you ever dreamt about driving without anything between your
skin and fresh natural air? Have your ever thought about the
feeling of beautiful warmth of morning sun on your face? How
happy are peoples from Florida or California who can enjoy all
pluses of convertibles all-year-long!
A lot of people are crazy about
Ferrari or Lamborghini, but
let me introduce your real cars for real money. I don't want
to speak a lot about variants with manual transmission, because
to my mind the ride without top is for free. If you want to
think "what to push where" (do you remember Richard
Gere in Pretty woman?), practically all companies suggest you
variants with manual for a few hundreds cheaper. I'll describe
your the last 2007 models.
Let's begin from guests from Europe
– MINI Cooper Convertible and Volkswagen
New Beetle Convertible. Grandchildren of Sir Alec Issigonis
and Prof. Ferdinand Porsche try to continue the line of their
legendary parents. What can they suggest us?
MINI not only
looks smaller than the Beetle, it's really tinier. Among Pros
– convenient powered top, high fuel efficiency and Mini's
charisma. Cons – not enough
space for real passengers and baggage, too much wind if you
don't buy available wind blocker. BMW as the owner of a new
Mini suggests us charged S version with 172 HP instead of usual
118. MINI is mini everywhere – the smallest
4 Cyl, 1.6L engine, lightest weight. This 2 door 4 passenger
convertible is shorter than Mazda MX-5 Miata
and Pontiac Solstice with their only 2 passengers.
The big and serious problem – somebody in Toyota
Tundra or Lincoln Navigator will not
be able to notice you in this miracle of miniaturization.
We say – Volkswagen
New Beetle, but think – Golf
with a "retro" body. Pros
– iconic design, power operated top, ABS and Stability
Control included as standard. Cons
– five cylinder rumble, small rear seats space. I don't
think that 150 HP of this not-lightweight "son of sunny
Mexico" are enough for comfortable driving. Max speed 110mph
– not funny. In some circumstances car's possibility for
fast acceleration can save you life. A lot of users review displays
the lowest Overall rating among his "neighbors" in
Our guest from the other part
of the Earth – Mazda MX-5 Miata. In 2007
it debuts with a power retraction of hardtop. To open and close
it's enough a few seconds. For its MSPR Mazda MX-5 Miata
prepare light feels when driving. Pros
– serious capacity for 2, fast and obedient engine. The
only Con hat I've found – a
little bit noisy above 60. It like a talented dancer can turn
around on a small patch of the road. It has the smallest fuel
tank capacity – only 12.7 gal. But it's enough to make
a 300 miles trip without visiting gas stations.
Two sons of one father GM
– Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice.
Both use Kappa platform and 420-450
pounds heavier than a Mazda MX-5. Saturn
Sky gives many comfort items as a standard. This two-seat
ragtop is rather powered with 177HP 2.4L 16-valve DOHC. It takes
every turns with valid aplomb. Soft ride and good sound insulation.
Low seats add additional pro for the sport car image. "Nervous"
top movements prevent Sky from being the ideal.
Need more power? Red Line,
the evil twin of Sky, is what your need! Direct
injection turbo four with "herd" of 260HP. 18-inch
alloy wheels, from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds – and cheaper
has opened new horizons for us – how can modern and comfortable
convertible car be cheaper than $20.000 in the XXI century.
But why they use so cheap-looking plastic interior? May be you
know? Conscientious and predictable car attracts attention everywhere.
Obedient and loyal it can move you everywhere. Fast variant,
with the same engine as in Red Line is sold
as Pontiac Solstice GXP.
The strange "animal"
in our Zoo – Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.
It's the only 2+2 variant in our list. Strange. Practically
the same interior volume in MINI is for 2 grown-ups
(24 & 23 cu ft accordingly). Or Japan children are much
bigger than British ones? The 2.4L 162HP engine has 6 valves
on every of its 4 cylinders. Calm exterior, quiet with the top
up. Tidy and fast top. Main Cons –
no rollover protection and "shake dance" on bad road
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Convertible. You can love its exterior style or
hate, but undoubtedly, PT Cruiser attracts attention. Like veritable
American car doesn't like manual. Not very good fuel efficiency
is compensated by enough space for everybody and even for baggage.
Great all day and all night long for relax. Corners like a dream
of driver. It's not so big to be a "beach cruiser"
but deserve to be called "beach frigate".
All power of V-6 and V-8 you can
delight in Ford Mustang Convertible. The character
of wild horse is fully in it. A marvelous alloy of nostalgia
and modern. It's a powerboat not a float. You can splurge and
it's tot mere words. 210HP as a minimum for Ford Mustang
Deluxe Convertible in its 4.0L with MSPR lower than
$25.000 and 300HP in V-8 GT which also can
be bought lower than $30.000. I need one for me and another
for my sister! Back seats may be too small for adults, but my
nephew will be happy there. Why www.kbb.com doesn’t write,
that Ford suggests optional 5-speed
Automatic for GT?
The new Titan goddess from Greece
has been introduced to American drivers in 2007. In Greece mythology
EOS opened the gates of heaven. Can Volkswagen Eos
do the same for you? Let's check. Attractive base price, solid
European interior. Clever retractable hardtop. Not big (only
2.0L DOHC) but turbocharged and intercooled engine moves this
one of the heaviest car in our article (see table below) rather
quickly. If you are a sensitive driver sometimes you'll feel
it rather heavy. Don't forget, Eos prefer Premium!
have suggested with American character. If you hear –
3.3L V-6, only automatic transmission, 18.5gal fuel tank capacity
(it's enough to travel from Jacksonville to Miami), what name
are you waiting? It's hard to believe, but its Toyota
Camry Solara Convertible (sometimes named much easy
– Toyota Solara). Comfortable combination
of soft but precise engine and transmission are corrupted by
some design mistakes, which lead to some inexplicable movements
on the highway. Calm and serious design of front side and interior
contrasts with unattractive design of the back. Very inadequate
I thought a lot – write
or not about Chrysler Sebring Convertible.
The company decided to take a vacation until 2008 and haven't
suggested us 2007 model, but car is so popular and you can easily
find it in dealers' inventory. This car is widely presented
in rental fleets in Sunbelt states. This is the serious argument
for its reliability. It is rather big for visiting Wal-Mart
in sunny weekend. 150HP 2.4L DOHC in base variant is good for
family car. Comfort open air party for 4 – the main task
of this car.
This is not a twin of Sebring
Convertible, but its "brother in arms".
Pontiac G6 Convertible is heavier, much heavier.
Additional 500 pounds (see table) complicate all aspects of
driving. If you are ready to move slow, without acceleration,
but feel yourself comfortable all four seasons under its hardtop
– you can buy it. In other way – choose anything
What we see? Different cars with
open top are ready to be yours for less than $30.000. What we
can't see? Something noteworthy among "big" (Chrysler
Sebring Convertible 2007 – where are you?) and
"small" Europeans like Smart or Mercedes A-class.
Think, choose and buy. I believe,
my article will help you a little.
view the characteristics tab for more info (will
open in a new window).
Dr D & Dilby.com