While 2-seat roadsters might be romanticized by the popular media, 4-seater convertibles have an important place in the sun, too.These are the practical drop tops, the ones that can be counted on to ferry a couple of extra friends or family members in a pinch, and the vehicles that offer just enough usability to be considered viable daily driver replacements. We've put together a list of some of the most popular 4-seater convertibles on the market. Let's take a quick look at our entries to get a feel for what is out there in the practical ragtop segment.
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1) 2016 Jeep Wrangler
The 2016 Jeep Wrangler might not be the most powerful car on this list, or have the best road manners. But it’s the only option when you want to get some fresh air and have a little off-roading adventure. The 2016 Wrangler is offered in 2-door and 4-door versions, can be had with a soft top or a hard top, and can be equipped with one of several available 4-wheel drive systems to suit your terrain preferences. An excellent suspension system and extra ground clearance add to the open-top fun.
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2) 2015 Infiniti Q60
The 2015 Infiniti Q60 convertible offers a hard top that folds down into the trunk, which means that cargo capacity isn't quite up to par with the roof open. That being said, the Infiniti Q60’s elegant looks and expressive performance (thanks in part to its 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6) make it a luxury cruiser to watch for when shopping in the premium segment. The rear-wheel drive drop top is equipped with a 7-speed automatic transmission, and it can also be had with a long list of high end features, including a navigation system, an air purifier, and adaptive cruise control. The Infiniti Q60, which is soon to be discontinued, won’t be released in a 2016 model year version, but the 2015 Q60 is still available while the brand works on a replacement.
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3) 2016 Ford Mustang
The 2016 Ford Mustang convertible represents the best way to hear the V8 rumble of the GT model's 5.0-liter engine as it exits the vehicle's dual exhausts. With 435 horses on tap, it might be tempting to think of the Ford Mustang convertible exclusively as a muscle machine, but its ultra-efficient 3.7-liter V6 and all-new turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder options offer a lower cost of entry as well as competitive fuel economy. 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions can be had with the Mustang, and the GT can be loaded up with additional performance parts for those who want to play hooligan at the track.
4) 2016 Chevrolet Camaro
It would be impossible to talk about the open-air Mustang without mentioning its direct competitor, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro convertible. Fully redesigned for this year, the Chevrolet Camaro convertible is another retro-themed machine with a split personality: the vehicle's turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder offers responsible power and fuel efficiency, while the 6.2-liter V8 offered in the SS trim level steps things up with 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque. 6-speed manual and 8-speed automatic transmissions are available with each, and the fully-automated top makes it a cinch to let the sunshine in in the time it takes for the light to change from red to green (an important consideration in almost any convertible).
5) 2016 BMW 4 Series
The 2016 BMW 4 Series convertible is another retractable hard-top-only affair, one that manages to preserve the sleek looks of the compact luxury car's roofline and allows it to be marketed as both a coupe and a drop top at the same time. The BMW 4 Series convertible is also a decent handler thanks to the brand's focus on chassis dynamics, and its list of available luxury options should be enough to satisfy the most demanding entry-level customer. Although the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder found in the base model is stout enough, the extra weight of the convertible mechanism almost demands that buyers go for the turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder mill found in the 435i, which brings with it 300 horses.
Photo Credit: MINI
6) 2016 MINI Cooper
The 2016 MINI Cooper, though compact, fits four occupants closely but comfortably. The base version of the 2016 MINI is powered by a 1.5-liter turbo 3-cylinder, paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. However, the MINI brand is prized for being almost infinitely customizable, and there are plenty of higher-power options on tap for those who want more oomph from their convertible. In fact, the highest-end trim, the John Cooper Works edition, is available exclusively in convertible form for this model year. Regardless of how the MINI Cooper convertible leaves the lot, though, it’s always up for a good time.
7) 2016 Volkswagen Beetle
The drop-top version of Volkswagen’s classic Beetle is a fun and comfortable option for open-air cruising. The 2015 Beetle is available in a wide range of configurations, from a basic budget ‘vert to the rally-inspired R-Line trim. Start by looking closely at the Beetle 1.8T, which features one of Volkswagen’s trademark engines, the 1.8-liter turbocharged four. Paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox, this combination gives the best bang for the buck in the Beetle convertible.
8) 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet is a luxury cruiser that borrows its attractive sheet metal from the popular E-Class coupe. Not as sporting as several of its German competitors, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet nonetheless makes up for it with a planted, comfortable ride and the kind of premium accoutrements that buyers have come to expect from the brand. Sticking with the entry-level E350 model nets a 3.5-liter V6 that is good for 302 horsepower, while moving up to the E550 introduces a 402-horsepower, 4.7-liter V8 that makes use of twin turbochargers to generate 443 lb-ft of torque. The rear-wheel drive Cabriolet is paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission.
9) 2016 Volkswagen Eos
The 2016 Volkswagen Eos is a bit of an outlier, positioned just under the premium convertible segment but offering a stronger list of features and equipment than more affordable vehicles in its class. The Volkswagen Eos benefits from a retractable hard top, and it also comes with a refined interior that looks and feels more upscale than the model's price would suggest. A 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine pulls duty under the hood of every Eos, and its 200 horsepower provide ample forward motivation for the convertible. A 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is standard with the Volkswagen.
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10) 2016 Audi A5 Cabriolet
The 2016 Audi A5 Cabriolet is in many ways a smoother counterpoint to the performance-oriented 4 Series convertible. The Audi A5 Cabriolet is focused on the finer things, delivering a range of luxury features that include navigation, heated leather seats, and adaptive cruise control. A single engine denotes the A5 Cabriolet lineup: a turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder mill that is good for 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, output that is handled by either a continuously variable automatic or a traditional 8-speed automatic transmission. The latter is available exclusively when quattro all-wheel drive is selected as an option.