Top Five Budget Convertibles of Summer 2014
The convertible is the unquestionable “car of summer”, and – to the surprise of many – buying one doesn’t have to drain the bank accounts. For less than $30,000, buyers can get into a new drop top and hit the road underneath miles of wide-open sky. Sound like fun? Here are our top picks for the convertible buyer looking to save a couple bucks on a new ride. 5. 2014 FIAT 500c
Starting Price: $19,695
For the budget minded, the 500c is the preeminent cheap entry into the cabrio market, albeit with a few flaws. The car’s folding roof collapses onto the rear deck and tends to hinder visibility. The rear seating isn’t especially comfortable for your adult friends either. But package those shortcomings with attractive styling, a competent base engine, and strong driving impressions to yield a great budget convertible for less than $20,000.
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4. 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
Starting Price: $25,170
If you’re looking for options and style – the 2014 Beetle has it. VW offers up a base 2.5-liter engine, a pair of 2.0-liter gas and diesel four-cylinders, and a 1.8-liter turbo to complement a vast array of standard equipment. The retro styling certainly isn’t for everyone, but we find that it mates history and function in an impressive package.
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3. 2014 Ford Mustang Convertible
Starting Price: $27,510
In terms of bang for your buck, the Mustang Convertible is a tough car to beat. The base 3.7-liter V6 engine delivers 305-horsepower and returns around 30mpg on the highway. It’s also nearly $4,000 cheaper than the comparable base Camaro Convertible, however the upcoming 2015 ‘Stang is on the horizon, which might be a deterrent for some buyers.
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2. 2014 MINI Cooper Convertible
Starting Price: $25,150
Peppy performance and road-gripping handling are synonymous with the hardtop Mini Cooper, and the same can be said about the drop-top version. The interior is polished and upscale, while the exterior styling is unabashedly Mini. Powertrain options on the convertible carry over unchanged from 2013, offering the 1.6-liter mill on the base Cooper 2dr, and turbocharged variant in the Cooper S and John Cooper Works.
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1. 2014 Mazda MX-5
Starting Price: $23,720
Could #1 really be anything else? This year, the Miata celebrates 25 years of being the go-to choice for discerning and budget-minded sports car buyers. The current model offers no departure from that recipe, still providing spot-on handling and an exciting driving experience. And given its low base price, that makes it excellent value for money.
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