UK car and automotive news and reviews

Going soft on top

Convertible cars have always seemed a bit daft in the UK. Our utterly unpredictable weather, appalling traffic and general approbation for flashness have all conspired to make drop-tops seem rather daft on these shores. After all, it’s one thing to be cruising around St Tropez in a yellow Rolls Corniche, quite another to be tooling around the Tesco’s car park in Bury on a wet Tuesday afternoon. Yet, as a nation, we buy loads of the things – go figure!

And this summer has been biblically awful. A feast of rain, flooding and sodden Jubilee Flags – the weather has really outdone itself this year. That last month was the wettest on record just about says it all. But the shifting jet stream has done us one small favour. Convertible cars, particularly the traditional cloth-roofed models have taken a bit of a price dip as a result of the total and comprehensive lack of Sun. Usually we advise buying drop-top cars in deepest winter when, theoretically at least, low demand means low prices, but the summer has been so bad, people are offloading convertible cars by the truckload. So here, from the pages of are our three best picks. Just keep an eye on the weather forecast…

Convertible Maxda MX-5

Convertible Maxda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

It’s tricky to think of a car that’s more fun to drive than the MX-5. Mazda regularly bet the farm on it, and they always win – A byword for excellent handling and utter reliability – cloth top versions of the car are available for very sensible money. Cars for sale: A three year old car, with a measly 28,000 miles on the clock can be had for £8,999. A folding solid roofed version will be at least £1500 more.

Convertible Audi A4

Convertible Audi A4

Audi A4 Convertible

The A4 convertible has taken a bit of an image hit recently – once a byword for refined upper-middle class refinement it’s now rather suffered from an overdose of excessive exposure and has become rather bling. That’s, coupled with an imminent new model, has hit values of what is still a very decent car. Go petrol for a bargain. Cars for sale: A 2009 car is available now On, the price of which has been dropped by £1,105. It’s a 1.8 Petrol car, three years old with 32,000 miles on the clock and going for £13,295. Or you could buy a 1.4 petrol version of VW’s ghastly Eos for the same money – the summer-proof folding roof carries a heavy premium.

Convertible Saab 9-3

Convertible Saab 9-3

Saab 9-3

That’s right. Even though Saab is a kind of Zombiefied corpse there are still plenty of specialists in the UK who can keep these tough cars going for the foreseeable. The 9-3 convertible is a great car, the best Saab made. Comfy, fast, tough and cool. Mid-ranking petrol power is best. Cars for sale: £12,950 gets you a hardly used, 10 plate 2.0 Petrol Turbo with only 10,000 miles on the clock. This car has every option and will last forever if properly looked after.

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