5 Excuses for Buying a Convertible
It takes more than money to justify having some open-air fun in the sun.
There's something about April, isn't there? The birds start chirping their little hearts out, the days get longer, and you don't dread getting out of bed anymore. Why? Spring is finally here, and summer is right around the corner. And this year, you're feeling extra chipper, chipper enough, in fact, to buy a brand-spanking-new convertible. But can you justify it? You have the money and you have the model picked out. What you need is the excuse. Yes, the excuse. Whether it's your own conscience or your more pragmatic significant other chewing your ear off, it's hard to reason away spending a big chunk of your savings on an impractical drop-top. That's where we come in, to help you with that excuse. Here are five beauties.
The hardtop makes it a year-round daily driver
Most modern convertibles aren't simple ragtops; that is, vehicles with soft, folding tops. Instead, they are more likely to have a retractable hardtop. The benefit? You get a fully functioning roof when the top is closed that keeps the elements out and wind and road noise to a minimum. That's more than can be said for the ragtops of yesteryear. A hardtop also means you can park it on the street; unwanted hands will have as much trouble breaking into a hardtop convertible as they would into a coupe or sedan.
We’ll get more vitamin D, honey
OK, we admit this one is a stretch, but your significant other will have a tough time denying its validity. Your body makes essential vitamin D when it's exposed to ultraviolet B rays given off by the sun. And when, exactly, was the last time you were in the sun? We'll bet your daily routine unfolds something like this: You wake up early, get ready for work, stumble straight into your car, spend the next 10 or so hours in an office, drive home and repeat. That's precious little time spent in the sun. Sure, you could take a pill every day, but then you'd be denying yourself the joy of open-air motoring.
No more chilly evenings or scalding hot seats during the day
Thanks to advanced wind-tunnel testing, some old annoyances of convertibles, like road noise and wind buffeting, are largely a thing of the past. Taking comfort a notch further is luxury technology such as Mercedes-Benz's Air Scarf, which directs hot air through the seat to your neck, keeping that vital part of you warm on cool days. And for the hot days, many modern convertibles have cooled seats, which use fans to blow fresh air at your body. Many luxury cars even feature specially formulated leather to reduce solar heating. Audi's leather coating, for instance, is said to reduce seat temperatures by nearly 70 degrees.
It doesn’t have to be a sports car
These days, you can get just about anything in convertible form — just look at the SUV-based Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. It's the definition of luxury inside, though we'll exercise our right to remain silent on the exterior styling. It seats four, and thanks to all-wheel drive, it can go anywhere. Expand your weekend adventures to include the whole family, and don't let the terrain slow you down. If you're not into the Murano CrossCabriolet, you can sacrifice a lot of luxury in exchange for a lot of utility by opting for a Jeep Wrangler, which will guarantee some of the most interesting road trips you could ever dream up.
It’ll allow us to spend more time together
The fact that today's convertibles are more usable as daily drivers is one thing, but the real perk might just be that they are great highway haulers, too. It's almost impossible to buy a modern drop-top without a reliable and efficient engine — the MINI Cooper convertible delivers a remarkable 35 mpg highway — and we've already told you how luxurious these things can be. So use your shiny new convertible as the perfect excuse to rejuvenate your relationship and get out of Dodge for a romantic weekend getaway.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trendand European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.
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We are on our 3 convertible in the 3-cars for 2 drivers craziness that we have. We have a 2001 Corvette, hence the screen name, that my wife bought for me in 2002 with 8K on the clock. We love it and drive it when we can in Illinois. No snow or ice, but let it rain, it gets wet. We still get the remarks of "cool car", "sweet ride" and "can I have a ride?". We love our ragtops and will always have one. The 2 Cadillacs that we own have sunroofs, but it's just not the same. Even our dogs loved the convertibles!
Remember the wave (you Vette owners know)!