Best used convertibles in 2023 you have to consider

Roman Danaev

Best cars20 September 2023

Despite the UK’s typically overcast skies, used convertible cars remain a popular choice among British drivers. The joy of feeling the wind in your hair and the appeal of open-top driving continue to charm enthusiasts. What makes it even better is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to own one of the best used convertible cars.

Today, we present our top 12 favourites. Whether you prefer a practical four-seater or a sporty two-seater designed for pure driving pleasure, the used car market has something to suit every taste.

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1. BMW Z4

Market price for a used modelFrom £9,500
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeManual, automatic
Doors2
Seats2
FuelDiesel, petrol

The BMW Z4 is a standout among convertible cars, bringing in a thrilling driving experience with sharp handling and a well-balanced chassis. Its swooping design and classy looks turn heads, especially when the roof is down. The electric roof retracts in just 10 seconds, adding to its practicality. Notably, the introduction of a folding metal hard top in this model has reduced noise at motorway speeds and enhanced security.

The engine line-up starts with a 154bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Then, there’s a stronger 302bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine and the most potent 335bhp 35is.

The cabin is spacious, which is why you can expect ample headroom. With the roof up, it feels like a fixed-head coupé, and there’s a reasonable amount of boot space. However, it’s worth noting that the boot space diminishes a lot when you lower the roof.

2. Mazda MX-5

Market price for a used modelFrom £8,300
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeManual, automatic
Doors2
Seats2
FuelPetrol

The Mazda MX-5 is one of the best sports cars you can consider, even if you’re not a die-hard driving enthusiast. The MX-5 offers practicality for everyday life. It acknowledges the realities of high fuel prices, tight parking spaces, and limited road space. These cars are also known for their lightweight design, easy handling, and safety in various weather conditions, especially with good tires.

You can choose between two engines: a 1.5-litre with 129bhp for enjoyable acceleration or a 2.0-litre with 158bhp. The latter is upgraded to 181bhp from mid-2018 onwards for a bit more speed.

Inside the MX-5, you’ll find two cosy seats and a user-friendly gear lever. As for the convertible roof, it can be easily folded away with a single arm movement. It’s not the most spacious car. But it offers a reasonable boot space that remains unaffected by the roof position, albeit with the narrow opening.

3. Porsche 718 Boxster

Market price for a used modelFrom £8,900
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeManual, automatic
Doors2
Seats2
FuelPetrol

The Porsche 718 Boxster is a fantastic convertible car for anyone who wants something truly thrilling. It’s Porsche’s entry-level sports car, more affordable than their exotic 911 models, and smaller on the road. Despite its smaller size, it’s considered one of the finest sports cars globally. This is all thanks to its advanced mid-engine layout and a range of powerful engines.

The base model has a robust 300hp 2.0-litre engine, while the Boxster S is quicker with its 350hp 2.5-litre engine. The top GTS boasts a potent 400hp six-cylinder engine.

What makes the 718 Boxster even more appealing is the wide range of customization options, from trim versions to engines and paint colours. Plus, the folding roof is easy to use — it’ll allow you to go from fully weatherproof to enjoying the open air in seconds. The model has two storage areas: regular boot space at the back and another load area under the front bonnet.

4. BMW 4 Series Convertible

Market price for a used modelFrom £8,000
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Doors2
Seats4
FuelDiesel, petrol

The BMW 4 Series Convertible was introduced in 2013. It followed the coupe version and featured a three-piece metal folding roof that replaced the fixed roof of the coupe. This roof added weight and took up more boot space; even worse, you can’t operate it while driving above 8mph.

On the road, the 420i and 428i, equipped with six-cylinder petrol engines, offer a smooth and quiet ride, even with the roof down. The 420d provides strong performance from low revs and is a more economical choice. It’s just a bit noisy when revved hard.

The front seats offer ample space and comfort for the driver and passenger. However, the passengers in the rear seats may feel cramped on long journeys with the roof up. But it’s suitable for short trips. The car minimizes wind noise, although some buffeting occurs with the roof down, and road noise is somewhat noticeable.

5. Audi TT Roadster

Market price for a used modelFrom £7,300
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Doors2
Seats2
FuelPetrol

The Audi TT Roadster gained fame among sports cars for its striking geometric design and ultra-modern appeal. It lacks a metal folding roof like some competitors. But its fabric roof is top-notch as it provides excellent insulation and folds down in just 12 seconds. It’s highly effective at reducing road and wind noise, which ensures a pleasant ride.

Engine options start with a budget-friendly 178bhp 1.8-litre turbo and a powerful 306bhp 2.0-litre turbo in the TT S. There’s even an 181bhp 2.0-litre diesel variant for those looking for impressive fuel economy. The most popular choice is the 227bhp 2.0-litre turbo.

While the TT Roadster is not the most practical car, the fabric roof mentioned earlier helps free up space in the boot. The flat boot floor and wide opening make it easy to fit your bags. And there are handy storage areas inside the cabin, including space behind each of the seats.

6. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

Market price for a used modelFrom £7,400
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Doors2
Seats4
FuelDiesel, petrol, hybrid

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet was introduced in 2010. But then, it was refined with a facelift in 2013, which brought a touch of elegance to the executive convertible segment.

Now, there is a choice between petrol and diesel engines, as well as the hybrid. The entry-level 184bhp 200 petrol is ideal for city driving and occasional highway trips. If you seek a sportier experience, consider the 306bhp 350 or the later 333bhp 400 V6 petrol engines. For those who crave power, the 408bhp 500 V8 is a rare gem.

At the top of the diesel range is the robust 350 V6 diesel, equally comfortable in urban settings and long-distance cruising. The E350 Cabriolet, the hybrid, features a sturdy turbocharged engine with 220kW power.

The E-Class Cabriolet retains good boot space. When the roof is down, you’ll only sacrifice 90 litres of luggage capacity; this is a modest trade-off compared to many rivals. The four usable seats provide adequate space, but the rear won’t be comfortable for taller individuals.

7. MINI Convertible

Market price for a used modelFrom £6,500
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeManual, automatic
Doors2
Seats4
FuelPetrol, electric

The MINI Convertible is not just a car for fun outings and vacations. It’s one of Britain’s favourite used convertibles because it’s practical for everyday use. Whether you opt for the affordable Cooper version or the sporty 230bhp John Cooper Works model, you have choices to suit your preferences. Various trim levels and options allow you to customize your MINI Convertible’s level of luxury.

For the best experience, consider choosing a model with at least the Comfort and Navigation packs. The Navigation Plus Pack, in particular, stands out for its exceptional infotainment system.

Rear passengers may feel a bit cramped, and the boot resembles a letterbox slot. However, you can fold the rear seats to expand the cargo area. Up front, the MINI Convertible provides a comfortable environment for its occupants.

8. Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

Market price for a used modelFrom £6,300
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Doors2
Seats4
FuelDiesel, petrol, hybrid

The Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet is the go-to choice for those on the market for convertible cars with a touch of class, four seats, and a strong image. In 2018, the range underwent a technical refresh and facelift, so keep your eyes on those.

The engine options to choose from start with relaxed petrol models and even manual gearboxes if that’s your preference. As you move up the range, you’ll enjoy more mid-range power, higher speeds, and added excitement. All that will be with a relatively small price difference between models.

More specifically, the line-up includes the C200 and C300 petrols, the popular C220d and C250d, and the C300d diesel engines. AMG models like the C43, C63, and C63 S. The C200 also features a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a mild-hybrid system.

Let’s say you find yourself unexpectedly greeted by sunny weather. With the C-Class Cabriolet, you can lower the roof in just 15 seconds while driving at speeds of up to 31mph.

9. FIAT 124 Spider

Market price for a used modelFrom £8,500
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeManual, automatic
Doors2
Seats2
FuelPetrol

The FIAT 124 Spider is a nimble and stylish two-seat convertible sports car. It shares its platform with the Mazda MX-5, so many components are common between the two despite their distinct looks.

If you look under the hood, you’ll find a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, which sets it apart from the MX-5’s naturally aspirated engine options. FIAT has also fine-tuned the suspension to give the 124 Spider its unique driving feel.

Inside, the Spider offers a compact cabin with limited storage space. The trunk is on the smaller side, but this is typical for cars in its class. If you need more cargo capacity, you can opt for a boot rack accessory from a Fiat dealer.

Despite the lack of a metal roof, the 124 Spider feels well-constructed and exhibits minimal scuttle shake. This makes for a sturdy and enjoyable open-top driving experience.

10. Audi A5 Quattro Cabriolet

Market price for a used modelFrom £7,500
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Doors2, 4
Seats4
FuelDiesel, petrol

The Audi A5 Quattro Cabriolet is a top-notch model that carries the legacy of the Audi in the used car market. What sets it apart is not just its stylish exterior but also its foundation. This version, launched in 2017, is built on the award-winning Audi A4 executive saloon, known for its refinement and performance.

Petrol engines go up to the 250bhp 2.0-litre and the 3.0-litre V6 in the S5 model. Diesels include the smooth 3.0-litre V6 TDI 218 and the more potent 3.0-litre TDI 286 V6. With this amount of power, it still offers a blend of elegance and reasonable running costs.

With the roof up, the A5 comfortably accommodates four, though taller passengers in the back might feel a bit snug. There’s also ample luggage space behind the folding rear seats for your travel essentials.

11. Ford Mustang Convertible

Market price for a used modelFrom £7,000
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeManual, automatic
Doors2
Seats4
FuelPetrol

The Ford Mustang Convertible, a classic American icon, is instantly recognizable. You probably know its bold styling, high bonnet line, and distinctive tri-bar lights at the back. Ford hasn’t made much effort to adapt the Mustang for the British market. So, it’s a tough sell, even as a used convertible.

Your engine choices are a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and a 5.0-litre V8. On the road, the Mustang Convertible feels robust and substantial, providing agile handling. Inside, it offers a spacious front cabin, but don’t expect much from the rear. The boot is a good size, but the high lip and narrow opening make it less convenient.

The base model comes well-equipped with features like keyless entry, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, and more. Custom option packs are available with upgrades like a premium audio system, climate-controlled seats, and navigation.

12. Audi A3 Cabriolet

Market price for a used modelFrom £6,500
Body typeConvertible
Gearbox typeManual, automatic
Doors2
Seats4
FuelPetrol, diesel

The Audi A3 Cabriolet is a drop-top car based on the well-regarded Audi A3 Sportback. It offers a choice of engines, including a 2.0-litre diesel, a 1.4-litre petrol, and a 1.8-litre petrol. In 2014, the automaker introduced a more robust 2.0-litre diesel and an economical 1.6-litre diesel.

The A3 Cabriolet may not provide a sports car-like driving experience. But it excels in delivering stability and a comfortable ride. It handles with confidence and ease, whether you’re cruising with the roof up or enjoying the open-air experience.

The interior has a smart design, which mirrors the hatchback and saloon versions. It also features an electrohydraulic fabric roof with a heated glass rear window. You can effortlessly raise or lower the roof in just 18 seconds, even while driving at speeds of up to 31mph.

Final words: Best used convertible cars

Contrary to popular belief, you can find some fantastic used convertible cars with without emptying your wallet. This list highlights a variety of models on the car market, proving that affordable open-top motoring is within reach.

Now, here’s an important note: the list features quite a few high-end models, so you might come across options with higher mileage and a touch more age. But don’t let that scare you off. Older age and higher mileage don’t automatically mean the car is in bad condition.

To dive deeper into this world of budget-friendly motoring, reach out to Carplus. We want to help you make a smart decision so that you can enjoy a perfect sporty model or a stylish cruiser. Whatever you want!

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