Best four-seat convertibles

Put the roof down and bring the family along: these are the best four-seat convertibles

BuyaCar team
Jul 19, 2021

Are you a convertible car enthusiast? Perhaps you, like many of us, have a long list of reasons why you aren't able to actually own one. If that list includes the fact you have a small family, and as such you have the need of more than two seats - the customary numbers seats for the most popular convertibles on the market - we're pleased to say that you needn't restrict your wish for a convertible any longer.

There are plenty of convertibles that can carry at least four people – and we don't just mean two adults in the front and two toddlers in the back. We've found the best open-top cars that have proper rear seat space.

Most models still require some compromise. For example, you'll often find that the folding roof takes up a proportion of the boot space. Headroom can also be limited with the roof up but there's an obvious solution to that - as long as it's not raining.

One other consideration is that many four-seat convertibles can't be fitted with wind deflectors when all four seats are filled. The deflectors are designed to substantially reduce the buffeting for the front two seats, but these are typically installed over the rear seats. However, you can reduce this effect somewhat if you keep the side windows raised to offer a bit of wind protection.

Best four-seat convertibles

1. Audi A5 Cabriolet

Used deals from £15,999
Monthly finance from £297*

The Audi A5 Cabriolet is a classy convertible, combining solid build quality, powerful engines and a superb interior. As well as the high-tech options available in the A5 Coupe, the Cabriolet has some unique features, including microphones in the seatbelts for clearer hands-free phone calls and a neck-heating system.

The roof is made of several fabric layers to reduce noise when it's up. The electric system folds in just 15 seconds, while you're driving at speeds of up to 31mph. Space in the back is reasonable but headroom is tight when the roof is up. The boot is impressively large though: 320 litres with the roof down or 380 litres with it deployed.

It’s not the most nimble of convertibles, but the A5 is more of a cruiser than a sports car, so it does absorb the bumps well. Like most convertibles, you can feel slight wobbles in the car's structure because of the lack of a fixed roof, but it’s nothing serious. Audi’s 2.0-litre TDI Ultra diesel engine is a cracker: powerful, smooth and frugal, although a petrol-powered model might provide a better soundtrack with the roof down. There's even a performance S5 model with a powerful V6 engine, prices for which start at £462 per month.

AUDI A5 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. BMW 4 Series Convertible

Used deals from £17,199
Monthly finance from £313*

The previous version of the BMW 4 Series Convertible has a metal folding roof as opposed to a fabric one, which makes the car quite heavy and certainly not as sprightly as its lighter and stiffer coupe equivalent - BMW opted for a fabric roof in the new 4 Series.

The advantage of a hardtop is that it's much quieter when the roof is up, and the car is more secure too. Given the 4 Series Convertible's weight, the diesel engine is a good choice, for its stronger pulling power, which makes accelerating away feel smoother and less strained.

It's a handsome car too, with an equally attractive and well-built interior. There’s plenty of space in the front while legroom is pretty generous in the rear. Headroom at this end of the car is pretty tight, though, when the roof is up. The boot is a decent size at 370 litres but when the roof is down, this shrinks to 220 litres.

BMW 4 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

Used deals from £23,995
Monthly finance from £369*

Back to a fabric roof, this time with the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet. Here, extra support has been added to the chassis to take into account the loss of rigidity due to the absence of a fixed roof. This should make it feel a little more stable at higher speeds than it otherwise might have done, but it does also add 120kg to the car's weight compared with the coupe version.

That extra weight means that the C-Class Cabriolet crashes into potholes with more force than the fixed-roof Coupe, but this can be fixed by opting for the optional air suspension, which restores the smooth ride. The interior is as stylish as the exterior, with lots of artificial leather and aluminium. Sat-nav is standard but the dashboard screen is not quite as intuitive as BMW’s equivalent.

It has the company’s Airscarf neck-warming system as standard. Front-seat space is generous but those in the back won't feel quite so well provided for since head and legroom are in short supply - the BMW 4 Series is roomier. Roof up, the Mercedes’ boot is bigger than the BMW’s and can be made larger still by dropping the rear seatbacks. However, the boot is much smaller when you fold the roof down.

MERCEDES C-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Used deals from £28,280
Monthly finance from £392*

It’s not especially cheap, but if you're looking to make a statement, then the Range Rover Evoque Convertible certainly stands out.

The Evoque Convertible SUV is one of only two cars of its type on the market, it was joined by the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet in 2020 which provides strong competition. It retains the rugged off-road ability of the standard Evoque – so it can drive through water that's half a metre deep, crawl up and down mountains, and navigate deeply rutted tracks - although you'll probably want to keep the roof up for any adventures to avoid getting a face full of mud. Yet It’s also perfectly happy cruising around town or out on the motorway.

The convertible was designed after the other versions of the Evoque, which means that it's quite compromised, with a small boot that has a tiny letterbox-shaped opening. It's also heavier than the standard Evoque thanks to extra support that makes the car more rigid. As a result, it doesn't feel sporty or nimble: it's best to put the roof down, cruise along smoothly and soak up the attention - admiring or not.

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE CONVERTIBLE BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Audi A3 Cabriolet

Used deals from £12,295
Monthly finance from £254*

The Audi A3 Cabriolet has been discontinued, but there are still 28 used examples on BuyaCar. It's a glamorous alternative to the A3 hatchback, and is a cheaper option compared like-for-like with the larger A5 Cabriolet. Early models were in fact based on the hatchback, which meant space in the back seats was a little cramped. If it's rear legroom you're looking for, seek a post-2014 model which took its underpinnings from the slightly larger A3 Saloon. For reference, every A3 Cabriolet on the BuyaCar website belongs to the later design.

Like many models, the roof can be lowered or raised at speed - in this instance, up to 31mph. While diesel may seem an economical choice, buyers are turning once again to petrol power. The 1.4-litre petrol engine with 150hp seems the sweet spot of the range for power and efficiency.

The 320-litre boot is on par with small hatchbacks, but it shrinks to 287 litres with the roof folded away. Luckily, rear folding seats open up the space to a very usable 678 litres. In comparison, the three- and five-door A3 hatchbacks offer 365 and 380 litres respectively.

AUDI A3 SALOON BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Mini Convertible

Used deals from £9,790
Monthly finance from £188*

Rain or shine, the Mini convertible provides year-round fun. It's a more roomy alternative to the DS 3 Cabrio and Fiat 500C, taking the form factor of its hatchback sibling rather than the other, more coupe-like cars on this list.

The smallest 1.5-litre petrol engine is fun and economical, but it's the 2.0-litre engine that brings the car alive, which you can find in the fast Cooper S or the bonkers John Cooper Works. Whether you go for petrol, or the less common diesel engine, the eight-speed automatic is a must if you prefer an easy - but no less thrilling - life.

If you can learn to live with the small boot - 160 litres - then you'll be fine. But a word of warning: if you fit the wind deflector that rests above the back seats, you'll only have room for one more. Look for a model with this optional 'Convertible Pack' to reduce the breeze inside.

MINI CONVERTIBLE BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet

Used deals Limited stock

If you’re looking for the ultimate in opulence for your four-seat convertible, the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet probably offers the most luxurious experience outside of a Bentley or Rolls Royce.

Its elegant, swoopy bodywork wraps up an interior that’s crammed with high-tech gadgets, beautifully finished trims and expensive-feeling leather. It’s no sports car, but it is a magnificently refined cruiser, and AMG versions are stupendously fast.

The only significant compromise you’ll have to make is the rear seats, which are a little cramped when the roof is up – but there’s still plenty of space for the occasional occupant.

MERCEDES S-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Ford Mustang Convertible

Used deals from £35,250
Monthly finance from £427*

Even people with very little interest in cars will likely have heard of the Ford Mustang. In convertible form, it's the ultimate good-time cruiser, a slice of pure Americana. The current generation is also the first to be offered in the UK with right-hand drive.

Compared with a Mercedes, BMW or Audi convertible, the Mustang delivers loads of equipment for the money, and the big V8 petrol version is fast and sounds great. Coupled with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a slick 10-speed automatic, the Mustang is a joy to drive.

The interior isn’t as classy as you’ll find in a BMW or Mercedes, and access to the rear seats – as well as the space in the seats themselves – is a bit tight. But when the sun’s out and you’re cruising down your favourite road, none of that will matter.

FORD MUSTANG BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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