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Convertibles

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What's behind our convertible Ratings?

CR’s Ratings include road test results and safety information. Reliability and owner satisfaction Ratings are based on surveys of millions of subscribers.
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We look for:
  • Overall Score
    The Highs, Lows, and Overall Rating refer to the model and trim line that we tested. A model earns the "CR Recommended" label by Consumer Reports when it has performed well in our tests, our subscriber -survey data indicate that it should be at least average in reliability, and has performed at least adequately in any government and/or insurance-industry crash tests or government rollover test, if tested. There are several reasons why a model would have no designation: It wasn't tested recently; it didn't test well; it did poorly in a crash test or tip-up in the rollover test; it has a below-average reliability record; it'S too new to have reliability data; or we have insufficeint reliability data.
  • Predicted Reliability
    Predicted reliability is our forecast of how well a model is likely to hold up derived from our latest Annual Car Reliability Survey. We averaged a model's Used Car Verdict for the newest three years, provided the model did not change significantly during that time. Refer to Reliability History for more detailed explanation.
  • Owner Satisfaction
    Indicates percentage of owners surveyed who would definitely purchase the same vehicle again.
  • Accident Avoidance
    A composite score of CR's test results for braking performance, emergency handling, acceleration, driving position, visibility, and seat comfort. Braking and emergency handling carry the most weight.
  • Overall (Mpg)
    Overall MPG (overall mileage) is CR's measurement based on a realistic mix of highway, country-road, and city driving.

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Recommended convertibles

See the models that perform well in our tests, and meet our standards for reliability and safety.
  • Buying Guide
  • Reliable Used
Convertibles can be affordable, fun, and thrifty, though they can vary widely in practicality, price, and performance. The best overall convertibles excel in all those attributes, and top our Ratings for the category.

Convertible buying guide

Buying a convertible has little to do with practicality and everything to do with enjoying the open-air driving experience. In years past, convertibles were fair-weather-only cars, but modern convertibles require far fewer compromises than the ragtops of yore. Many models can shed their tops in 25 seconds or less, and some convertibles even allow you to raise and lower the top while driving at slow speeds (a nice feature if you're lowering the top when stopped at a light and the light turns green).

Several convertibles feature a retractable hardtop, a folding metal roof that stows in the trunk at the push of a button. With the top raised, these hardtop models minimize some inherent convertible compromises by providing better insulation from noise and weather, increased interior security, improved visibility, and better resistance to fading and wear than a car with a soft top. But when lowered, they can consume much of the available trunk space.

Check our Car Brand Report Cards to learn more about each automaker.

That said, today's soft tops are much better insulated against noise and weather, and all now come with glass rear windows instead of the flimsy, scratch-prone plastic windows that were common years ago.

What hasn't changed is that soft-top convertibles remain more susceptible to break-in and theft than hardtop vehicles. An opportunistic thief with a sharp knife can easily have at the contents of your convertible. Soft-top convertibles also require more diligence to protect them from the elements, and some automakers warn against taking convertibles through automatic car washes with brushes or high-pressure water jets.

Since a car gets much of its structural rigidity from the roof, convertibles require extra bracing to minimize wear-inducing structural flex. Today's convertibles are better engineered and tend to have more rigid construction, which minimizes body flex and improves handling.

Note that not all convertibles are true convertibles. The Fiat 500C has a full-size sunroof that slides as far back as a convertible top, but the side roof rails always stay fixed in place. This design benefits from added rigidity and a top that can be opened and closed at highway speeds, but it doesn't deliver the same open-air feel as an ordinary convertible.

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