10 Great Convertibles for This Summer
Mazda MX5 Miata
Starting price: $24,000
All the zip of a Porsche Boxter, but with better Consumer Reports reliability ratings and about half the price. Retirees call at "The Island Car."
2012 Audi R8 Spyder
Starting price: $127,000
The three-layer acoustic top keeps things quiet and retracts in 19 seconds at 31 miles per hour, which is practically idling for the R8's 430-horsepower V8 engine. Oh, and the headlights kill vampires.
2012 Chevrolet Camaro/2013 Ford Mustang
Starting price: $30,180 (Camaro), $27,200 (Mustang)
These both have V6 engines with around 300 horsepower and 30 mpg highway fuel efficiency, but summer strips and boulevards would be lined with them even if they didn't. Memorial Day brings out the old-school muscle cars.
2012 BMW 3 Series
Starting price: $47,600
The standard retractable hard top is a nice touch but, as luxury cars go, Schaffels says the 3 Series convertible is as safe a choice as wearing a blue shirt to the office. "The cliche convertible for those who don't want to think too hard and just want to go with the familiar choice," she calls them.
2012 Volkswsagen Eos
Starting price: $34,350
Volkswagen loaded the Eos with standard features such as leather heated seats, dual climate control and a touchscreen sound system, but the retractable hard top alone earns the asking price.
Starting price: $42,500
This roadster's retractable hardtop is available as a standard steel roof or two panorama roof options: a tinted see-through panel, or an innovative electronically variable tinted panel. In Schaffels' words, it's "pure pimped-out performance."
-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.