Five ways to enjoy the sunshine
Despite the frostiest April for 60 years, it would seem that spring is definitely upon us. The days are noticeably longer, generally warmer, and jackets and jumpers are getting thinner. It'll be summer before you know it, and if you're considering which car to lease it's the ideal time to think about the sun on your face and the wind in your hair.
There's no point denying it. We all know there's a part of every single one of us that loves the idea of putting the roof down on a sunny day. It's just a fact that a convertible is more fun and makes you smile.
Mention a convertible to most people and they'll most likely imagine something like a MINI, a Mazda MX-5, or an Audi TT. When it comes to top-down motoring they are the models you're most likely to see driving around. For good reason too. They're all excellent.
But don't think they are your only options. There are a lot of other possibilities to cover all kinds of budgets and practical considerations.
We've given you five more to consider, but with so many to choose from your perfect convertible is out there somewhere just waiting for you to find it.
Fiat 500 Convertible
If you're looking for a true city car that also offers the chance to get the roof off and enjoy the fresh air this is the place to start. Trendy, fun, economical, well equipped, and perfectly designed to nip in and out of traffic, the Fiat 500 Convertible is popular for a lot of reasons.
The latest model is available as either a mild-hybrid with a 1.0-litre petrol engine, or a fully electric version that allows you to hear the birds singing as you silently drive along. A choice of specifications allows you to load up on sat nav, parking sensors, and leather upholstery so comfort and convenience are covered too.
VW T-Roc Cabriolet
Crossover SUVs are definitely the “car of the moment” and it's easy to see why. An elevated driving position gives a great view, and in terms of practicality you get lots of useful space for carrying people and stuff.
The VW T-Roc Cabriolet gives you all of that, plus the option to fold the roof back and combine it with all the sensory stimulation of a convertible. It's also a Volkswagen so build quality and equipment levels are excellent too. There are two turbocharged petrol engines to choose from, manual or automatic gearbox, and three trim levels available, plus a hefty options list that lets you configure your perfect convertible crossover.
Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet
Combine the comfort and practicality of a coupe, add the elegance and style of a Mercedes, and then take the roof off. It looks good, it drives well, it offers a decent chunk of power for your right foot to play with, and you can do it all with the sun in your face.
The Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet comes with all the refinements you'd expect from a Mercedes. Navigation, leather, heated seats, automatic everything, you get the idea. You've also got a choice of petrol, diesel or mild-hybrid engine options that offer power (over 500bhp if you go full AMG) and economy depending on your needs.
Jaguar F-Type Convertible
Sometimes the real joy of a convertible is found in the fact that they only contain two seats. You can still share the experience, but in reality it's really between you, the car, and the road. And if you're going to spend time alone with your car, why wouldn't you want to spend that time in an achingly beautiful Jaguar F-Type Convertible?
You can still be sensible in an F-type. Choose the P300 version and you can enjoy a great balance of performance and economy. The 2.0-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine will hurl you to 60mph in 5 seconds, has a top speed of 155mph, and still manages to return around 30mpg. Having said that, what you really want to do is forget about being sensible and get the 5.0-litre V8, F-Type R so you can deafen the neighbours and look good at the same time.
Lotus Exige Roadster
All the talk of not being sensible brings us neatly to our final, and frankly brilliant but definitely not practical option. If you're looking for a convertible to drive rather than consider day to day practicalities this might make you think. You want performance, handling, and pure driving pleasure? You could follow the crowd to the nearest Porsche Boxster…. or you could lease yourself a pocket rocket with a racing pedigree: the Lotus Exige Roadster.
Lotus has been producing some of the finest handling cars the world has seen for decades, and they've got the trophies to prove it. The F1 days may be gone but the philosophy of light, agile cars still hold true. 0 – 60mph in a little over 3 seconds, 170mph plus, and suspension and brakes designed for the track that allows the Lotus to change direction with dragonfly precision. If you want to know what convertible driving is really about, drive a Lotus.
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