Apparently, used convertibles enjoy a huge advantage over their coupe and sedan counterparts. Unlike used sedans and most other types of automobiles, used convertibles are usually in a surprisingly good condition, many a time offering pretty much the same ride quality as they did when being driven for the first time ever.
That being said, drop tops surely don’t need to be very latest models, simply because the old ones are generally as good as recent ones. So with that being said, let’s take a quick look at what seem to be the 10 best used convertibles you can go for.
BMW 3 Series Convertible (2007-2011)
The BMW 3 Series Convertible is surely hard to beat as a used convertible. It offers a great all-round performance, with the style and comfort hardly leaving anything to be desired as well.
When the BMW 3 Series Convertible was first released, it featured a design that allowed it to look very similar to a coupe when in raised position. So yes, the design boasts quite a bit of innovation which is always a huge plus while buying a convertible, whether used or new.
As far as your options are concerned, you can either go for the one coming with a 3.0-liter engine and producing 230 horsepower or the turbocharged version putting out 300 ponies. You would ideally also want to go for a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions.
Volvo C70 (2006-2012)
One of the most important reasons you’re seeing the Volvo C70 on this list is its affordability. It was probably only targeted towards a particular class of drivers when it was first launched, due to being priced higher than most of its counterparts.
However, as a used convertible, you can find many different models of this vehicle being sold for a very reasonable price. And apart from that, it’s also very versatile. The retractable top is especially a feature that really adds to its versatility, which in turn makes it ideal for daily driving.
As far as the models you should look for are concerned, the 2006 and up ones may work really well. All of them also come with pretty much the same features mechanically, with the 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder boasting 227 horsepower.
Jeep Wrangler (2012 and up)
Well, we know that you’re probably very surprised to see the Jeep Wrangler listed as one of our best used convertibles out there. However, there are probably things about it you don’t know, and they are precisely what made us include it in our list.
First, it’s more than capable of handling rough rides, which is probably a very, very rare feature when it comes to convertibles. Driving into the wilderness with the Jeep Wrangler is probably never going to be a problem.
Similarly, its strong off-road capabilities, as well as the hard top sitting on the shelf really makes it more than worthwhile to be considered as a budget used convertible that offers a great value overall.
Furthermore, there’s apparently no other convertible out there that can offer three four-wheel drive systems or a trail rating like the Jeep Wrangler.
What more, it’s also priced very cheap, meaning that you can find a reasonably late model, such as 2012 and up well within your budget. It would boast a 285-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, which actually comes with a very impressive fuel economy too.
Honda S2000 (2004-2009)
Ever heard of a perfectly reliable sports car? If not, you’re welcome to take a look at the Honda S2000, which is exactly that.
Most used Honda S2000s come with the kind of handling, efficiency and acceleration that you would expect from a brand new compact roadster.
It’s very easy to get a 2004-2009 model in your budget, which comes with fairly impressive mechanicals, with the 2.2-liter four-cylinder offering 240 horsepower and a much better suspension transmission than the original version.
Finally, you don’t have any option when it comes to the transmission, as a six-speed manual is all you can get.
Ford Mustang GT Convertible (2008 and up)
If you’re looking for the best value for money used convertible out there, the Ford Mustang GT Convertible may hit the spot just perfectly for you. It’s perhaps the least expensive deal you can find that gets you a 5.0-liter V8 engine that comes with a huge 300 horsepower and 320 lbs torque.
In fact, the kind of hype it created in the market back when it was launched led to many 4.6-liter cars prices taking a significant hit, just to get near to a “competing” range of this beast.
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (2009 and up)
We know you might think that’s this one’s going to be way too expensive and hence not an option for you, even as a second-hand. But the thing is that the prices of Mercedes-Benz SL-Class have dropped quite a lot over the past few years, though they are probably still at just the top end of what used convertibles are usually sold for.
Some of the super-impressive features of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class include a retractable hardtop, and a 5.5-liter V-8 engine that produces a beast-like 382 horsepower (not all models come with these mechanicals, though, but most of them do).
In fact, if you get lucky, you can also get one of those coming with a 6.0-liter 12-cylinder, which would blow you away with its 510 horsepower.
If you can, you would want to go for a 2009 and up model, as it would get you many cool extra features as well, besides what we mentioned above.
Saab 9-3 Convertible (2007-2011)
While the Saab 9-3 Convertible may not look all that appealing, it surely boasts a small but loyal following of highly satisfied owners. Similarly, it also isn’t the most stylish convertible out there, but it’s unique design still ensures that it never goes out of style.
As far as the mechanicals are concerned, you will probably be pleased with the 210-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Finally, the 9-3 convertible also enjoys some impressive comfort features, which is a rarity in this price range. The four-wheel drive offers pretty smooth handling as well.
Porsche Boxster (2009 and up)
The reason you’re seeing the Porsche Boxster at the bottom of this list is not because it isn’t good enough to be at the top, but simply because it’s kind of a gamble.
The pre-2009 models tend to come with a major issue with their intermediate shaft (IMS), which can lead to a premature and total failure of the car’s functioning. That said, you can always fix the problem, and of course, it’s not going to be the case for everyone who goes for this convertible.
However, you may still want to be on the safer side by checking with the previous owner whether they have taken the necessary preventive measures for the problem, so that you can feel relieved with the purchase. Once you’re done taking care of this issue, all you would be offered is pure, enjoyable handling, the kind of which is offered by none other than true mid-engine roadsters.
But you would also want to take into consideration that the post-2009 models come with a six-cylinder 2.9-liter for base Boxster, good for 255 horsepower. They also aren’t likely to end up encountering the aforementioned issue at all. While they would obviously cost more, you may want to go for one of them if you’re looking for a great fun ride and a better overall experience.
Toyota Camry Solara (2004 and up)
The Toyota Camry Solara is a very reliable convertible, with a solid build. While you do have to compromise a bit on the ride quality, you’re looking at a very affordable and practical option.
Ideally, you would want to go for a model that comes with the impressive 3.3-liter V-6 engine, offering 210 horsepower and 220 lbs torque.
Ford Thunderbird (2002-2005)
While it’s a slightly older convertible, it comes with a very unique design all the same. It can be reasonably fun to drive, but only if you don’t go lower than 2003.
Also, while the Ford Thunderbird doesn’t boast the best performance out there, it’s fairly good with its 3.9-liter V8 which is good for 280 horses.