Any Convertible Car Owners?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by cmrocks, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. bowman9000

    bowman9000 Active Member

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    Another Miata (90!) owner checking in: I agree i can't have one as the only car. But as a 2nd car it's a blast. Sure it's not fun to drive in the cold/wet/hot weather, but makes you always look forward to the spring/fall/cool summer time. That's when you really really want to extend your mundane trips and find new backroads.
     
  2. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    I've never owned one, but I've always loved riding with convertibles with the top down. I've never liked the price premium over coupes though.
     
  3. alan

    alan Senior member

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    My current and former car were both convertibles. But both hard top convertibles as i dont find soft tops visually appealing.

    Dont care what others think, theyre great to drive around in, and when your stuck in traffic its much more relaxing to have the open space than be confined in a box
     
  4. turboman808

    turboman808 Senior member

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    That's odd - my first Z4 was a 2003 2.5i with 5-speed and I found it pretty basic. I was driving a 2003 325i at the time and even that didn't seem all that crammed with tech. One of the things I like about the Z4Ms is they're among the simplest of modern sports cars - compared to the SLK or Boxster, for example.

    Could just be the one I have. It's got GPS, radio, cell all tied into this very hard to navigate system. I don't drive the Z4 much and unless my fiance is with me I cannot remember how to do simple things like change the radio stations or skip tracks.
     
  5. sjd

    sjd Senior member

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    I had a 2006 MX-5 (pic to the left) and now have a 2010 MX-5. Mine is a softtop as I don't care for retractible hardtops. I love it. It's great on the track (mine isn't stock) and great on the street. My wife and I have done several long trips in it and during the summer I daily drive it. My son loves it as well, especially when I pick him up from school since all the other kids are being picked up in minivans or SUV's.

    Having said that, the MX-5 and S2000 are the only convertibles (roadsters, really) I would buy, mostly because they are designed like that from the get go. In every other case I always prefer the coupe over the convertible option, Cayman over Boxster, etc. There isn't a single four seat convertible I would buy.
     
  6. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Senior member

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    I had a 2006 MX-5 (pic to the left) and now have a 2010 MX-5. Mine is a softtop as I don't care for retractible hardtops. I love it. It's great on the track (mine isn't stock) and great on the street. My wife and I have done several long trips in it and during the summer I daily drive it. My son loves it as well, especially when I pick him up from school since all the other kids are being picked up in minivans or SUV's.

    Having said that, the MX-5 and S2000 are the only convertibles (roadsters, really) I would buy, mostly because they are designed like that from the get go. In every other case I always prefer the coupe over the convertible option, Cayman over Boxster, etc. There isn't a single four seat convertible I would buy.


    +1. I definitely agree - I don't understand why someone would choose to buy the convertible version of a car when a hardtop coupe is available - you usually sacrifice structural rigidity and end up adding on more weight. Also, in some convertibles, like the Mustang, you also give up what seems to be a good bit of interior space and visibility. IMO, the only convertibles worth considering are roadsters, i.e. small agile cars designed from the ground up as convertibles - not a coupe that some engineer decided to chop the top off of as an afterthought.
     
  7. tj100

    tj100 Senior member

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    I don't understand why someone would choose to buy the convertible version of a car when a hardtop coupe is available - you usually sacrifice structural rigidity and end up adding on more weight.

    Perhaps because they enjoy driving with the top down? In the case of the Porsche (at least the 996), the convertible weighs 150lbs (about 5%) more than the coupe. That's a trade-off that I'm perfectly happy with. And the structural rigidity argument is a bit lost on me as well. I'm not planning to spend my life on the track, and I'm pretty sure that the 996's torsional rigidity of ~12,000Nm/deg - about the same as a Maclaren F1 - will be just fine for my everyday driving.

    IMO, the only convertibles worth considering are roadsters, i.e. small agile cars designed from the ground up as convertibles - not a coupe that some engineer decided to chop the top off of as an afterthought.

    I would think that most convertibles fit this description these days. I can only think of a few cars that went from coupe to convertible in design (and a couple that went the other way).
     
  8. epb

    epb Senior member

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    Could just be the one I have. It's got GPS, radio, cell all tied into this very hard to navigate system. I don't drive the Z4 much and unless my fiance is with me I cannot remember how to do simple things like change the radio stations or skip tracks.

    OIC - my first was very base-spec. In fact, I would have ordered an M Coupe that way (no power seats, no premium package, etc) but it would have cost me an extra $15k or so, since a custom order didn't get the incentives the cars on the lots were getting back then. Compared to the others, even the Z4M is pretty low of electronic gimcrackery.

    And the structural rigidity argument is a bit lost on me as well. I'm not planning to spend my life on the track, and I'm pretty sure that the 996's torsional rigidity of ~12,000Nm/deg - about the same as a Maclaren F1 - will be just fine for my everyday driving.

    Standards are changing as chassis improve. The BMW Z3 is fine for a roadster of the time, but I test-drove one around the same time as I bought my 2003 Z4 and man, the chassis felt floppy to me. The Z4 is as rigid as the E46 M3 coupe, and the Z4MC is 32,000Nm/degree (up there with the Zonda, iirc).
     
  9. earthdragon

    earthdragon Senior member

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    10' 335I - I loved it in LA, though it's horrible driving it in DC. The roads suck and while it will fly like shit off a shovel, i rarely get the opportunity to open it up.
     
  10. MarcInDentonTx

    MarcInDentonTx Senior member

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    My current and former car were both convertibles. But both hard top convertibles as i dont find soft tops visually appealing.

    Dont care what others think, theyre great to drive around in, and when your stuck in traffic its much more relaxing to have the open space than be confined in a box


    Totally agreed. I'm on my 8th convertible and 3rd retractable hardtop. Love them.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan White Hispanic

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    Not really in the same league, but I own two soft-top Jeep Wranglers. It's a nice feature to have.
     
  12. cncrd

    cncrd Senior member

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    As an '08 Carrera cab owner, I can say this:

    It's one of the absolutely most fun things in the world to drive with the top down.

    It's one of the absolutely most terrifying things in the world to drive with the top up if you have to

    • parallel park
    • change lanes
    • back up
    • do anything other than go straght ahead
    x200 to the stress factor for all of these at night or in the rain or in heavy traffic; x200000 if any combination of the two.

    I'm exagerrating of course, but the rearward and rear quarter visibility on them is really abysmal with the top up. The 2003 models are not that much different, so I presume it would be just as bad.
     
  13. VaderDave

    VaderDave Senior member

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    The sun's out today, and the temperature was a little over 60, so I put the top down for the first time in a while. It was excellent. [​IMG]
     
  14. RFX45

    RFX45 Senior member

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    Open question:

    Whats the cheapest hardtop convertible out there? I know the current Miata is available with one, what else is out there? Maybe an old used SLK320?


    Not considering sued cars, the IS250C is the cheapest retractable hard-top convertible right now iirc.
     
  15. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Hardtop convertibles are a nice compromise but most are over-refined. The XKR with its steel reinforced roof is a better overall experience, if somewhat more expensive, than a Lexus or MB convertible hardtop IMO.
     

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