If you are an open-air, top-down type of driver but don’t have a lot of cash to spend, you can still indulge your desire if you shop for the best used convertibles under $10,000. Sure, you’ll have to give up your dreams for the latest models, but that still doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the best of what convertible driving offers. It does, however, mean you need to shop wisely.

Generally speaking, you want the newest model year you can afford – that’s in excellent condition, has low mileage, and one for which you obtain both a thorough, professional inspection and a vehicle history report. But first, you need to find some choices. We’ve looked at recommendations from Edmunds, Consumer Guide and Consumer Reports to come up with these selections of Best Used Convertibles Under $10,000:

  • 2000-2002 Mazda MX-5 MiataWhen it debuted on the automotive landscape in 1989 as a 1990 model, the  Mazda Miata reinvented the idea of a two-seat roadster. From 2000 on, the Miata was known as the MX-5 Miata – still an unbelievable roadster in every sense of the word. Consumer Reports tags the 2000 MX-5 Miata in its “Best Used Vehicles Under $20,000” in the $6,000-$8,000 price range, and the 2001-2001 model in the $8,000-$10,000 range. Edmunds says, “If you’re in the market for an affordable car that provides plenty of top-down, open-road thrills, we highly recommend putting a new or used Mazda Miata on your list.” Edmunds lists the MX-5 Miata’s True Market Value (TMV) for these years as follows: 2000 – $4,981-$6,849; 2001 – $6,022-$7,446; and 2002 – $7,392-$8,264.
  • 2000-2004 Ford Mustang ConvertibleAs household names go, the Ford Mustang is one of the most venerable automotive brands. The 8th generation Mustang (1999-2004) is where consumers shopping for a bargain convertible can really snap up some finds. Consumer Reports lists several ‘stangs in the $6,000-$8,000 category and one in the $8,000-$10,000 price range. Edmunds TMV for 2000-2004 Mustang convertible is as follows: 2000 – $4,939-$6,549; 2001 – $5,355 (Deluxe, V6) to $7,449 (GT Premium, V8); 2002 – $6,012-$8,186 (Deluxe to GT Premium); 2003 – $7,551-$9,400; and 2004 – starting at $9.019 (Base).  
  • 2000 BMW 3-SeriesThe 4th-generation BMW 3-Series, which started in 1999, added the convertible version in 2000. Autotropolis comments, “The BMW 3-Series has long been recognized as one of the best available German sport sedans, but the convertible versions of this car are just as exciting to drive and offer the same luxury and performance as their hard-top cousins.” Edmunds TMV for the 2000 BMW 323Ci starts at $9,314.
  • 2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK-ClassYes, it’s a Mercedes-Benz and, yes, it’s a convertible. It also carries a starting Edmunds TMV of about $10,436 for the CLK320 with a 3.2-liter V6 engine. So, this highly-regarded 1st-generation ‘Benz is just a tad over the price bogey, but TMV is an average, not an exact. Careful negotiating can probably get the price down. Consumer Reports lists the CLK-Class and SLK-Class in best used car values under $20,000. SLK-Class has a starting Edmunds TMV of $10,025. If you’ve always wanted a ‘Benz convertible, give them a look.

Are there other contenders for Best Used Convertibles Under $10,000? Also check out the 2000 Audi TT, 2002 Chevrolet Camaro, and the 1999 Porsche Boxster.

See a list of all currently available used cars under $10,000.

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