If you hanker to break free of the daily commuter grind and cruise out on the open highway, what better way than with one of these Best Roadsters for the Wide-Open Spaces?
- Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring with Sport Package – With its sleek nose and muscular wheel-well flares, the 2010 Roadster Touring with Sport Package just seems to snarl attitude and performance. And it surely does deliver that and more. Consider this: 332 horsepower in a 3.7-liter V6 engine, SynchroRev Match 6-speed manual transmission, viscous limited-slip rear differential, 19-inch RAYS super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels, and 245/40WR19 and 275/35WR19 Bridgestone Potenza high-performance tires. Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price for this powerful roadster is $43,670. And, it’s a bargain at that. Base 370Z Roadster begins at $37,320, while 370Z Touring starts at $40,870. How about 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds (without traction control on, 6.6 seconds with it on)? Edmunds Inside Line says: “But paradise is a little bit nicer in our 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring. Thanks to some foresight on Nissan’s part, it ranks among the best coupe-to-soft-top conversions we’ve ever driven.”
- Porsche Boxster – Car and Driver named the 2010 as one of its 10Best Cars, calling it “perfect” and adding: “It’s certainly hard to think otherwise when the Boxster offers a driving experience so sublime and so tactile that it’s really only rivaled by the Cayman’s [also a 10Best]. Every spin of the steering wheel, every push of the pedal, every fat blat from the flat-six engines, they’re all calibrated to deliver one thing: unparalleled automotive pleasure.” Three models to choose from: Boxster (starting MSRP $47,600), Boxster S (base MSRP $58,000), and Boxster Spyder (from $61,200 MSRP). Powerful V6 engines deliver 255, 310, and 320 horsepower, respectively, and 0 to 60 mph times of 5.6, 5.0, and 4.9 seconds. Oh, and top track speeds are 165, 170, and 166 mph, again, respectively. For a two-seater, there’s not much trunk space, but at least enough in two cargo holds for a couple to carry overnight stuff.
- Chevrolet Corvette Convertible – Chevy calls the 2010 Corvette Convertible “One of the most powerful convertibles on the landscape,” and, with a base MSRP beginning at $53,580, it’s a really good deal as well. Just listen to the throaty growl of the 430-hp 6.2-liter V8 engine and you’ll want to take it out on the open road. Track tested at 190 mph top speed, Corvette convertible delivers an EPA-estimated 26 mpg on the highway – and there’s no gas guzzler tax to buy it. There’s also the new-for-2010 Grand Sport model, available in convertible version at a base MSRP of $58,580 that does 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. There’s also good cargo capacity (for a two-seat convertible) of 22.4 cubic feet. Consumer Guide comments: “The Best Buy is fast fun. These are reasonably practical sports cars that cost thousands less than rivals with similar performance, making them great choices.”