- The best fun soft-top sportscars perfect for all weathers
- Top budget of £50,000 but with varying costs to buy and run
- From classy British Jaguar, through to efficient German Porsche and mighty American Ford
What better way to enjoy a day’s sunshine than from behind the wheel of an open-topped sportscar?
There’s a huge array to choose from; slow, fast, cheap, expensive, four-seater, two-seater, petrol, diesel, supercharged, turbocharged, some with four cylinders, some with six, eight or even 10.
But regardless of speed, engine size or seats, convertible sportscars need to be fun to drive – especially with the roof lowered.
Here are our favourite convertible sportscars, with varying degrees of performance, size and costs so you don’t have to do any of the hard work – just go buy one and enjoy the sun. While it lasts.
Despite setting ourselves a £50k limit, we didn’t start well – the most basic Jaguar roadster costs £56,745. But how could we leave out such a gorgeous car? If you want to enjoy the best of British open-topped motoring then the F-Type is hot property.
And it’s easy to see why, as not only does the F-Type look great, but even in its most ‘basic’ form it offers excellent performance too.
The 0-62mph time is under six seconds thanks to its supercharged V6 petrol engine, and this entry-level model comes with the excellent new six-speed manual gearbox for extra driver involvement.
There’s not much room in the boot, but the roof lowers and raises in 12 seconds at speeds up to 30mph, and the Jaguar F-Type looks good with its fabric roof up or down.
Model: F-Type S
0-62mph: 5.5 seconds
Top speed: 161mph
Boot space: 196 litres
Roof: Fabric, electrically operated in 12 seconds at up to 30mph
We’ve reigned our spending right back in under budget now, and for £42,495 you can find yourself enjoying the year-round benefits of the Audi TT S roadster, complete with Quattro four-wheel drive.
Sending power to all four wheels means it’s equally as fun in the wet as it is in the dry, so you won’t even need the roof lowered to enjoy what the TT S has to offer. Should you wish to swap between wind in the hair and rain on the fabric sensations, the roof can be operated at speeds up to 30mph and completes its movement in ten seconds.
It’ll scramble from 0-62mph far faster than that though, finishing the benchmark sprint in just 4.7 seconds. What’s even more impressive is its official 39mpg average economy and 163g/km CO2 emissions.
Model: TT S Roadster
0-62mph: 4.7 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Boot space: 280 litres
Roof: Fabric, electrically operated in 10 seconds at up to 30mph
The Mazda MX-5 is one of the best convertible sportscars - and it won’t break the bank. But despite its bargain basement price, the MX-5 is pretty much the best embodiment of the topless concept and there’s few cars quite as much fun.
Designed around the 1.5-litre engine, with the 2-litre being added mainly to satisfy American buyers, it’s the smaller unit that has more character.
If you’re not worried about speed it’s the one to choose, plus it costs just £18,495 in its most basic form.
However, the 2-litre Sport Nav costs just over £23,000 and comes with uprated suspension and a limited slip differential to make it more fun. It’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds and manage 40mpg, while the manual roof can be raised or lowered from the cabin in mere seconds.
Model: MX-5 2-litre Sport Nav
0-62mph: 7.1 seconds
Top speed: 133mph
Boot space: 130-litres
Roof: Fabric, manually operated
When it comes to mid or rear-engined sportscars, Porsche is the master, and the same applies when you add a convertible roof. Certainly it’s no surprise that we like the current generation Porsche Boxster so much – we raved about the first two generations too.
You’ll need a little more than £50,000 for our favourite, the GTS model, but the Boxster S with manual gearbox (by far the best option) costs just £48,553. For that you get a 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine that sounds divine but also powers the roadster from 0-62mph in under five seconds and on to a 173mph top speed.
It’s practical too, with up to 280 litres of load space available between the front and rear boot spaces, plus the electrically operated fabric roof completes its manoeuvres in nine seconds, even when travelling at 30mph.
Model: Boxster S manual
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 173mph
Boot space: 280 litres
Roof: Fabric, electrically operated in nine seconds at up to 30mph
Until 2015 we’d have wholeheartedly have recommended you stay away from the Ford Mustang convertible – the old model was flabby, wallowy, filled with antiquated chassis technology and not officially available here in the UK.
But times have changed and now the Ford Mustang is one of the bargains of the year – for under £40,000 you can have a fully loaded convertible with a 5-litre V8.
That engine produces 415bhp, making it the most powerful of the cars listed here, and equipped with a manual gearbox cracks the 0-62mph dash in under five seconds. There’s even a special line lock function for warming tyres (and impressing mates with burnouts) and a launch control system.
There are four seats, and if you want to save some money there’s a four-cylinder Ecoboost available – but if you can swallow the V8’s 20mpg average and 306g/km CO2 emissions it’s undoubtedly the one to have.
Model: Mustang 5-litre V8 GT Custom Pack
0-62mph: 4.8 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Boot space: 332 litres
Roof: Fabric, electrically operated in 15 seconds