The coolest new convertibles on our roads - and their used equivalents
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Convertible, roadster, cabriolet - whatever you want to call them, cars with retractable roofs can offer the most liberating of driving experiences.
There isn’t a much better feeling than dropping the top and letting the wind blow through your hair as you drive off into the sunset.
In years past, convertibles have been thought of as summer vehicles, but modern versions are a feasible choice for daily use too.
Many new models can transform in just a matter of seconds, which is perfect for when the rain clouds roll in.
We’ve put together a short list of new convertibles that might pique your interest as we enjoy summer - and check out the DRIVEN.co.nz listings links to see what used bargains are out there for each.
Ford Mustang ($87,990)
Classic stuff, right? The drop-top Mustang is an icon and losing the roof gives you all the more opportunity to enjoy the soundtrack of the grunty 5.0-litre V8 engine.
Unlike the fastback, the Mustang convertible is only available with an automatic transmission, but that makes sense. Is the coolest American summer cruiser you can buy?
Mini convertible (from $58,270)
The Mini has always been a fun car and the convertible manages to make it even cooler.
Our pick would be the manual model for a bit of added excitement. Its 2.0-litre engine provides a pokey 141kW of power, which is plenty for the compact frame. It also boasts a combined fuel consumption of just 6.5l/100 km (the seven-speed DCT variant is even more frugal, but only by about 0.8l).
There are also some standout colours to give the car even more jazz, such as Caribbean Blue, Solaris Orange and classic British Racing Green.
Mazda MX-5 (from $41,895)
Lighter and more streamlined than ever, the open-top MX-5 brings car and driver together in the true spirit of “Jinba Ittai” - the mantra of “horse and rider as one”.
The entry level soft-top is powered by a SkyActiv-G 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces a reasonable 96kW. This small four cylinder engine is coupled to a traditional six-speed transmission, and with a fuel economy of just 6.2l/100km it’s easy to see why this attractive roadster continues to generate so much attention.
BMW 220i convertible (from $74,750)
If you’re looking for a little class, the BMW 220i might just be the answer, offering a seductive combination of a dynamic design and a powerful engine.
The 220i features standout 18in double-spoked alloy wheels and a much loved 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo four-cylinder engine that produces a lively 135kW. The BMW 220i consumes 6.1l/100km, which is close to the Mazda MX-5 despite its larger engine capacity.
An eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission drives the rear wheels and the roof can even be opened or closed at speeds of up to 50km/h if the weather catches you out.
In typical BMW fashion there are a vast number of add-ons available. The M Sports package, for example, adds sports suspension and various other embellishments to the exterior for a more provocative look, for an additional $5000. There’s also the Comfort Package that adds ambient light features and an upgraded sound system.
Like the Mini, there are a few vibrant colours available like Sunset Orange and Melbourne Red to spice things up a bit.
Porsche 718 Boxster (from $124,500)
The Boxster has really come into its own in the current "718" generation and it's the model's 25th anniversary in 2021, so there's never been a better time to treat yourself.
There's a range of models available, from the flat-four Boxster and Boxster S, to the GTS with the throaty naturally aspirated 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine. For a limited time there's also a "Boxster 25 years" edition (pictured, $175,800) to celebrate that big birthday.
If you’ve previously thought of buying a convertible but had some misgivings, it could be time for a rethink. With so much on offer and summer in full swing, if you get in quick you may be able to get your hands on one of these fantastic models for your next roadie.