What you need to know before buying a convertible

If you wanted to afford a convertible, it is advisable that you familiarize yourself with some important things before buying in order to make the right decision.

You will enjoy your pet not only in the summer, and a good convertible can be driven even during the winter period.

No special familiarity with convertible models is necessary. Almost any vehicle without a roof attracts eyes and even makes people envious, especially those who spent a lot of money on a boring SUV or a “bunkered” four-door coupe.

However, it is important to know that convertibles come under different names, so we will often come across “spiders” (spider/spyder), “roadsters” (roadster) and of course convertibles in the search. These terms used to mean different things, but manufacturers chose to apply them arbitrarily.

For example, “spiders” were sporty two-seaters that did not have any protection against bad weather. The Porsche 718 Spyder, on the other hand, has a soft top, regardless of the item in the name.

Porsche 718 Spyder

Regardless of your preference, you’ll be looking for a convertible anyway. When buying, do not “fall” for the seller’s story, that the vehicle is worth more than its market value. Check everything before buying and know what you want.

An interesting point is what the term “convertible” originally referred to. It was actually used for one-horse carriages, which looked stylish and had only two wheels. They were in use in large European cities from the 18th century and were often rented out to more “seen” clients. Since French culture had a strong influence on the language in the US and the upper class after the 1700s, “cabriolet” turned into “cab”, a term used for carriages for hire. It is precisely for this reason that taxis in America are often called “cabs”.

Find out what works for you

In the second place, you need to know whether you want a convertible with two or four seats, or maybe an SUV? The latter forms a narrow niche, but models like the Range Rover Evoue Convertible and Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet exist, and generate quite a few buyers, which is a good thing. Manufacturers strive to make their customers happy. If that’s what you want, it’s nice to have it available.

VW T-Roc Cabrio

Believe it or not, there were also convertible pickup trucks, but nobody makes them today. Maybe that would be a good idea, after the world has dealt with the current crisis.

The two-seater convertible is more usable for people who want to go on adventures with a loved one, friend or family member. These vehicles are also suitable for people who are not particularly tall. If you are looking for more comfort and legroom while driving in a “topless” car, a four-seater is a better option.

Third, you will have to decide what type of roof your future convertible will have. As we know, it can be hard or soft. Although the latter version takes less time to open or close, in addition to the fact that it adds less mass to the vehicle, it is more sensitive, and can attract unwanted attention from people with not the best intentions. A canvas roof is easier to cut, and at the same time you have to be more careful with it when there is a risk of ice formation after rain. At the same time, it will definitely be noisier in the cabin with this type of roof.

On the other hand, if you opt for a convertible with a solid, metal roof, you’ll feel safer and enjoy a quieter ride when it’s over your head. In addition, the process of raising and lowering can be visually really interesting. However, even this solution does not come without flaws. It will “eat” a good part of the trunk and contribute to the greater mass of the vehicle. Fortunately, with modern convertibles, the extra weight is kept to a minimum. Of course, make sure that there is no corrosion and that everything works as it should.

Just necessary

Fourth, convertibles are not SUVs/crossovers, grand tourers or station wagons. There is no excessive space for luggage in them. Admittedly, with a four-seater you’ll get by a bit better and that’s it. On longer journeys, make sure you don’t carry a mountain of dirt.

Fifth, the driving dynamics of a convertible is not like that of a coupe or some other type of car where the roof remains fixed, without moving parts. The rigidity of the chassis is reduced, so additional reinforcements are necessary, which contributes to greater mass. There are models like the BMW M4 Competition Convertible, where the sprint to the “hundred” is almost identical to that of the coupe, but when we generally talk about the quality of the ride, the coupe will always lead the way. It is up to you to decide whether the “wind in your hair” is worth certain “penalties” in terms of driving dynamics and performance.

BMW M4 Convertible

Sixth, the convertible should be powered by a gasoline engine. Cars without a roof generally have a stiffer suspension and with them the noise in the cabin space is more present. When we add the diesel engine with its “rumble” and vibrations, the mood will start to slide down the downward path. Okay, diesels are more economical, but is it worth the pleasant “melody” from the exhaust system, especially when it comes to a regular six-cylinder or V8 unit.

Finally, keep in mind that security remains a priority. Fortunately, modern convertibles come with reinforced A-pillars and rollover steel bars that activate when sensors detect that the vehicle is about to roll over. This is something that you should also check first when buying a used convertible.

Source: Auto Moto Show

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