Top five used convertibles for under £10kGet ready for summer with a second-hand drop-top
06 April 2011
Spring has arrived and summer is very much upon us, which means convertibles are back on the agenda.
It’s a well known fact that convertible prices rise when the sunnier seasons come around, but savvy buyers can still get their hands on a quality drop-top for a modest budget.
Here are our top five used convertibles for less than £10,000.
The cars you’ll find here have been chosen on their merits achieved in our thorough Which? Car tests and the Which? Car Survey – the biggest of its kind in the UK.
Top five used convertibles
Mazda MX-5, April 1998 – October 2005
Price range: £2,000 - £9,000
It’s no surprise the second generation Mazda MX-5 appears here - it’s widely recognised as the iconic value-for-money drivers’ sports car. It gets an almost universal thumbs up for owner satisfaction in the Which? Car Survey. This is understandable thanks to a strong reliability record, which helps make the MX-5 relatively cheap to run, too. Like all soft-top convertibles, the MX-5 does get marked down for noise inside, and be aware that cars of this generation lack multiple airbags and stability control.
Honda S2000, May 1999 – December 2008
Price range: £5,000 - £23,000
Like the Mazda MX-5, the Honda S2000 receives a glowing reference from owners, thanks to a potent, rev-happy engine, a great drive and excellent reliability. In fact, the Which? Car Survey found the S2000 to be almost bullet-proof, scoring top marks for (its lack of) niggles and faults. Prices are holding quite firm as the discontinuation of the S2000 has made this a potential modern classic. Downsides? Running costs aren’t cheap, and visibility is poor when the roof it up. Also, pre-2006 models didn't get stability control (VSA in Honda-speak) to help rein in the tail-happy handling.
BMW Z4, June 2003 – May 2009
Price range: £7,000 - £21,000
The BMW Z4 is the choice for many, thanks to great rear-wheel-drive handling and a proper sports car feel. The manual gearbox is heavily praised and build quality and reliability is strong. Stability control comes as standard on all models, and we’d suggest the 2.0-litre petrol is the engine choice to look for. It’s not the ideal car if you have a bad back though – the ride is unrelentingly hard, especially with larger alloy wheels fitted.
Porsche Boxster, November 1996 – November 2004
Price range: £5,500 - £22,000
The Porsche badge is recognised as a mark of exotic, high-priced sports cars and supercars. However, the Boxster breaks this rule, offering the same quality driving experience but at a fraction of the cost. Solid build quality and strong resale values means they’re a great second-hand purchase, but the real reason you’d buy one is the way it drives - and the first generation Boxster ticks all the right boxes with an almost perfect chassis. Just make sure you're prepared for costly spare parts and insurance...
Audi TT, February 1999 – August 2006
Price range: £3,600 - £14,000
The first generation Audi TT receives mixed reviews in terms of looks and personality. Some glorify its concept-car looks while others now see it as rather passé. The fact is, it isn’t as good to drive as the current Audi TT, but it still has a lot going in its favour. A high-quality interior, strong resale values, loads of equipment, Quattro four-wheel-drive and the DSG semi-automatic gearbox are all available on the original TT. Opt for a higher-powered version if you can afford to, and again, expect high insurance and service costs.
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