Today, hardtop convertibles are becoming increasingly popular being positioned as vehicles for people who want to combine the rational and fun sides of life in one vehicle. The list of hardtops available for mass production in constantly growing as more and more manufacturers include hardtop models in their product lines, many based on time tested sedans. Is that a real practical solution for those who want to enjoy the sun and open air in summer and be protected from nasty winter or just changeable weather? As well as have themselves and their family secured from a rollover, be able to store in the trunk something besides a couple of golf spoons and avoid hellish maintenance and repair bills on top of that. You’ll read a lot of opinions on the net, ranging from pure admiration to utter contempt. I share neither antipathy nor excitement about hardtop convertible cars so ardently expressed by car owners and experts. Let’s put it this way: you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. At least before light-weight, nearly transparent and yet as firm and rigid as steel materials are all over used in car production, if we transpose it on hardtops. What a buyer needs to realize to be a happy rather than a disappointed car owner (and I will repeat it many times on my webpages) is that a convertible is not an every person’s car, all the more a hardtop one. It’s a matter of priorities, what you need in a car in the first place and what you are ready to sacrifice. Asserting that a hardtop is bad is the same as asserting that olives or dates are bad, only because you are allergic to them, don’t like sweets or have eaten too much as a child, while other people enjoy them immensely. If a drop top is your passion and you are ready to spend extra money on that passion, as well as some of your time and care to maintain it - buy one and don’t listen to those who say it’s not worth the money. Weigh all pros and cons, this is even more important than with soft top cars - because of the price difference. The cons include the price in the first place, extra weight, a bit disproportional rear end (some some buyers, this is not a problem with me at all), truncated trunk, possibility of roof failure and a handful of others, less significant.
Naturally, hardtop cabriolets may have extra problems I explain here - the retractable roof is a technically complex moving component.
Rattling and leaking are the most common of the mentioned issues. However, don’t make the wrong assumption that your hardtop
will leak or rattle, much depends on how well you care for the top.
As to small trunk, the roof won’t dissolve into thin air when you want it open and then materialize again when you want a firm cover, at least not in the nearest future - remember what I said about the cake and priorities?
Putting the luxury thing aside, these are the top choices of those who want all the benefits of a convertible at a reasonable cost. You can buy Mazda MX-5 for as little as $25,000, get great handling and light weight but to sacrifice 2 seats and trunk space. An option for someone in his or her twenties without kids. Or add less than $10,000 and have a more or less spacious trunk and 4 seats for the whole family in Volkswagen Eos. Or you may pay $10,000 on top of Volkswagen Eos price an get a family convertible with 4 seats, larger trunk (decreased from 12.8 cubic feet with the top up to quite decent 6.0 cubic feet), more attractive exterior and enhanced safety like side airbags in a Volvo C70. The above 3 models are currently the most popular hardtops giving the highest costumer satisfaction for the money. If you really want one and have extra money - try any of these, depending on your needs. As to used hardtop roadsters for sale, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea, especially when the car is out of warranty. Only God knows how much trouble the roof can give your after a few years of use.
If your are close to the bone or just not disposing of any spare funds and have kids (you would like to store in that hardtop) , and your are thinking of buying a hardtop as your only family car better buy a common wagon or SUV and save that money for your family, your daughter’s college, or buy your wife a car or something else - you know better what.
The so called semi-convertibles, aka targa-tops may be an option for those biased to hardtops and still willing to enjoy surrounding and be safe at the same time. Such vehicles have a detachable roof and fixed rigid pillars (actually, roll bars) and the rear window, which means better protection in a rollover for those inside the car. In fact, high rollover mortality among roadster passengers is the reason why T-tops became so popular: the roll bars behind the back seat creates extra room for the head in case it overturns. However, removing the roof means leaving it in the garage and not being able to get covered from rain in case of abrupt weather change, which makes t-tops not so perfect for locations with cold or changeable weather.