Does the warmer weather leave you longing for a convertible? Riding with the top down, wind blowing through your hair–there’s just something magical about riding in the open air!
Consider the climate you live in. Areas with harsh, winter climates may not be the best choice for a convertible especially the type with a soft top. Soft-top convertibles require special care with snow and ice, as well as your being prepared to crank up the heat as they can be drafty and cold.
A hard-top convertible may be the better option for you if you live in an area with rough winters. Hard-tops can be driven year-round and are the optimum for colder climates. Even though cold winter weather doesn’t allow you to drive with the top down, a hard-top provides the warmth and protection you need throughout the year.
Another consideration is the body style and size vehicle you want. Since convertibles come in many shapes and sizes, you’ve got so many choices! Do you want a two-seat roadster, a four-door luxury car or maybe even a Jeep? A two-seater could be the sports car you’ve always dreamed of, however, you may now need the convenience of a four door to fit the family–tough choice!
Convertible tops come in both manual and power operations. Manually-operated soft-tops require you to do all the work. Most newer soft-tops are power-operated, but still need to be manually unlatched. Luxury models offer fully-powered tops with the touch of a button. All hard tops are power operated–with the exception of Jeeps.
To help you narrow down your options, first decide how much you can afford or are willing to spend on your new convertible. Because convertibles vary dramatically in price, this is a huge part of the equation! For example, more affordable models start at $20,000, but sticker prices on some luxury models can be over $100,000!
Safety first must be your priority. New convertibles have some type of fixed or pop-up roll bar to protect passengers in the event of an accident. Newer models are equipped with all the other typical safety features, such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. However, if you are buying a used convertible, especially an older model, be aware that it may not have a roll bar and some may not even have airbags. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a good resource to check a vehicle’s safety rating. One other safety note: convertibles tend to have smaller rear windows which create larger blind spots. Keep this in mind during your test drive, and really check to make sure that you can live with the visibility your convertible will provide.
Owning a convertible can be an exciting experience, and one that can leave you with a lot of great memories. However, don’t allow yourself to get swept away by the thrill of such a car and make a hasty decision without a reasonable amount of thought. Whether you want a second car to ride with the top down on a summer day, or an everyday convertible for year-round use, do your research and find the car that’s best for you.
In the market for a new car? Go to www.tischerauto.com to see our inventory. In the meantime, if you have any other factors we didn’t list that you feel are worth considering when buying a convertible, please leave us a comment below.