Best Hardtop Convertibles in 2019
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
You love the idea of a convertible: the wind blowing through your hair, the sun warming your body. But, when it’s time for the top to go up, you still want a solid covering.
A retractable hardtop might be the convertible for you. The most significant benefit over a soft top is security — a soft top can be slashed. A hardtop also offers better protection from the snow, rain and cold. On the other hand, soft tops are generally less expensive to purchase and repair, and many owners say they give a convertible its traditional look.
Best hardtop convertibles
- 2019 Mazda Miata RF
- 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe
- 2019 Mercedes-Benz SLC 300 Roadster
- 2019 BMW M4
- 2019 BMW 4 Series Convertible
How we chose the best hardtop convertibles
We looked for hardtops that received at least four stars from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) experts and consumers on Edmunds consumers, when available. We also looked for a range of price points, though we excluded convertibles that had a base price higher than $80,000.
Best hardtop convertibles
4.6 out of 5 by KBB experts; 5.0 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (2 reviews)
The RF stands for Retractable Fastback, as Mazda also makes a soft top version (the hardtop is about $6,600 more than the soft top). This is a relatively affordable, sleek sports convertible that underwent an engine redesign for 2019, although while it’s quieter than previous versions, it’s still not a completely quiet ride. Experts recommend springing for the Grand Touring model, which comes with the GT-S package (on the manual transmission version) — this offers a sport-tuned suspension which makes the ride a little quieter, along with leather seats and automatic climate control. Like other convertibles, a Miata with the top up offers less headroom compared with larger cars, so taller drivers, beware. There’s also no backseat, nor is there a glove compartment. This is, after all, a true sports car.
2019 Mercedes-Benz SLC 300 Roadster
4.6 out of 5 by KBB experts; not yet rated by consumers on Edmunds
This two-seater is a small hardtop convertible with available AIRSCARF, a system that will heat up your neck so you can drive with the top down in cooler weather. It’s less expensive than other Mercedes convertible models, but some might find the standard tech to be lacking — if you want AIRSCARF and the multimedia package including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and navigation system, that will add $5,000 to the base price. While critics have praised the retractable hardtop, they also note that it, like other hardtops, cuts into the car’s cargo space.
4.1 out of 5 by KBB experts; 3.0 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (1 review)
You can purchase different vehicles in the 4-series — including the coupe, the 4-door liftback and the retractable hardtop convertible; for this review, though, we’ll focus on the convertible. Still, even then you’ve got choices: look at the 430i and 440i versions — both have the option of choosing all-wheel drive. The standard 430i comes with a four-cylinder engine and basic Sport Line Design. Bump up to the 440i model, and you get a standard 6-cylinder turbocharged engine for a base price of $60,000.
not yet rated by KBB experts; 4.9 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (9 reviews)
The coupe comes with a removable hardtop that you can store in the trunk, or you can get the convertible ($60,400), which has a soft top. Available in three trim levels (1LT, 2LT and 3LT), you’ll be driving with the top down with a standard V8 engine and manual transmission. A 3LT with performance package will run you more than $70,000, but comes with enhanced shocks and performance brakes. Tech features like a wifi hotspot are available, even on the base 1LT trim.
2019 BMW M4
Not rated by KBB experts or consumers on Edmunds
The luxury carmaker offers several convertibles, including other, less expensive, hardtops, but the M4 is billed as a racing ride. It has a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that can hit 60 mph in less than five seconds and critics applaud its roominess when compared with other cars of this class. But it’s also one of the most expensive cars on this list, and that doesn’t include available packages you can add — for example, the $2,100 Executive Package comes with side and top view cameras plus parking assistant.
Ways to finance the best hardtop convertible
You can finance a hardtop convertible many ways, including via a bank, credit union or online lender. It may feel overwhelming, but the simplest method is to compare prices before you start your car search. Get a pre approved auto loan, and you can always see if the dealership can beat that rate. On LendingTree, you can fill out an online form and receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, instead of filling out five different lender applications.