Driving along your favourite road with the top down is one of the better experiences of owning a car, most convertibles however tend to only offer seating for two, which, if you happen to have a family will limit their viability.
Of course, there are also some that allow you to fit your kids in the back but anything with a removable roof tends to be priced a lot higher than their hardtop counterparts too.
These issues tend to stop most people from even considering a convertible when it comes time to replace their old car but if you dig a little deeper you may find that there are a lot of options, both new and used that fit most families and most budgets too.
To find some of the best ones out there we took a look at a whole range of drop tops, from tiny little city cars to big sporty GTs, there are more four-seater convertibles out there than you might think and we can practically guarantee that you will find one to suit your budget in here as well.
SAAB 9-3 Convertible
SAAB used to be the kings of quirky and their 4-seater convertibles were some of the very best. Not necessarily in any measurable terms, just in their quirkiness levels.
A centrally mounted ignition barrel, variable dashboard lighting and other oddities were slowly phased out over the years but they are still good to drive and a 2.0-litre 9-3 can be had from as little as £ 1,500.
The turbo cars do cost a bit more but even the top turbocharged 280bhp 2.8L V6 won’t set you back more than £ 10,000.
Volvo C70 Convertible
The Volvo C70 is another stylish Swedish entrant, the first-generation models have proven to be rather good and while you can pick one up for next to nothing we suggest you start your search at around the £2,000 mark to reduce the chances of some unforeseen repair bills.
Renault Megane CC
Now don’t start on about the fact that the early cars were unreliable, which they were, the post-2006 models however were much improved and the hardtop convertibles are quite good value today.
We suggest you choose from between the 134-bhp 2.0-litre or the rare but fun 163-bhp turbocharged models, even the best ones won’t set you back more than £2,500.
Peugeot 307 CC
The Peugeot 307 CC was a similar proposition to the Megane and offered minor differences in specification and engine levels although in this case the most powerful 175-bhp 2.0-litre offering was a high-revving naturally aspirated motor.
Prices mirror that of the Renault too and there are some low-mileage examples out there that can be picked up at a real steal.
The Bertone design house styled Vauxhall Astra convertible may not have been a big seller in its day but there are plenty used ones about and their looks have perhaps aged more gracefully than the Renault and Peugeot.
The newer Astra H Series Twin Top convertibles can also be quite a bargain buy and 10-year old models are rarely more than £2,000.
If you think that these four-seater convertibles are too big and cumbersome then take a look at the Fiat 500c, it offers a retractable centre roof section while still retaining its two rear seats.
They may not be particularly big seats but if your rear passengers are toddler sized then this is the perfect little convertible for you. Don’t call us if you’re struggling to fit in the baby seats though. Used examples start from £3,500.
If you prefer a (tiny) bit more interior room as well as a more traditional retracting roof then the Mini Convertible may be more to your liking. It can also be had with some more powerful engine options like the 192-hp Cooper S or the racy 231-bhp John Cooper Works version but those rear seats are still best suited for shorter trips.
That JCW starts at a hefty £28,000 but you can have a previous-generation 1.6-litre convertible for a mere £3,500.
The Eos was a cool looking hardtop convertible that sadly ended production in 2015, thanks to the reliable Golf-based underpinnings they should not be expensive to maintain and their rarity makes them far more desirable than a boring old family hatchback too.
The earliest cars are around £2,500 while the newest ones go for up to £15,000. The pick of the range is the 1.4-litre TSI model, don’t bother with the weak 2.0-litre petrol or stinky diesels.
Volkswagen Golf Convertible
VW also sold their convertible Golfs here for a while, the Golf 4 versions can be found cheap but they are getting on in years and the newer variants are pretty well-priced too.
There are plenty of practical options out there but we suggest the 261-bhp 2.0 TSI R variants, at £16,000 for a 2014 model they are cracking value too.
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet
If you want a new four-seater VW then it will have to be the Beetle Cabriolet, a sad old 102-bhp 1.6-litre model can be blocking your driveway for a mere £1,800 but it’s wise to spend a bit more and do it properly.
Budget on £7,000 for a newer 2011 2.0-litre car and you will enjoy it a whole lot more. IF you go new they start at £17,500 and top out at R24,760 for the R-Line.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible
The Evoque was launched in 2012 and its high-quality interior and stylish exterior turned a lot of heads, the convertible version arrived in 2017 and had people staring at it once again.
It is definitely not a car for everyone, especially those not wanting too much attention but it does offer a fair bit of standard kit, as it should for its hefty £45,565 base price. The fabric roof is quick, raising in a mere 18-seconds, but the base 178-bhp is not quite so nippy so it’s best to spend a bit more for the 238-bhp turbocharged petrol version.
BMW 4-Series Convertible
The 4-Series continues with the metal folding roof of its predecessor and this makes it a practical proposition all year round. £39,000 is the entry point for the 420i but the £50,000 326-bhp 440i M Sport is the one to get if your budget stretches that far.
Then again, a one-year-old 444-bhp M4 convertible is also £50,000. If that is all a bit much then a four-year-old 420d is a more palatable £17,000.
Ford Mustang Convertible
The latest Mustang is the best yet, no more leaf-sprung rear axle and the chassis is finally good enough to take on Europeans rivals around corners too. You have the choice of a relatively economical EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine or the proper 5.0-litre V8 to choose from.
The manual 286-bhp 2.3-litre turbo EcoBoost starts at £37,175 but when the 444-bhp 5.0 GT is only £4,500 more it really is no contest. You can also save around £10,000 off the new price if you go for a one or two-year-old option.
The 6-series has been around for some time now and a replacement is imminent, that is why you should only consider a new one if there are a few dealer incentives thrown in.
The petrol-powered 320-bhp 640i and 450-bhp 650i are the pick of the range and can be found from around £20,000 if you go for five-year-old models. A big saving over the £72,000 you need for a box fresh 640i. Even the previous-gen models can be fun if a bit funny looking and all have plenty of space for four.
Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet
The S-Class Cabriolet is the open-topped luxurious GT alternative to the two-seater SL. It doesn’t come cheap though, the 612-bhp AMG S 63 is a hefty £138,695 before you start ticking options but there are few big convertibles out there that can match it for continent crossing ability.
The recent update had also introduced some cutting-edge tech that will keep your kids entertained on the way done to the south of France.
Porsche 911 Convertible
The 911 is a great option if your kids are still young as the rear seats are quite cosy, you do have a massive number of options to choose from though. The base 911 Cabriolet starts at £86,000 and comes with a 370-bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre flat-six that should suit most, but you can go right up to the £156,000 580-bhp Turbo S Cab if you prefer.
Older 911s tend to start going up in value after a few years and the smart money is currently on the 996 and early 997 models.
The GranCabrio is slower than a 911 and the S-Class Cabriolet, it quite likely uses more fuel than both too. The gearbox is old-fashioned the interior tech is at least a generation behind them as well. Yet drive in one for a couple of miles down the right road with the roof down and that glorious 460-bhp 4.7-litre V8 will have you converted.
The exhaust note alone is worth the £108,000 entry price and those looks are just as sexy as they were when the GranCabrio was first released in 2010. Those early cars can be found from £45,000, drive one first then decide whether you can hand the keys back.
The Portofino is the replacement to the somewhat unloved California. This new convertible is much-improved over the older car and other than the increase in performance it also looks rather a lot sharper.
The hardtop roof remains but the 3.9-litre V8 now cranks out 600-bhp and the turbochargers are set up to mimic the power delivery of a naturally aspirated engine. You will be looking at close to £200,000 by the time you have specced one to your tastes, used examples are still a bit thin on the ground.
Bentley Continental GTC
The original GTC offered a 552-bhp 6.0-litre W12 engine and a whole lot of luxury combined with a level of reliability that had not always been a given pre-VW ownership days. Ten-year-old models are around £37,000 which seems rather good value.
Second-gen models are a tad pricier with new cars retailing for well over £200,000. Best to wait on buying a new one though, the new Continental coupe has recently been launched which means a replacement convertible is also on the way.
The Dawn is the ultimate drop top for the discerning driver who also happens to have a bit more than just a mere £200,000 in their bank account.
The Dawn may not be the fastest convertible around but in terms of comfort, luxury and sheer opulence it has no challengers. The level of customisability is also unparalleled, you can add your own touches throughout the cabin. So, what about some second-hand options? No self-respecting multi-millionaire would even consider such a thing.