Convertibles are expensive, so you may think it’s impossible to find the best used convertibles under $5,000. If this is your price target, you’ll need to go back a few years to find some decent deals. And, of course, you’ll want to have a thorough professional inspection and obtain a vehicle history report so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. Then, strike your best deal.
For sources, we checked Consumer Reports “Best Used Vehicles for Under $20,000” and used Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) for pricing range. We’ve included comments from automotive experts where appropriate. Here, then, is our list of top picks for Best Used Convertibles Under $5,000:
- 1998-2001 Ford Mustang – A perennial favorite and long-time American pony car icon, the in convertible form can be a great deal – if you do the necessary legwork. The eighth-generation Mustang was sold from 1999-2004, while seventh-generation Mustangs were sold from 1994-1998. Edmunds says this of the eighth-generation Mustang: “This is the best of the Fox-body-based Mustangs, and like the current car, it offers a good blend of performance, fun, and affordability. Downsides include rather crude handling characteristics (a consequence of the aged platform) and a cheap interior with an awkward driving position.” Edmunds TMV for the 1998 Mustang convertible range from $3,791 (base) to $4,985 (GT). For 1999 and 2000, only the base convertible fits the price bogey, beginning around $4,548 and $4,939, respectively. The 2001 Deluxe model will set you back around $5,355 – a bit over the target (but maybe you can negotiate it lower).
- 1997-1999 Chevrolet Camaro – Arch rival of the Ford Mustang, the is another American muscle car icon – and a terrific convertible to run around in. Best price target matches begin with the 1997 convertible models, with Edmunds TMV ranging from $3,203 (base) to $4,552 (Z28) and $5,529 for Z28 SS. The 1998 base Camaro convertible starts around $4,151, while the 1999 base begins at $4,806. The 1997-1999 Camaro is from the muscle car’s fourth generation (1993-2002). Edmunds remarks: “Consumer feedback is mostly favorable toward Camaros from this era. Praises center on the strong performance (even with the V6) for the money, relatively good fuel economy, mechanical reliability, cargo capacity, handling and styling. Chief complaints include cheap interior construction, a smallish interior considering the body size and occasionally leaky t-tops.”
- 1999-2000 Mazda MX-5 Miata – After its debut in 1990, the roadster was an instant hit. For the past 20 years, this snazzy convertible has proven wildly popular with consumers looking for affordable top-down fun and the second-generation (1999-2005) may be the best used car deal yet. To meet the price target, however, look at the 1999 base model with an Edmunds TMV of $4,239, or the 2000 base with a starting TMV of $4,981. In Value for the Money for 1999-2005 MX-5 Miatas, Consumer Guide comments: “Especially in base form, the Miata represents greater value than, say, a Spyder – partly due to its greater cargo capacity, which makes it a more practical driver. On the fun-per-dollar scale, a Miata is unmatched.”
So, if top-down driving fun and lots of bang for not a lot of bucks is what you’re after, check out these choices for best used convertibles under $5,000 – and make your best deal.
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