Summer has officially arrived, which of course means warm weather. It also marks the beginning of the convertible driving season, as drop-top owners around the country can finally let the warm summer breeze run through their hair. Sure, there are plenty of ridiculously expensive convertibles that few can afford, but there are also several cars on the market that are within most any normal car buyer’s reach. Here’s our list of the Top 10 least expensive 2011 convertibles.
1) The list of the Top 10 least expensive Vehicles begins with the 2011 Smart fortwo Passion Convertible. This convertible is, well, very small, but so is the price. The Passion convertible starts at $17,690, making it the cheapest convertible on the market today. Not only is this car cheaper than any other on the list, it also gets the best gas mileage at 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway. If you’re thinking this car is way too small, you may be right, but if you’re looking for the cheapest new convertible on the market today, this is it.
2) The Fiat 500 Pop convertible comes in at No. 2 on the list, with a base price of $20,000. The Pop convertible features a rather unusual roll back top, which Fiat claims is very similar to the 1957 original. Like the Smart, the Fiat is an extremely small vehicle at 139.6 in. A feature many people will enjoy is the top’s ability to roll down to the spoiler at speeds of 60 mph and fully down at 50 mph. This is a very bold car that is available today at a relatively low price.
3) The next vehicle has been the epitome of a two-seat convertible for more than two decades; the Mazda MX-5 Miata. At a base price of $23,110, the 2011 Miata is a fun car to drive and looks better than ever. Although some might call it a bit boring, we call it traditional. According to Mazda it has become the most popular two-seat sports car in the world. It’s not a car that’s going to blow you off your feet, but it’s not supposed to at $23,000. It is a very competent everyday convertible featuring rear-wheel drive that will bring a smile to your face as you are smoothly weaving in and out of traffic.
4) The 2011 Mini Cooper convertible comes in at No. 4 on the list, at $24,850. The Mini has been lauded worldwide for its go-kart like handling, and the convertible is no different. Mini says it has engineered the convertible to deliver the same driving experience as the Cooper hard top. The soft top on the Mini goes down in an impressive 15 seconds, but if it’s bit too chilly to be fully open, it has a unique sunroof that allows it to be semi-open. Go-kart- like driving, a convertible, and just under $25,000? Where do we sign!
5) At the midway point on the list comes none other than the iconic Volkswagen Beetle convertible. VW launched its retro-styled Beetle in 1998, and saying it has been a hit is an understatement, especially with the female persuasion. The Beetle convertible is priced at a cool $26,390. This car screams warm summer day, with its laid back body style that is most often seen near the coast. An all-new Beetle is currently in the works for 2012, and VW recently announced they are starting to take pre-orders. While there is no talk of when a new Beetle convertible will debut, it’s likely there will be one offered sometime in 2012.
6) At No. 6 on the list is the 2011 Chrysler 200 touring convertible, which replaced the Sebring in the midsize convertible market. While the 200 is still very much a Sebring underneath the sheetmetal, Chrysler has done a solid job updating the car. This a good-sized convertible, which packs a little punch if option up to the 283-horsepower V-6, but this isn’t what it’s meant for. With a base price of $26,445, the 200 convertible is a very casual cruiser that is made for road trips and driving around town, which by all indications it does well.
7) The Ford Mustang convertible is a pure muscle car that is fun as a coupe, but potentially just as fun as a convertible. This classic car has a base price of $27,145; a lot of car for a fairly low price. The base convertible is now powered by a 3.7-liter V-6 that produces 315-horsepower. It is the first time Ford has changed the Mustang’s V-6 powertrain in more than a decade, and it has certainly received a warm welcome. This muscle car has quick acceleration that feels even quicker when the top is down as you listen to the purity of both the engine and the wind blowing.
8) Following the Mustang on the list of cheapest convertibles for 2011 is the $27,799 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Sport convertible. This four-seat convertible is very well priced and has been called an enjoyable convertible to drive. The GS convertible is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 162-horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. If you’re looking for a sporty-looking convertible without a big price to go along with it, this could be the car you’re looking for, and we’re betting you can get a nice deal on one from your local Mitsubishi dealer.
9) Next up is the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro LT convertible. After taking a seven-year break, the Camaro returned to the market a bang. It may look big on the outside, but Chevrolet designed the interior in a way that makes it feel small on the inside, but when you drop the top, that point becomes irrelevant. You get a lot of bang for your buck, as the Camaro is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 305-horsepower. This is a retro looking car that continues to have people staring, especially when the top is down.
10) Rounding out the list is the $32,940 Volkswagen Eos. The Eos is yet another well-priced Volkswagen convertible, given it is the only vehicle on the list with a folding hard top. It can also be optioned with a built-in sunroof, which allows you to get fresh air even when the weather is less than ideal. This four-seat convertible also has a little a little giddy up. It features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 200-horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Like the Beetle, this car skews more toward the female side of the spectrum, but it has what it takes to appeal to both sexes.