Summer’s here, and that means the temperatures are up, the sun is out and it’s time to find the best convertible to maximize the fun. 2020 has been one wild year and we’ve been locked inside for months so it’s time to get out there and blow that stimulus check on a sweet drop-top.
Let me start off by saying that this is a well-rounded list – meaning there is a little something here for everyone. If we wanted to get down to the 5 hottest convertibles we could easily cook up a list of $100K+ Supercars but that’s not everyone’s cup-of-tea. Nor is it realistic.
Typically, I will always value performance over everything. When it comes to providing car advice this can become an issue because performance usually comes with an increased cost. Following that rule, you would just end up with a list of expensive cars.
Boo. No, the list needs to encompass more than fancy cars you see at Cars and Coffee. This list has to have depth. So I’ve gathered together my five recommendations on the best convertibles that cover a number of criteria, including cost, performance, and versatility. Enjoy.
The Five Best Convertibles
Here are the five best convertibles up top so you don’t have to read on because this isn’t a cooking blog and we do things right:
- Mazda MX-5 Miata – Best Sporty Convertible Under $30K
- Jeep Wrangler – Most Versatile Convertible
- 2020 Chevy Corvette – Best Convertible With a V8
- Bently GTC – Best Luxury Convertible
- Porsche 718 Boxster – Best Convertible Ever
We give our opinion on each of these below and list our reasons why each one is fantastic. There’s a handful of other amazing convertibles like the Audi R8 Spyder, the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder, and of course the E46 M3, but they didn’t make the list because honestly, those car buyers aren’t reading this blog.
Mazda MX-5 Miata – Best Sporty Convertible Under $30K
There’s an old saying in Tennessee, well we have it in Texas, I’m sure you have it in Tennessee, it goes “big things come in small packages”. Boy is that true for the mighty Miata. Just hit up any Reddit car forum and there’s always some clown chiming in on how the Miata is a perfect car.
The thing is, from certain perspectives, they’re right. The car is nimble and light, fun and responsive, and puts a smile on your face. A lot of the fun comes from the fact the Miata sticks to a formula it does well, strong chassis, high revving motor, and of course, a third petal with a manual shifter in the center console.
Not to mention it looks great. Its sleek design has evolved from the once rounded and sort of cartoonish body to a grown-up little drop-top. One test drive in one of these and you understand immediately why everyone falls in love.
Three trims are available with the mid-range “Club” coming well equipped with Android Auto and Apple Car Play keeping you feeling like you’re part of the 21st century. Stick with a manual and it will run $30,290.
Jeep Wrangler – Most Versatile Convertible
Full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of the Jeep Wrangler. It seems like every college girl and their fratty boyfriend are rollin’ in one of these. However, it makes this list because I am dedicated to providing you with unbiased and helpful information.
As the title suggest the Jeep Wrangler takes the crown for most versatile convertible. Why? Well, first it can go on both road and on not road. Or lack of road if you will. The top comes off and so do the doors and the little kid in me loves this. It’s a handy daily driver, for students and professionals alike but it’s also an extremely capable off-roader.
Its styling is classic and the newer versions are well equipped with plenty of technology to make you feel like you didn’t drive the thing out of an Army barrack. There are four trims Sport, Sport S, Unlimited Sport, and Rubicon.
You might be tempted to opt-in for the 2.0-Liter Turbocharged 4-Cylinder due to its higher torque figure. But a word of caution, if you are going to be doing some off-road driving in say the Mojave region stick with the standard 3.6-Liter V6 and manual gearbox. This leaves off the additional heat and is a classically fun combo.
2020 Chevy Corvette – Best Convertible With a V8
Listen to me. Mid-engine, 6.2-Liter V8, 490 mind-bending horsepower, under $60K. What more is there to say? The C8 Corvette isn’t just the best Vette produced, it’s the product of American engineers remembering where their balls were.
The convertible comes in 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT trim and pricing is $67K, $74K, and $78K respectively. Convertible is only available as a folding hardtop, so you actually get the best of both worlds here.
490-hp and 470 lb-ft of torque make the Corvette a total lunatic to drive and it’s now mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission bringing it closer to the supercar performance it’s always slightly missed out on. Car and Driver knocked down a 0-60 mph time of just 2.8 seconds.
Do you have any idea how fast that is? Have you ever gone from standing still to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds? If you have then you know it’s essentially warp speed, rocketing your balls into a different dimension of existence.
It’s not all speed though, the mid-engine layout provides an amazing platform for crisp, flat cornering and the chassis allows for wild driving. The breaks are strong and the interior is up-to-date and looks like a proper supercar.
One drawback – when you drive a Vette, you’re “that guy”. Sorry.
Bently GTC – Best Luxury Convertible
For those of you looking to pull up in style at your local Polo match and then speed off to the Yacht club for dinner this is your ride. The Bentley GTC is the best convertible you can buy to really show people you’ve made it.
I have reviewed the previous generation Bentley GTC and I gotta tell you, it was great driving it around for the day. It really made me feel like I was in fact, better than everyone else.
Under the hood sits the beautiful handcrafted 4.0-Liter V8 or 6.0-Liter W12 both equipped with pair of turbochargers. The engines are good for 550hp or 626 hp respectively. Neither is lacking any gut, that’s for sure.
A slick air-suspension setup uses 3 chambers to ensure the ride is just right, no matter the road. Despite its heft, Bentley engineers have worked out the kinks to make the car feel light and responsive. The ginormous brakes remind you this thing has some girth, but be confident when you step on them.
Despite the soft top, the interior is quiet and obviously comfortable. The kind of comfortable that almost makes you feel bad for doing so well that you can afford one. But don’t, your generational wealth must be spent somehow, and if you’re in the market for the most luxurious convertible, this is it.
Porsche 718 Boxster – Best Convertible Ever
Oh Lordy, I will get some hate mail for this one. But let’s face it, there can only be one champ. And in this case, it’s the Porsche 718 Boxtser – hands down the best convertible you can buy.
Porsche caught a lot of flack when it equipped the Boxster and Cayman with a turbocharged 2.0-Liter 4 Cylinder but it was honestly ridiculous. I’ve written why Porsche’s’ decision to do this made perfect sense. The fact is the flat 4 is miles ahead of the previous generations flat-six.
Even in its base form, the Boxster is special. the base 718 packs 300-hp. But do yourself a favor and drop the cash on the S which comes with 350-hp and bigger brakes.
There is literally no scenario where this car isn’t amazing. It’s beautiful, has plenty of storage and drives like an actual dream. The dual-clutch PDK is the finest automatic every built and the 6-speed manual should be the golden standard by which all other manuals are measured.
Steering is so sharp and responsive, it’s as though the car was built for car surgeons performing open-heart surgery at every apex. The grip is insane, the motor response is intoxication, and the driver-focused cabin is so pure it reminds you of why Porsche remains at the top of the game.
You can see my review of the 718 Boxster’s hard top sibling, and trust me if you’re in the market for a convertible, this is the golden standard.
Decide you’re ready to pull the trigger on one of these bad boys? Be sure to check the CPO guide to help you find the best warranty coverage for your next whip.