Five convertibles that won’t break the bank this summer


With the right car, driving can be heaps of fun at any time of year. There’s something particularly special about driving in the sun, though; windows down with your favourite summer soundtrack – what could be more perfect? Well, the whole experience can be enhanced greatly with the help of a shiny new convertible, and making the move from traditionally topped transport to the latest topless model doesn’t have to cost the earth. Here are a few of the best value convertibles available in 2014.

Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet – From £17,740

What better place to start than with a motoring icon? VW’s Beetle may have gone through a few aesthetic alterations in its extensive history but the head-turning curves are still there for all to see on the latest model, which was first released in 2011. Now the range includes a sleek drop-top variant, however, and style-conscious motorists have every reason to get excited.

A range of five different engines will make it easier to find the perfect fit as well. For ultimate power, the 2.0L TSI model produces 210PS and has a 0-60mph time of just 7.6 seconds. At the other end of the scale, the innovative BlueMotion Technology 1.6 TDI engine offers fuel efficiency of 62.8mpg.

Mini One Convertible – From £16,420

Continuing with the theme of legendary inspiration, the latest Mini One Convertible is a great option for thrifty sun-seekers. Retaining much of the classic styling that made its 1960s predecessor so famous around the world, the Mini One has been a huge hit for German manufacturer BMW – in total, more than 2.5 million vehicles have been sold. The canvas-topped version celebrates its tenth birthday this year and still as popular as ever, not just during the summer.

As is the case with the rest of the range, the Mini One Convertible is equipped with a standard 1.6-litre petrol engine, and is capable of reaching 62mph in 11.2 seconds. With a manual gearbox, it’s also possible to achieve 49.6mpg.

Citroen DS3 Cabrio – From £15,205

Citroen has enjoyed some great success in recent times, and its range has no doubt been rejuvenated by the release of the DS3 in 2010. The stylish hatchback’s convertible version – the Cabrio – was first seen in showrooms just last year and is on course to be one of the most popular cars of the impending summer.

The DS3 Cabrio is a little different to some of its closest competitors as its roof is retractable instead of being completely removable. This means that it’s possible to open and close the fabric top at speeds of up to 75mph, which of course you’ll never be reaching anyway!

Audi A3 Convertible – From £25,790

As compact executive cars go, Audi’s A3 is about as popular as it gets. More than 1.5 million can be found on roads and drives across the world, with the availability of a convertible model no doubt helping to boost sales since it was first released in 2008. Fast forward six years and the drop-top model has adopted a saloon-style shape and is making waves in the summer market. Also, despite it being bigger than its predecessor, it’s actually lost 50kg in weight, making it even more efficient.

The 2014 A3 Cabriolet is currently available in three different trim levels – SE, Sport and S-Line – each providing its own benefits.  Petrol engine sizes start at 1.4-litre and go up to a rather powerful 1.8-litre, while the diesel variants range from 1.6-litre to a slightly larger 2.0-litre.

BMW 2 Series Convertible – Price TBC

The newest vehicle on this list is so fresh that hasn’t actually found its way to any showrooms yet. Set for release this summer, BMW’s 2 Series Convertible will replace the 1 Series Convertible, which was discontinued in 2013.

The 2 Series’ range of engines is expected to comprise four different 2.0-litre engines to begin with, each offering a different balance of horsepower and efficiency. However, once the standard versions have been released, BMW will look to cater for more power-hungry motorists with the M235i – which will be the newest vehicle to bear the company’s famous ‘M’ emblem.

Some experts are also suggesting that BMW may look to compete with Audi and Mercedes by releasing a four-wheel-drive version as part of its xDrive range.

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