When you’re looking for a cheap drop top, look no further than these three Best Cheap Convertibles. We’ve chosen them based on reports from automotive experts and a good look at their MSRPs when new. Of course, you can get them at much better prices used, and that’s why they’re worth considering.

  • Jeep WranglerIn its list of “10 Best Convertibles,” Popular Mechanics hails Jeep Wrangler at “under 20K” as “one of the least expensive and most fun convertibles on the market…and that’s been true for over 20 years.” Editors do comment, however, that the top “isn’t the easiest or quickest soft top to raise and lower.” U.S. News and World Report hails Wrangler’s “class-leading off-road capabilities, three convertible top 2010 Jeep Wrangler Rubiconoptions” and availability of “spacious four-door model.” Negatives include poor rear-seat comfort and low gas mileage for its class.” Edmunds comments “Although the Wrangler was bred for mountain trails, it is surprisingly fun to drive around the city.”
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata With a 2009 exterior refresh, the 2009 Mazda Miata gets praise from U.S. News and World Report “for all-around satisfying handling dynamics, 2010 MAZDA MX-5 miataas well as its impressive build quality and value over time.” Consumer Guide says of Miata: “This Best Buy delivers as much driving enjoyment – if not outright power – as two-seat sports cars costing thousands more.”  Editors add, “MX-5 Miata combinesopen air driving fun with surprising practicality, including a remarkably engineered retractable top.” Cons include small trunk and not much interior storage space. Kelley Blue Book says the 2009 roadster “continues to capture the hearts of driving enthusiasts and open-air aficionados everywhere.” Popular Mechanics says “It would be impossible to have a list of fun and frugal convertibles without the Mazda Miata.”
  • Pontiac Solstice You read it right, we’re recommending Pontiac Solstice. Why? Because it has a “fun factor” of 9, according to a 2008 Popular Mechanics review of “10 Best Convertibles.” Editors love the car’s “Corvette-inspired Coke-bottle curves,” calling Solstice a “car that loves to play.” The rear-drive chassis is “responsive and well sorted but not punishing over rough roads.” Low storage space and “drag to operate” manual-folding pontiac_solsticeconvertible top are negatives. U.S. News and World Report says of the drop-top, “2009 Pontiac Solstice is eye-catching and fun to drive. Altogether, it makes a solid choice for anyone shopping for a sporty roadster.”

Still want more Best Cheap Convertibles to consider? How about Smart ForTwo Passion Cabriolet, Mini Cooper Convertible, Ford Mustang V-6 and Honda S2000? A little more expensive choices are BMW 128i, Chevrolet Corvette, and Saab 9-3 2.0t.

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