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Convertible Guide

There are convertibles in a wide range of prices and styles, from the Mini Cooper Roadster to the McLaren MP4-12C. Therefore, this category includes cars at a lot of different price points. But if the top comes down, you’ll find it here.

Nissan Murano

Year: Starting at $30,450 MPG 18-23 The 2013 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is the convertible version of the Nissan Murano crossver. It’s hard to find a more polarizing ride. Some are intrigued by its droptop fair-weather potential, others gripe that it looks bloated and ridiculous. The Murano CrossCabriolet is plagued by convertible issues like a body that shakes when it goes over bumps since it doesn’t have a solid roof to boost rigidity. It also offers minimal cargo space and has poor rear and side visibility. The unusual convertible gets a power cloth top roof, all-wheel drive and comes in just one model. It is equipped with a 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine linked to a continuously variable transmission. In a rare twist on a convertible, the CrossCabriolet can tow up to 3,500 pounds. It can be dressed up with optional quilted leather-trimmed seating and comes with twenty-inch five-spoke titanium finish aluminum-alloy wheels. Standard safety features are plentiful and include dual pop-up roll bars for rear passengers. Nissan dropped the price of the CrossCabriolet for the 2012 model year and has not yet announced pricing on the 2013 model. Be prepared to pay more than you would for a conventional Nissan Murano. You should also be prepared to stand out in a crowd in this rare crossover, especially if you opt for Caribbean, a retro-looking aqua exterior color. …
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BMW 1-Series

Year: Starting at $36,900 MPG 19-28 Despite being thoroughly good and fun in every way, the rather costly 1-series presents a difficult choice: why not spend somewhat more on a 3-series model and get more car? The primary virtue of the 1-series is its tidy compactness on a rear-wheel-drive chassis that aims true. You get the same menu of engines and transmissions as in the 3-series, but the 1’s overall lighter weight makes for exhilarating performance. The trade-off is that the only models available are the coupe and convertible. Life with a two-door compact can be a struggle, as when you’re hurrying to expel passengers at the airport. (By then, they’ll be overjoyed to get out of the cramped back seat.) But if rear passengers would be a rarity and driving thrills are your pursuit, the 1-series offers its own rewards. The 128i comes with a 3.0-liter 230-horsepower six-cylinder and the choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The turbocharged 135i slightly revises the six to blast off with 300 horsepower; that six-speed manual is standard, but an enthusiastic driver might prefer the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic’s legerdemain. The 1-series sacrifices none of the BMW essentials, only a few inches here and there, and has a pug-like menace all its own. …
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BMW 3-Series

Year: Starting at $60,800 MPG 18-26 Just as the beagle endures near the top among most-popular dog breeds, the BMW 3-series is a perennial stalwart on automotive hit lists. This is the car that lets you say, “I’ve made it!” But it also says, “Outta my way!” When the sixth-generation 3-series appeared as a 2012 model, the winning formula was further reinterpreted and refined. That means it’s even more fun to drive, sleeker and more pleasing to look at, more luxurious, and better-equipped. As usual, what’s under the hood is excellent: the 300-horsepower 3.0-liter six-cylinder is included with the 335i. But the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the 328i won’t disappoint anyone with 240 horsepower and greater frugality. There’s also the option of the six-speed manual transmission or a new eight-speed automatic. Equipped with the automatic transmission, the 328i gets 36 mpg highway and the 335i gets 33 mpg highway. Not bad! The forthcoming ActiveHybrid 3, which adds a turbocharger to the six-cylinder and combines its output with assist from an electric motor, promises an improvement in fuel efficiency without sacrificing sportiness. The 335is coupe and convertible make 320 horsepower with the six-cylinder, adding a performance edge. The all-new 3-series Sports Wagon will be available in the spring. …
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BMW 6-Series

Year: Starting at $93,700 MPG 17-25 A heavy emphasis on luxury while still providing satisfying driving dynamics distinguishes the 6-series. In addition to the two-door coupe and convertible, a third model, the Gran Coupe, joins the lineup for 2013. This swoopy four-door stretches 4.4 inches longer than the two-door version. Nothing says “exclusive” like white leather upholstery, and that’s how it can be trimmed inside while being fitted with twenty-inch wheels outside. That is, if you feel the danger of blending in with the crowd. Extra notes of distinction come from the available Bang & Olufsen audio system. Among the sixteen speakers, one pops out from its central location on the dashboard, provoking oohs and aahs to go with tra-la-las. Some ethereal lighting effects are also produced. The 640i Gran Coupe’s turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder is familiar from the 640i coupe and convertible and makes 315 horsepower. The twin-turbo V-8 that’s shared among 650i models now makes 445 horsepower in the standard state of tune, although in the M6 it’s good for 560 horsepower. The Gran Coupe is only offered with an eight-speed automatic, while a six-speed manual is a choice with the 650i coupe and convertible. All-wheel drive is offered with the V-8 versions of the three models. …
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BMW Z4

Year: Starting at $47,350 MPG 22-34 Although the Z4 sDrive28i received a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder in place of BMW’s traditional six-cylinder, it remains an expensive car. It also remains a zippy one. You go from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. It uses the same six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission offered in the turbocharged six-cylinder sDrive35i, although the more powerful car also has an available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Then there’s the top-of-the-line sDrive35is. Its 3.0-liter six-cylinder churns out 335 horsepower, and the seven-speed is the only transmission. The 35is shoots from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The Z4 is the only entry in BMW’s lineup in which all-wheel drive is not available because driven rear wheels remain the preferred configuration for sports cars. The Z4 has a long nose and bold styling, which is most evident in the way the character line flows off the front fender and bridges with the rear one. The car can be had in an outrageous Atacama yellow paint job that will shock the young in your neighborhood. Even greater shocks are reserved for when you start giving rides: this successor to the rather tepid Z3 is a heck of a performer. …
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Infiniti G37

Year: Starting at $61,450 MPG 17-25 Infiniti’s Performance Line jacks up the more prosaic G lineup with the 2013 IPL G Coupe and the addition of a new, four-passenger IPL G Convertible. The main gripe against the IPLs is that they are overpriced. The IPL G Convertible starts at $61,495, including an $895 destination charge, making it $8,600 more expensive than the base 2013 Infiniti G37 convertible. The IPL G Convertible is equipped with a 343-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6, seven-speed automatic transmission, IPL-tuned exhaust and suspension, nineteen-inch special wheels, and a three-piece retractable hardtop. Surprisingly, the exterior color choices on the new convertible are limited to just two: Malbec Black or Moonlight White. The droptop can be dolled up with extras like the $360 Midnight Black grille and $340 illuminated kick plates. A $545 rear wind deflector is a practical option, especially if you’re worried about your hair. Standard features include leather-trimmed seating and antilock brakes. The IPL G Coupe comes in two models, one with a seven-speed automatic transmission and another with a six-speed manual transmission. The IPL G Coupe gets a different look than its G sibling thanks to a different front and rear bumper design, sculpted side sills, a rear spoiler, and fancy nineteen-inch wheels. The pricing on the 2013 IPL G Convertible is designed to fall in between some of its toughest German competition. It is less expensive than the BMW M3 convertible, but more expensive than the Audi TTS roadster. …
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Cadillac CTS

Year: Starting at $38,905 MPG 18-27 The Cadillac CTS family of cars includes sedan, coupe, and wagon body styles and CTS and CTS-V versions. All this choice lets you decide where you fall on the spectrum of desire: are you shopping Cadillac because you’re looking for a traditional plush sedan, a testosterone-spouting luxury sports car, or a little of each? For starters, there’s the very competent “regular” CTS, powered by a pair of V-6 engine choices. The rear-wheel-drive CTS sedan and coupe ride on the same wheelbase, but the coupe is about two inches lower and two inches shorter, with a more steeply angled windshield. All three CTS body styles get the same 27 mpg on the highway. Get the Touring or Performance versions for more of a kick, or the Sport Wagon for more versatility. Then there’s the CTS-V, which famously set a speed record at the Nürburgring race circuit in Germany a few years back. It’s set up for performance with Brembo brakes, an airflow-improving grille, performance tires, a set of center-mounted, mouthy tailpipes, and, last but not least, a supercharged V-8 engine that puts out 556 horsepower—and helps limit fuel economy to a maximum of 19 mpg on the highway. …
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Chrysler 200

Year: Starting at $32,095 MPG 19-29 You may love the sleek styling and cushy interiors of the upscale sedans on the market, but some of them are a little pricey. Luckily for you, the 200 offers all the classy comforts of those other high-end vehicles, but at a more reasonable price: the car’s base model retails for less than $19,000. A vast improvement over the late Chrysler Sebring, the 200 offers you a fuel economy of up to 31 mpg highway, as well as high-quality “soft touch” interiors. For those of you in frostier climes, you may want to consider either the Limited or 200S models: both feature remote start and heated front seats, which are perfect for keeping warm on those long morning commutes when thermal underwear just isn’t enough. There are two engine choices: the 2.4-liter four-cylinder or Chrysler’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, which only comes with the Limited sedan. You also have the choice of a four- or six-speed transmission, but the latter is only available as a standard feature on the Touring and Limited editions. But whereas the sedan has been changed for the better, the convertible retains some of the Sebring’s glitches. …
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Ferrari 458 Italia

Year: Starting at $229,825 MPG 12-18 The Ferrari 458 is keeping the dream alive. Here is the champion sports car made by the most storied Italian carmaker that is stunning by all estimations. The 458 is the direct descendant of the F430 and boasts looks and brains that go beyond skin deep. The 458 is the latest heir to Ferrari’s mid-engine makeup that puts new appeal in the word whip, zooming from 0 to 62 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds. In other words, it takes more than three seconds to say “Ferrari 458.” It’s that fast. But let’s not forget the icing on the 458 cake – it’s a fox. Each exterior panel retains its form and character, without appearing boxy or angular. In its convertible version known as the Spider, the top shimmies down in fourteen seconds and takes up a minimal amount of space to store in a maneuver that oozes with pure sex appeal. …
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Ferrari California

Year: Starting at $192,000 MPG 13-19 If you’re a better driver than your boyfriend, you’ll find joy driving as a California girl. The California is the only Ferrari that’s made with a mid-mounted V-8. It once was the lineup’s only hard-topped convertible until the Ferrari 458 Spider came along and shook up the lineup. This means the California is a bit more tame and rigid, but still sophisticated. It was designed to be easy to drive off the rack; no need for complicated engine configurations. The California is about the experience of driving a Ferrari, not the technical aspects of how it’s done. The rear accommodates the hard top, so the proportions are not quite as sleek as the other cars in the stellar Ferrari lineup. So here we have all you need – a straightforward Ferrari named after a Ferrari nameplate that is four decades old. …
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