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Rob Griffin

The BEST & WORST convertibles ever

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When the sun is shining there’s nothing better than driving with the roof down and enjoying the feeling of the wind in your hair.

The good news is there is no shortage of fantastic, stylish convertibles to suit just about every budget.

The bad news is that alongside these visions of beauty are some absolute monstrosities.

The WORST convertibles ever

1. Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Nissan Murano

Bizarre is probably the best word to describe this monstrosity. Its only saving grace is the fact that its time in the spotlight was mercifully short.

It was unveiled to the public at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and made available for sale in the US but has (thankfully) been discontinued.

It could be argued that this two-door, four-seater machine was unique enough to guarantee you’d get noticed – just not for the right reasons.

2. Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible

Chrysler PT cruiser

The supposedly retro styling of this car has never really worked for me and the convertible version is certainly not an aesthetic improvement, especially with its odd looking central bracing bar.

Its supporters will argue it tries to evoke the spirit of the hot rod era but the reality is that this is one of the most bulbous, ugly machines ever to, er, “grace” the road.

3. Lexus SC430

Lexus SC430

In a word: ugly. Lexus is a manufacturer that has given us some beautiful cars over the years. Sadly, however, the SC430 is not among them. Awful from every angle, this screams "I am bland".

It’s the convertible for the person that has bought in a hurry. The fact that it’s pretty cramped inside despite the cumbersome styling just piles on the misery.

4. Nissan Micra C+C

Nissan Micra CC

Just who would be attracted to this car? Paint it bright pink and it wouldn’t look out of place in Barbie’s garage. Anyone else would be embarrassed to be seen behind the wheel. It’s short, stubby, with a flattened nose.

Unsurprisingly, Top Gear magazine named it one of the 13 worst cars of the last 20 years, suggesting it was "as much fun as sticking chilli-infused toothpicks in your eyes".

5. Metro Cabriolet

Metro Cabriolet

Now the Metro – in almost any of its various guises – was not a bad little car.

Its compact styling made it convenient for town driving and it was the car of choice for a generation of learners needing something easy to start with.

However, why anyone thought a convertible version would be a winner is an absolute mystery. It looks as if it has been brutally attacked by someone wielding a chainsaw in the dead of night. Truly horrible.

The BEST convertibles ever

1. Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

This is quite possibly the pick of the bunch when it comes to summer motoring fun.

Not only is it a great looking machine, it’s easy to drive, has a very simple folding roof that can be put up within seconds should the rain arrive, and is very affordable.

The latest incarnation of the MX-5 is simply stunning but if you don’t have the £18.500+ needed for a new one, a great second-hand, older example can be picked up for less than £2,000.

2. MGB Roadster

MGB Roadster

A car where the term "timeless classic" is appropriate. First appearing in the early 1960s, the MGB is the epitome of the British sports car with its sleek lines and throaty growl.

Having been a popular vehicle among restorers for many years, it’s possible to pick up a rubber bumper model from the late 70s in decent condition for around £3,000, while a more cherished chrome bumper model will cost up to £10,000.

3. Audi TT Roadster

Audi TT Roadster

Another beautiful looking machine that is still rolling off the production line – two decades since it first appeared as a concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Its unique design, albeit subtly refined over the years, has ensured it has enjoyed cult status ever since.

A new one will set you back at least £30,000 but it’s possible to get behind the wheel for a fraction of that price with decent second-hand examples changing hands for less than £5,000.

4. VW Golf Cabriolet

VW Golf Cabriolet

What’s not to love about the VW Golf Cabriolet? As soon as the MK1 version arrived on the scene back in the late 1970s, the motoring public fell in love with it and it’s a relationship that has endured.

It doesn’t matter, however, what era of Golf convertible you opt for, you will be the recipient of envious glances – especially from those sweating under the roof of lesser machines. Whatever your budget, there will be a Golf to suit.

5. Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin Vantage

If you have the best part of £150,000 to spend on a convertible then look no further than this absolute beauty from Aston Martin.

Unveiled in 2013 to huge acclaim, not to mention capturing the title of the highest performing Aston ever made, this absolute beast can take you from 0-60mph in just 3.9 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 201mph.

And we haven’t even mentioned its model good looks and nimble agility.

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