Summer is just around the corner, and that means it will soon be warm enough to visit a few dealerships and test-drive the new convertibles you've been eyeing all winter. But which one to buy? Should you get a lithe, two-seat roadster or a roomy luxury convertible? To help you out, Edmunds highlights five of the best drop-tops on sale today.
2019 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA
Two seats, a six-speed transmission and a modestly powered engine might not sound like obvious ingredients to catch some rays, but on the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata, they coalesce into something special. The Miata's balanced and lightweight chassis serves as a foundation upon which drivers of all skill levels will have fun without getting into too much trouble.
The Miata is a great choice if you want a back-to-basics driving experience. It lacks luxury accommodations, but this car is about the fundamentals. It's also the most affordable convertible on our list. A manually operated fabric soft top is standard, and it's easy to raise and lower with one hand. Mazda also offers a quieter, power-folding hardtop on the MX-5 RF version.
— Starting price (including destination): $26,650
— Combined EPA-estimated mpg: 29-30
2019 FORD MUSTANG
If you're looking for a more practical soft top, the 2019 Ford Mustang convertible would be our pick. Unlike the Miata, the Mustang offers plenty of legroom and headroom for tall drivers. It also has a back seat. It's tiny, but if nothing else you can use it as an extra storage spot.
In its standard configuration, the Mustang convertible is a laid-back cruiser that effortlessly soaks up highway miles. Opt for the Performance package, and the Mustang transforms into a hard-edged canyon carver. Two engines are available: a surprisingly strong turbocharged four-cylinder or a brawny V8. No matter which you choose, you'll find the Mustang convertible is a willing partner.
— Starting price (including destination): $32,990
— Combined EPA-estimated mpg: 18-23
2019 BMW 2 SERIES
The BMW 2 Series combines the enthusiast spirit of the Miata and the Mustang with a higher level of luxury. Even though it's BMW's least expensive convertible, you might not know it given that its features and engine choices are shared with some of the brand's more expensive models.
The same amount of power in a smaller, lighter package gives the 2 Series its dynamic personality. It performs just as well on the highway as it does for exploring a country back road. Rear seat space is expectedly small, but it's a worthwhile trade-off. Even a lightly optioned 2 Series is worth a look.
— Starting price (including destination): $42,095
— Combined EPA-estimated mpg: 21-27
2019 MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS
The C-Class Cabriolet offers a more luxurious take on the convertible experience. Design and refinement take center stage, as exemplified by the cabin's ample use of deluxe materials and comfortable front seats. Technology also plays an important role, from the attractive and easy-to-use infotainment system to the useful advanced driver safety aids.
Like the 2 Series, the C-Class has a small back seat, but it does technically provide the most rear legroom of all the cars here. Mercedes also gives you a choice of models that runs the gamut from relaxed cruiser to track star. The standard C300's turbocharged four-cylinder offers plenty of power for most drivers while the most potent model, the AMG C 63 S, has a turbocharged V8 pumping out more than 500 horsepower.
— Starting price (including destination): $52,845
— Combined EPA-estimated mpg: 20-24
2019 PORSCHE 718 BOXSTER
A slight name change and switch from six-cylinder to turbocharged four-cylinder engines in 2017 did nothing to dull the Porsche Boxster's performance. It earns a spot on our list primarily because of its athletic handling. Nimble and lively, the two-seat Boxster will put a grin on your face as soon as the road bends.
The Boxster also features a luxurious, high-tech cabin that can be outfitted with nearly any feature you can dream of. To that end, the Boxster's price tag can skyrocket if you're too liberal with the options list. However, that also means you can tailor it to your exact needs. Whether you want a fun-in-the-sun cruiser or a buttoned-down racer, there's a 718 Boxster configuration that will suit your whims.
— Starting price (including destination): $60,250
— Combined EPA-estimated mpg: 21-25
This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Cameron Rogers is a reviews editor at Edmunds. Twitter: @_crogers.