 engines, and even has the option of a fuel-sipping diesel. The fabric soft-top roof helps keep lines classy both roof down and up, and it’s a feel-good car to sit in, so long as you avoid over-stiff M Sport models.
We spotted: 2013 640d SE, 32,000 miles, £28,000
6. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Mercedes-Benz always makes great convertibles. The drop-top E-Class, a staple of its range for decades, is no exception. It’s unusually lovely to drive both roof up and, in particular, with it down, keeping occupants snug and comfortable even in winter. Models without AMG branding have a plush ride.
We spotted: 2013 E200 SE auto, 20,000 miles, £18,995
5. Mini Convertible
The affordable Mini Convertible is not without its compromises. It’s small inside, with a minuscule and gloomy rear cabin, and an awkward boot. It looks like nothing else though, is a hoot to drive and it doesn’t cost a fortune to run.
We spotted: 2013 Cooper, 28,500 miles, £8856
4. Audi A3
The soft-top Audi A3 isn’t cheap, but it’s easy to see why it costs so much. For all-round talents, it’s hard to beat: it’s nice to drive, lovely to sit in, roomy front and rear for adults and exceptionally well built. A real class act.
We spotted: 2013 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport, 20,500 miles, £16,599
3. Volkswagen Golf