The Best Convertibles For Under £2,000 by James Baggott, Author, Car Dealer Magazine
With summer in full swing, if you want a drop-top to provide that wind-in-your-hair experience we’ve picked out some of the best convertibles for under £2,000.
Readily available and well-priced, most MG TF’s come with a peppy 1.8-litre engine and all have a folding cloth roof. It’s still a relatively handsome looking car that seems to have aged well, and we found a number for well under our £2,000 budget.
Citroen C3 Pluriel
Designed to be five cars in one, the C3 Pluriel wasn’t successful, meaning you can pick up decent used examples and, though they may not have a sports car design, you still get that drop-top experience very cheaply.
Most cars get alloy wheels and air conditioning, but make sure the folding roof functions correctly.
Buying a used Mercedes can mean higher repair costs and pricier parts, so choose carefully – a decent servicing history is essential.
An early 2000s SLK should be well-equipped, with electronically-adjustable seats and cruise control.
For no-frills, involving motoring, the little MR2 provides exciting performance from a 1.8-litre engine, and its compact size makes it feel nimble on the road.
The lack of any real boot does make it impractical but there are plenty of reasonable examples available within budget.
The MX-5 is a reliable, cheap-to-repair convertible and is a go-to choice for those who want a relatively involving drive coupled with compact dimensions.
Rust is an issue, particularly on early models, but a clean example will provide miles of trouble-free motoring.
The ‘new’ Mini has proved to be immensely popular, and the convertible version was snapped up as a result of its cutesy styling and reasonably powerful range of engines.
Available well within our £2,000 budget, make sure that the interior is straight, and listen for strange noises from the costly-to-replace power steering pump.
The 9-3 convertible is a comfortable and spacious drop-top, and there are plenty of spare parts and components available should you need replacements, despite Saab’s now defunct status.
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet
Most Bugs come comprehensively equipped, with air conditioning and alloy wheels just some of the extras you’ll find fitted, and the Beetle is a decent and reliable soft-top.
BMW 3 Series Convertible (E46)
There are many examples of 3 Series convertibles to be found at this budget. Most common are E46 models, which are sturdy and excellent to drive. A variety of engines are available too, with even the top end straight-six models well in this price bracket.
Double check the arches as these are prone to rust. In addition, turn the steering lock to lock while travelling at low speed and listen out for any troubling knocking noises.
Audi TT Roadster
There aren’t many about in this price range, but the Audi TT Roadster is a fine option. Strong build quality, reliable engines and quirky styling mean that this soft-top still looks and feels fresh today.
At this price you’ll be looking at a high-mileage example, but providing it’s got a decent service history there’s no reason why these can’t be hassle-free convertibles.