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The open road

Jeremy Taylor / 06 July 2022

We may be at the mercy of the weather more than many drivers around the world, but Brits still love a convertible.

A convertible car driving along a country lane surrounded by trees
Getty

Blow the pension

Porsche 718 Boxster

From £49,000

Arguably the benchmark for all convertible sports cars. Placing the engine behind the cabin affords this two-seater almost perfect weight distribution. Turbocharged power whisks the Porsche to 60mph in 5.3 seconds – faster versions are available, too. The boot is spacious and there’s extra luggage room under the bonnet.

Best buy

Mazda MX-5 RF

From £27,625

The MX-5 is the world’s top-selling two-seater convertible for good reason. Reliable and cheap to run, it is brilliant fun whatever the weather. Its driving dynamics make every journey a thrill. Choose from a pair of efficient petrol engines – 1.5 and 2.0 – and, if you don’t fancy a soft-top, Mazda also offers the RF, a folding hard-top version that adds a little more security when parking in the street.

All-rounder

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet

From £31,495

SUVs constitute such a large-selling sector of the UK car market that it was only a matter of time before designers dreamt up a convertible one. Land Rover’s oddball Range Rover Evoque wasn’t a success but Volkswagen has done a much better job with the T-Roc Cabriolet. Effectively, it’s a high-riding Golf with a soft-top.

Star car

Chesil Speedster

From £30,000

Tom Cruise rode a Kawasaki motorcycle in the original 1986 Top Gun, but it was actress Kelly McGillis who drove the most memorable car. Her 1958 Porsche Speedster was an open-top dream machine on the streets of San Diego. A similar restored model today would cost from £150,000 – depending on condition. Fortunately, a number of UK companies – such as Chesil or Pilgrim Motorsports – offer detailed replicas based on a Volkswagen Beetle chassis and engine. Pick one up for £30,000+ on the second-hand market.

Off-road king

Jeep Wrangler

From £57,400

This is a thoroughly modern version of Jeep’s original Second World War design. Unstoppable off-road, the 2.0 petrol Rubicon model will squeeze in five passengers. It has huge appeal, even if unclipping and storing the roof panels is fiddly.

Cool classic

MGB Roadster

Price £12,000 upwards for a restored, usable example

The original and iconic British convertible was launched in 1962 – the ‘B’ remained in production for 18 years and became the world’s best-selling sports car, defining open-top motoring. Thankfully, MG’s popularity means parts are still plentiful and cheap.

Second-hand star

Jaguar XK convertible (2011-15)

From £20,000

Jaguar killed off the XK in 2015 to make way for the F-Type, which can’t match it. The XK is a beautiful convertible with a long, sweeping bonnet and curves in all the right places. It’s blessed with a potent 5.0-litre V8 engine, offering a real turn of speed. There’s room in the back for a couple of grandchildren and it has a spacious luggage area.

Family favourite

BMW 4 Series Convertible

From £45,800

Four-seat convertibles are few and far between, with design often compromised for backseat space because of the roof mechanism. The latest BMW 4 Series is a technologically advanced cabrio with a folding hard-top roof. It is light and drives well. Petrol and diesel engines are available.

To ensure your convertible is covered, call Saga Motor Insurance on 0800 092 3188 or visit saga.co.uk/insurance/car-insurance

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Disclaimer

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.