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6 Drop-Tops From £5,000 To Search For In The Classifieds

By raccars Published

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We’ve had a timely taste of how glorious summery weather can be this April – and many of us are eager for more. Although the weather’s set to be very British this summer, don’t let that put you off: now may be a great time to snap up a bargain drop-top in readiness for when the sunshine returns…

Here, we look at six secondhand cabriolets that are all rated highly and can all be bought for less than the list price of a brand new city car.

Get them now and not only will you enjoy a good few months of wind-in-the-hair motoring whenever you get a chance, they’ll all serve you well as the winter approaches too.

Which of this lot takes your fancy though? Read on…

Audi A3 Cabriolet

Prices from: £9,000

Why is it such a good drop-top cabriolet? Audi first introduced the A3 Cabriolet back in 2008, as a pretty variation on the super-popular A3 premium hatch. With compact dimensions yet four seats, it was made for inner city motoring, and its folding soft-top hood went down and up quickly enough to encourage making the most of it. It’s based on the Volkswagen Golf, so the drive is familiar and reassuring, while VW Group engines are generally all fuel-efficient. Choose either a TDI diesel or the surprisingly sprightly 1.4-litre TSI.

BMW 1 Series Convertible

Prices from: £9,000

Why is it such a good drop-top cabriolet? The BMW 1 Series Convertible is an elegant-looking convertible that many people prefer to the slightly unusual-looking 1 Series Coupe. It’s particularly classy with the roof down, and BMW matched it with some pretty metallic colours that suit it well. It’s the sportiest-feeling car of the six here to drive, and you can get some entertainingly swift engines, although many prefer the economy-led punch of the diesel models. An SE model is the best all-rounder: M Sport models look good but the ride can be a bit stiff.

Peugeot 308 CC

Prices from: £7,000

Why is it such a good drop-top cabriolet? The Peugeot 308 CC is a long-running coupe-convertible (hence the CC name!) that’s enjoyed a bit of a second coming in recent years thanks to the positive impact of its coupe brethren, Peugeot’s RCZ. The French firm doesn’t offer an open-top RCZ and, for many showroom buyers, the 308 CC is the next best thing, particularly in facelifted guise (look out for the distinctive LED headlights). The roof mechanism can get a bit rattly in well-used cars, and it’s not as spacious as you’d think from the ample exterior dimensions, but it’s still an appealing secondhand buy given the affordable used prices on offer.

Renault Megane CC

Prices from: £2,000

Why is it such a good drop-top cabriolet? Renault’s long-running Megane CC is another familiar sight (there have been two CC versions: the first costs from £2,000, the second 2009 car from £7,500), but the coupe-cabriolet still has merit, not least because of its impressive glass roof. Even with it up, it feels light and airy. Latest generation engines are efficient – we really like the 1.6-litre dCi – and Renault is extremely generous with standard equipment, which bolsters secondhand appeal. More recent cars enjoy a four-year warranty, which should add reassurance.

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Prices from: £9,000

Why is it such a good drop-top cabriolet? Like the idea of an Audi A3 Cabriolet but think it’s still a bit too pricey? Or, would you prefer something a bit more understated? Volkswagen comes to your rescue with the Golf Cabriolet – a soft-top sibling to the Volkswagen Eos below. Launched in 2011, it’s based on the two-door Golf and is offered in a wide range of trims, including a sporty GTI (and even, latterly, a high performance R variant!). Again, though, we’d stick to 1.6-litre TDI or 1.4-litre TSI motors for the best blend of affordability, performance and fuel economy.

Volkswagen Eos

Prices from: £5,000

Why is it such a good drop-top cabriolet? The Volkswagen Eos was launched back in 2006 and is still, just, on sale today. It’s a coupe-cabriolet, so has a folding hard-top roof instead of a drop-top soft-top hood. This means it’s theoretically more secure and quieter, although some secondhand cars do suffer rattles from the mechanism that can be annoying. As with the other Volkswagen Group cars here, you’re best with a TDI engine – this time, the 2.0-litre, given the car’s extra weight – although the 2.0-litre TSI engine is fun too: it’s shared with the Golf GTI…

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