The past decade has not been kind to the drop-top enthusiast. No matter which dealer you walk into, convertible models have been biting the dust left and right. Nissan Z? Audi TT? Buick Cascada? Volkswagen Eos? All gone. Remember the humble Chrysler Sebring/200? Well, you do now. Fortunately, though, the news isn’t all bad. There are still plenty of options out there for those who absolutely must have a convertible. Whether you need something to haul behind your retirement cruiser, a performance car that can go toe-to-toe with the best in the world or just something that allows you to sling the roof back after a long day of on-location business meetings before catching the flight back to your everyday hustle and bustle, there’s at least one cabriolet out there to suit your needs. Here are our picks and starting prices for the top convertibles in several categories for 2022.
For the frugal open-top lover: 2022 Mini Convertible ($34,650)
Let’s face it; gas ain’t cheap. But open-top motoring doesn’t need to be a wallet killer. The Mini is cheap (at least by 2022 standards) and an absolute joy to drive, so there’s really no downside here … except for the roof. Get it?
For the hardtop lover: 2022 Mazda MX-5 RF ($37,260) / 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible ($69,695)
The number of hardtop convertibles has seriously dwindled due to weight concerns and the fact that fabric roofs have gotten so quiet, but there are still some options for those who prefer a more coupe-like look with the roof up. Our picks here are the delightfully Targa-like MX-5 Miata RF and literally any Corvette Stingray — even the hardtop has a removable roof!
For long road trips: 2022 Ford Mustang Convertible ($34,100)
The first image that comes to mind for many who are told to visualize an American convertible is the classic Ford Mustang. It’s not the only drop-top pony car out there, but thanks to the Camaro’s tiny trunk, it’s much harder to see the USA in a Chevrolet when a drop-top enters the equation. The Mustang has much more cargo space and a much larger opening, which is likely the difference between keeping your bags under lock and key or leaving them exposed in the back seat.
For swinging behind an RV: 2022 Jeep Wrangler ($31,590)
While many small runabouts make sense for towing behind a motor home (or nestled up inside a fancier one), the Wrangler has a serious advantage when it comes to RVing: it can easily be flat-towed. While your 720S may fit neatly into the bowels of your mega-road-liner, we mere wage-earners have to settle for something a little more practical. Jeep still offers a two-door Wrangler if you need something that’ll fit snugly in your driveway too, plus it’ll get you places a 720S (or Miata or Mini Cooper) simply won’t.
For the beach: 2022 Jeep Wrangler ($31,590) / 2022 Ford Bronco ($32,395)
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. We’re not talking about a cruise along the shore on a paved byway; we mean driving on the actual beach. While plenty of folks get away with making poor decisions when it comes to driving on sand, we can only really put our support behind a true 4×4. Fortunately, there are two solid options in the market now: the tried-and-true Jeep Wrangler and the new Ford Bronco. Just be smart, obey posted signs and be sure to thoroughly hose your rig down after exposure to saltwater, even if it’s just from wet sand getting kicked into the wheel wells.
For a Sunday drive: 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible ($69,695) / 2022 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible ($32,695)
We named the Mustang the best road trip option above, but what if you plan to go out and back in one day and have no need for extra luggage space? Why not go for something flashy like a Corvette? As an added bonus, even the Corvette coupe has a Targa-style hardtop, so you can still feel the wind in your hair (or on your scalp) if your dealer is fresh out of drop-top Corvettes. Honorable mention to the Camaro here, which doesn’t really do day trips that much better than the Mustang, but if you prefer it, why not?
For the hardcore enthusiast: 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata ($28,665) / 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe ($62,195)
The first entry here should be a pretty obvious one to anybody who has been to a track day. While current Miatas aren’t nearly as popular with the weekend warrior crowd as older models, that’s because they just haven’t quite depreciated enough yet. Fear not; There are solid options out there for roll safety equipment and the ND will only become more popular at track events as the years go on. We put the Corvette (Coupe!) on here as an honorable mention because its roof is removable but it retains factory-engineered roll structure — the best of both worlds.
For the professional enthusiast: 2022 BMW 4-Series Convertible ($55,045)
Say you’re a California real estate agent who wants to appear moderately successful and retain the option to attack some canyon roads in your down time. What’s your ideal drop-top? We’re going with the 4 Series. Whether the humble 430i Convertible or a full-blown M4, BMW’s benchmark sport sedan offers surprising rear seat comfort (especially with the top down) and time-tested dynamics. Plus, when it’s parked outside your showing, it’s “just” another compact BMW.
For the well-to-do enthusiast: 2022 Porsche 911 Cabriolet ($115,350) / 718 Boxster ($66,950)
We’re entering into “we have no business telling you what to do with your money” territory here, but man, it’s really hard to argue against a 911 or Boxster. Porsches are ubiquitous at track/autocross events (the Porsche Club of America’s various chapters even host their own events), so there’s no shortage of safety gear out there if you decide you want to take your Cabriolet out for some hot lapping. Some orgs even allow Porsche’s factory roll protection to be used on track, provided you’re short enough to pass the “broomstick” test, that is. Ask your club safety marshals for details.
For That Guy™: 2022 Ferrari 812 ($440,000)
Oh, are you That Guy™? Get a Ferrari 812. GTS? Superfast? Doesn’t matter. Put a shiny wrap on it. You’ll love it.
For Outer Space: Starman’s Tesla Roadster (~$3.5 billion)
So you really want to let the sun rays in, huh? Well, for max solar exposure, there’s an original Tesla Roadster currently careening around the solar system in what experts say is likely an advanced state of deterioration thanks to space debris and solar radiation that SPF 50 won’t do much for. But you probably still have a better shot at retrman’s ride than you would buy a production Tesla Roadster 2.0 for several years to come. Our $3.5 billion estimate is probably on the low side for a retrieval mission, especially considering the current rate of inflation, but can you really put a price on something so special? If your answer is “yes,” just get a Cybertruck in the meantime. Oh, sorry.
What is the best-selling convertible?
Because some convertibles are also sold as hardtop models, exact production figures for some droptops are pretty difficult to find. But that doesn’t actually matter, because the Jeep Wrangler outsells all of them by what we figure is a pretty hefty margin, easily making it the most popular convertible vehicle in America. Remember, the Jeep Gladiator is also a convertible, making it the only droptop pickup truck for sale from the factory.
Do convertibles cost more to insure?
Probably. Progressive says convertibles “may cost more to insure because of the higher purchase price they carry.” That makes sense. Safety is also cited as a potential issue for insurers to consider, though modern convertibles don’t score any worse in crash testing than hardtops do. Progressive highlights data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that shows “that 21% of convertible drivers who died in a crash were ejected from their vehicle, versus 17% for non-convertible cars. The risk of ejection was also greater in rollover accidents ( 43% vs. 35%).”
Do convertibles have better resale value?
That’s a difficult question to answer, and there are a lot of variables to consider. The Jeep Wrangler, which as we pointed out above is the best-selling convertible in the United States, is always at or near the top of the resale value charts. The Chevrolet Corvette also has strong resale value, but it’s not always clear if convertibles hold their value better than hardtop ‘Vettes. High-end luxury vehicles tend to depreciate more rapidly than less expensive vehicles, and that holds just as true for convertibles as it does for sedans and SUVs.