Soft top convertibles take the bigger part of convertible car market. Most soft tops have a retractable non-removable roof made of canvas, vinyl or vinyl coated fabric that folds back into trunk or the space between the trunk and the rear seat, leaving your sides and rear open. Soft roofs designs and constructions vary. There are manually operated tops or full-power ones that retract and pull over by pressing a button, the rear view window may be of plastic or glass. There are a few other soft top body types. A typical soft top convertible aka as a drop top is the one where the entire roof together with the rear window folds down and disappears in the trunk space. Although drop tops are also sometimes called rag-tops, originally, the latter body type was a totally different construction which can hardly be called a cabriolet. The only retractable part in the common fixed top is a square rag that opens a window in the roof but does not actually make it an open car, leaving side and back windows in their places.
All major car manufactures produce soft tops, the price ranges for brand new models are $20,000 - $30,000 (for economy-class models, $30,000 - $80,000 for premium class models and to $100,000 and more for luxury models. Click here for the list of makes and models. Used soft tops in decent condition can be purchased for less than $5,000.
When it comes to choosing between a hardtop or a soft top, it’s only a matter of what you are after in the first place and the conditions the car will be driven and kept in. advantages and disadvantages of soft top decapotables are mostly about safety, security, noise, durability of the roof and repair bills. All these aspects deserve more than just a few words, click here to read about the pros and cons. Specialists
Although breaking a window to get inside any car is not a big feat for a determined thief, generally hard tops are a stronger deterrent and protection against soft-tops where breaking in is matter of a single slash. In addition, a sports car itself is an implication that the owner has some extra money, especially for those who hunt not for the car but for the belonging left inside. Where a hardtop is a temptation for a thief, the soft top is an invitation. No need to say that leaving just any things in a soft top car with a roof down is out of the question. Read more about the security of soft tops.
Soft tops are not so rigid as hardtops and put your life at a serious risk in case of a rollover. Also, the small rear view window gives poor visibility which increases the risk of an accident multiplied by the fact that owing a sports cars is a great temptation to drive faster than a safe speed. Read more about the safety of soft tops and ways to safeguard your and your passengers’ lives.
While rag-tops are able to give your decent protection from the rains and snow (provided that you properly care for the top and maintain its waterproofing properties), most won’t save you from cold weather - heat emission will be very significant, unless you have good winters. Read more about soft tops and weather.