This article was written by Larry Printz for TheDetroitBureau.com
Winter is staging one last stand before the onslaught of spring and its promise of warmer weather. However, with climbing temperatures comes the impetus to drive topless. Who are we to argue?
But convertibles can be pricey; however, we’re offering up five of the least-expensive new convertibles you can buy. Surprisingly, all are iconic, which may explain their continued popularity. Best of all, all cost far less than $45,927 — the average price of a new vehicle in March. This means you’ll have a whole mess of fun without breaking the bank.
Note that prices do not include destination charge, options and taxes.
5. Ford Mustang: $32,705
After nearly six decades of continuous production, this sporty stallion mixes American moxie with European lines buffed to a modern sheen. Its turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine develops 310 horsepower to the rear wheels, more than the Mustang’s base V-8 developed 10 years ago.
A 6-speed manual is standard, a 10-speed automatic is optional. Best of all, all Mustangs eventually become collectibles, although you’ll have to wait. In the meantime, imagine the fun you’ll have. No wonder it remains the world’s most popular sport coupe.
4. Chevrolet Camaro: $32,695
The Mustang’s chief rival remains a compelling competitor, thanks to its outlandishly fun wardrobe that elicits longing glances from children disguised as adults. Yet it’s the car’s chassis that brings the greatest satisfaction. Its combination of cornering ability without a bone-jarring ride will surprise you.
But the Camaro comes with caveats. Its 275-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and manual transmission make for a quick ride, although the base Mustang has more ponies. And visibility is far from great with the top up, which is another reason to keep it stowed.
3. Jeep Wrangler: $29,995
Any convertible will get you to the beach, but this is the only one that can transport you across it with its doors and top removed and its windshield folded. And it’s the only droptop listed that carries five adults, can ford rivers, and easily cut through the worst winter weather thanks to four-wheel drive. Try that in a Miata.
Keep in mind that this money buys you the two-door Jeep, not the four-door Unlimited. Power is good from its 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6 paired with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, just don’t expect a smooth quiet ride on paved roads.