The joy of convertible cars
Contrary to what you may think, convertibles aren't just for those going through a mid-life crisis. They make great all-rounders and, like collector cars, they put the fun back into driving.
What to consider when choosing a convertible
Driving around with the top down all the time might seem super glamorous, but believe it or not, it can get a bit too hot on your head when the sun is blazing. You may also need a break from the wind when you are driving long distances at a high speed. If you can find a convertible with a roof that you can open and close while on the go, then that's a real bonus. This is particularly handy when you are driving in changing conditions, or have pets or children in the car.
You also need to weigh up the pros and cons of metal and fabric roofs. Hardtop convertibles are thought by some to be safer, but the awkward weight distribution when the top is down alters the way the car handles. It's generally faster to put the hood down with fabric roofs.
At the entry level of the convertible market is the Fiat 500 Pop Convertible, which has all the Italian style you could want. Even the Smart Fortwo Cabrio is an affordable and quirky convertible that you can have fun in while getting from place to place. With the Fortwo Cabrio, there's no hassle with parking as you can squeeze into almost any small space.
The Mazda MX5 or Porsche Boxster or Spyder are classic convertibles that have stood the test of time. Immediately recognisable, they offer slick designs and a lot of fun.
If you must carry more than one passenger then you may prefer convertibles with back seats, like the Renault Megane Dynamique Cabriolet and the Mini Cooper Cabrio. The 2014 Volkswagen Golf convertible is a slick option, with a generous amount of leg room. You aren't limited to sporty looking convertibles either. Jeep Wranglers appeal to those who want to drive off-road and are attracted to the rugged look.