The best convertible cars for 2021

  • Looking for an open-top car to have fun with?
  • We choose our favourites, roof down or up
  • Convertibles for different budgets on the shortlist 

Cabriolets, drop-head coupes, rag-tops, roadsters, soft-tops and spiders; regardless of what car manufacturers and customers call them, they are all convertibles by any other name.

What is a convertible?

For simplicity, we're considering any car with a fold-down roof as a convertible, regardless of what labels their creators have saddled them with.

Most convertibles on sale now have high quality fabric soft-tops for lightness and ease of packaging. The vogue for folding hard-tops - often called coupe cabriolets - that reignited in the late 1990s has now largely waned away.

Most convertibles have either two or four seats, but one on our list has space for five occupants.

Are convertibles still popular?

Not to the degree they were, no. Most mainstream car manufacturers no longer offer convertible, largely because they were often based around three-door models and most examples of that bodystyle have also gone out of production.

Part of that drop in popularity is because convertibles tended to be based on existing two- and three-door models to help keep costs down, but those bodystyles have also fallen out of favour with car buyers.

Scroll down to read our top convertible choices. You can click on the links below to jump to your favourite, or click further down to read the comprehensive Parkers reviews of each one.

Best convertibles for 2021

BMW 4 Series Convertible 

Green 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible

One of the newest drop-tops on the block is the latest 4 Series Convertible from BMW.

Two key features mark out the latest generation: the return of the lighter soft-top roof and that enormous double-kidney grille we've already seen on the 4 Series Coupe.

It promises to be as desirable as its forebears, with a high quality, tech-laden interior, powerful-yet-economical engines and engaging handling.

There's also room inside for four adults, with a usefully sized boot ready for roof-down jaunts and weekends away. Lockdown restrictions, permitting.

Price new: from £45,780
Lease this car: from £545 per month
Search for a used (previous generation) BMW 4 Series Convertible on Parkers: price range £8,390-£48,365

Fiat 500 Convertible 

Blue 2021 Fiat 500 Convertible

Fiat's dinky soft-top city car has been renewed for 2021 and this time, like its hard-top sister car, the 500 Convertible is electric-only.

Only one power system is available so far: a 118hp motor paired with a 42kWh battery pack giving a claimed range of 186-199 mile between recharges,

As with the exterior styling, the cabin's more restrained and less cutesy than before, using higher quality materials to help justify the higher price.

If it's too dear, then it's worth noting that Fiat's still selling its predecessor, the 500C, which is now exclusively available with a mild-hybrid petrol engine - prices start at £15,920. 

Price new: from £28,364
Lease this car: from £304 per month
Search for a used Fiat 500 Convertible on Parkers: price range £20,120-£27,175

Porsche 718 Boxster 

Green 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster

For some Porsche loyalists, when the old six-cylinder Boxster was facelifted, renamed and fitted with four-cylinder engines, the 718 Boxster lost some of its magic.

How they're coping with an industry rumour mill suggesting the next generation model will be electric-only is up for debate. 

Aural engagement aside, these latest models are both faster and more efficient than their predecessors and remain achingly engaging to drive.

Superb build quality remains a constant, making Porsche's two-seater roadster an excellent long-term proposition, but go easy on the optional extras or you'll risk ending up with a very expensive example of the breed.

Quite simply, one of the best cars on sale full stop, let alone one of the best convertibles.

Price new: from £46,650
Search for a used Porsche 718 Boxster on Parkers: price range £21,180-£88,910

Audi A5 Cabriolet 

Silver 2021 Audi A5 Cabriolet

Without doubt, the A5 Cabriolet is one of our favourite four-seater convertibles, primarily because it does everything you ask of it to such a high standard.

Elegant to look at, reeking of high quality materials inside and a soft-top so snug that when raised you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in a regular A5 Coupe instead.

There's an impressive brace of petrol and diesel engines to suit various budgets and tastes, with the quickest being the S5 Cabriolet - there's no RS 5 soft-top this time around.

Better-suited to cruising than delivering B-road thrills, the Audi is a decidedly easy convertible to live with.

Price new: from £42,690
Lease this car: from £583 per month
Search for a used Audi A5 Cabriolet on Parkers: price range £11,155-£46,460

MINI Convertible 

Yellow 2021 MINI Convertible

If a diminutive soft-top's what you're after, but being blessed with sporty handling is a key criteria, the MINI Convertible should fit the bill nicely.

It's had a visual refresh in early 2021 - the body-coloured panel in the reshaped grille is the most obvious giveaway - but there was no increase in rear seat room. It's on the tight side back there.

Getting you about are a suite of zesty petrol engines, with the Cooper S being the quickest model - unlike the three-door MINI Hatch this Convertible's based upon, there's no lairy John Cooper Works range-topper.

Nevertheless, you can let your imagination run riot with personalisation options to make your MINI unique. Your scope is only really limited by your budget.

Price new: from £21,500
Lease this car: from £259 per month
Search for a used MINI Convertible on Parkers: price range £7,625-£26,360

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet 

Red 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

Large, comfortable convertibles have long been a Mercedes staple, a tradition the current E-Class Cabriolet upholds with honour.

Effortless progress is offered by a range of torque-rich petrol and diesel engines, many of which feature mild-hybrid technology for even greater efficiency.

Sports car the E-Class Cabriolet isn't, but if you prefer your elegant soft-top to be bestowed with even more urgency then seek out the AMG E 53 versions.

A remarkably accomplished drop-top package with ample space for four to enjoy roof-down road trips.

Price new: from £50,015
Lease this car: from £660 per month
Search for a used Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet on Parkers: price range £17,150-£57,310

Lexus LC Convertible 

White 2021 Lexus LC Convertible

Lexus, the Japanese luxury brand usually associated with hybrids only offers its flagship LC Convertible with a thumping V8 engine. Sports car? No, but enormous presence thanks to that eight-cylinder soundtrack and concept car looks.

Beautifully finished, inside and out, with unusual shapes and surfaces creating a car that can't be confused with anything else.

Unlike the LC Coupe, there's no hybrid option, but like its hard-top sibling, the rear seats are very short on space. Best to think of this as a two-seater with extra luggage capacity.

If you can afford to buy and run one, the LC Convertible's a great choice for those who don't follow conventions. 

Price new: from £90,775
Lease this car: from £1,283 per month
Search for a used Lexus LC Convertible on Parkers: price range £58,435-£97,625

Mazda MX-5 

Grey 2021 Mazda MX-5

Mazda offers the MX-5 in two distinct flavours. There's the traditional two-seater roadster with soft-top that we're championing here, and the heavier, pricier MX-5 RF. Those initials stand for Retractable Fastback - it's one of the few remaining folding hard-top convertibles on sale, but we don't feel it offers any real advantage over its fabric-topped sibling.

Two peppy petrol engines are available, neither of which is turbocharged meaning you have to work the deliciously slick gearbox to extract the best of the performance, rather like an old-school sports car.

It's handling is very well honed, making it an easy car to have fun with regardless of how skilled you are behind the wheel.

Enjoy the MX-5 while it lasts - given the shrinking demand for roadsters we may never see its like again.

Price new: from £24,050
Lease this car: from £308 per month
Search for a used Mazda MX-5 on Parkers: price range £6,885-£20,995

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet 

Yellow 2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet

Few marques have such a rich tradition for building convertibles as Volkswagen. From Beetles old and new, through various generations of Golf to swoopy Karmann-Ghias soft-top VWs have been a mainstay of the motoring scene.

Today, though, the only convertible Volkswagen on sale is the T-Roc Cabriolet - a drop-top SUV in other words. Before there's any mouth-frothing in anger, VW's quick to point out it has a history of producing soft-top SUVs, although most were rather basic in execution.

With the T-Roc Cabriolet, VW's hoping to attract buyers who like the high-riding nature of SUVs, but still want something more personal, more exclusive. Go for one with at least 150hp, though - the 1.0-litre models feel underpowered.

Is Volkswagen onto something? We think so. 

Price new: from £27,510
Lease this car: from per month
Search for a used Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet on Parkers: price range £16,035-£26,510

Jeep Wrangler 

Red 2021 Jeep Wrangler

Few cars are as iconic as Jeep's Wrangler, a truly go-anywhere SUV that can trace its roots right back to the military Jeeps of World War 2.

Unlike the others here, not only can the Wrangler seat up to five people, its roof is removable in rigid sections, but even with it all taken off there's a substantial roll-cage to protect you while extreme off-roading.

If that still feels too enclosed you can also remove the side doors and lower the windscreen. That must feel fantastic in Miami, but more bracing in Mablethorpe.

As impressive as Wranglers have been cross country, they've previously been unpleasant to drive on-road - that's all changed with this generation, with much tidier handling and a comfier ride. It's still extreme compare with most other SUVs, but its authenticity cements its appeal. 

Price new: from £48,850
Lease this car: from £573 per month
Search for a used Jeep Wrangler on Parkers: price range £24,670-£39,420

Further reading:

>> Best hybrid cars 2021

>> Best electric SUVs 2021

>> Best sports cars 2021