Check out the great choice of convertibles in Australia.
It doesn't take much to be converted. Imagine cruising along on a clear blue day with the top down, the breeze winding through your hair while you rock out to your all time favourite songs. Luckily, this sense of freedom, style and fun behind the wheel is no longer the realm of the rich and famous. There is a great choice of convertibles today with prices starting at around $33,000. For those whose lotto numbers come up (and fall into the rich category), why not slip behind the wheel of a seriously cool Aston Martin DB9 Volante? Although it will set you back about $400,000, the Aston Martin is a tempting indulgence.
Some of the convertibles available in Australia
Audi A3 Cabriolet from $49,990
BMW 1 Series Convertible from $63,775
Ford Focus Coupe Cabriolet from $45,490
Holden Astra Twin Top from $45,490
Mitsubishi Colt Cabriolet from $32,990
Renault Megane from $44,990
Peugeot 307 CC from $47,490
Saab 9-3 Convertible from $65,500
Volkswagen Eos $47,990
Volvo C70 $69,950
Style Plus Safety?
Given there is no roof, you may wonder if you are jeopardising your safety. It is reassuring to know that all cars sold in Australia must meet very stringent safety guidelines. Convertibles have the added safety of sophisticated protection systems in the event of a roll over, including a fully integrated roll over bar and pop up rear head rests. The Renault Megane is the top scoring car on safety with the maximum 5 stars from the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP). However, anything is possible when there is no roof. Think Fabio on a rollercoaster and a low flying bird! Unlikely? Sure. Possible? Absolutely.
Some convertibles have a fabric style roof while others have a steel roof. The main advantages of having a hard roof are the reduction in outside noise and the sense of security and warmth on those colder evenings. Thankfully, all car roofs these days go up and down at the push of a button, some cars performing this function in less than 15 seconds.
Room for Your Family and Friends?
If a people mover can be described as a “selfless" car, then a convertible is a “selfish" car. They are only available with enough room for 2 or 4 passengers. I use the word room very loosely and refer to the number of legal passengers. While there is a good amount of leg room for the front passengers, most convertibles are a little pressed for space in the rear. So, the best time for a convertible is either before kids or when they have left home. If kids are not on your agenda and a convertible is, we recommend small friends or smal dogs!
What's the Latest
The BMW 125i convertible and Audi A3 Cabriolet are brand new models and both went on sale in Australia mid this year. These cars feature the latest style and technology from their makers, except for the roof. Both have opted for the cloth roof, no doubt to keep the cost of the car down.
Top 5 Tips When Looking for a Convertible
1. Work out whether you would like a metal or cloth top.
2. Check out how much boot space is available when the roof is down
3. Make sure there are no annoying “whistling" sounds when the roof is up.
4. See how much space your rear passengers have with the roof up.
5. Heated seats are a great option to prepare for cold day
Melissa Pye is an Australian pioneering the way women are valued in the automotive industry and works with leading auto brands to educate them on the needs of women. Her site, Her Car, is the only site in Australia where all of the new car reviews are written by women! When buying a new car or if you need any automotive information look to HerCar.