Used Cars: 15 Late Model Drop-Tops for Less Than $25k

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HeaderSpring is here and there is no better therapy (on four-wheels) than letting the top down and cruising in your late model convertible. Unless it is cruising in your late model drop -top that you got a great deal on by shopping used car websites like We have a huge selection of the hottest springtime stunners in a wide variety of styles and prices, so whether you like muscle cars or luxury cars we can hook you up with the right convertible to brighten your springtime road trip, at the right price.

2011 Chevrolet Camaro LT2

2011 Chevrolet Camaro LT2The Camaro is ne of those great retro-rides that make everyday driving chores a pleasure. Despite being dressed down a bit (in LT2 packaging) the Camaro is adequately powered with the 312-hp V6 and available six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. It can be had in a beautiful array of colors with 19-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, cruise control, air conditioning, power adjustable heated front seats, tilting and telescoping steering column, fog lamps, rear park assist, a leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and paddle shifters, heated sideview mirrors, full instrumentation with patented Heads-Up windshield display, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and nine-speaker Boston Acoustic audio system.

2011 Audi A5

2011 Audi A5What could be more fun than a turbocharged Audi convertible on a warm sunny day? Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the A5 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6-seconds, when equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox. A continuously variable transmission is also an option, as in an eight-speed automatic. If you haven’t driven an Audi lately, then you haven’t driven an Audi. Standard safety fare includes antilock disc brakes, electronic stability control, front seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags. Optional safety equipment may include a blind spot warning system and adaptive cruise control system with mitigated braking, as well.

2014 Ford Mustang

2014 Ford MustangThis little beauty can be purchased for a used car price with a portion of the new car warranty still in tact; you just can’t beat that kind of value. Speaking of unbeatable — you can’t beat the Mustang convertible for fun in the sun. Comfortably equipped with a 302-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine and either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, the Mustang comes standard with full power accessories, a limited slip differential, Xenon headlights, keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt steering column with leather wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a four-speaker audio system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The V6 Premium package adds upgraded alloy wheels, leather upholstery, and a power adjustable driver’s seat, among other things.

2012 Mini Cooper

2012 Mini CooperThis British bomb shell is like taking a vacation every time you drive somewhere. It was sold standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control, leatherette upholstery, tilting and telescoping steering column, leather wrapped steering wheel, colored ambient lighting, and a six-speaker audio system. The base engine was a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder that was good for 121-horsepower and 114 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with a six-speed manual and hill-hold assist. A six-speed manual transmission was also offered as optional equipment. Upgrading to Cooper S trim adds a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter engine that bumps the power up to 181-horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque and the John Cooper Works car takes the same engine, with enhanced turbocharger all the way to 208-horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. of torque.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle

2013 Volkswagen BeetleThis is a convertible that has stood the test of time and won. The Volkswagen Beetle Convertible has a surprisingly spacious interior with full power accessories included. It was sold with numerous engine options, all of which delivered power to the front wheels. The entry-level engine is a 2.5-liter five-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine produces 170-horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. Uniquely enough, it was also offered with a 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine that made only 140-horsepower but an astounding 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Fuel economy was the strong suit of the diesel engine with an EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city/41 mpg highway. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder was also offered. It was capable of delivering 200-horsepower.

2013 Fiat 500 Lounge

2013 Fiat 500 LoungeThis economical drop-top features a very individual approach to the convertible body-style with a power operated three-position cloth top. The 500 has plenty of space for four passengers in comfortable style. “Lounge” trim forgoes some of the sportier trappings and goes more towards an elegant approach (if a Fiat can have a degree of elegance). It offers 15-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior accents, automatic climate control, premium cloth upholstery, and rear parking sensors. Engine options include a 101-horsepower 1.4-liter with a five-speed manual transmission as standard equipment but a six-speed automatic is found quite frequently, as well. The Fiat 500 convertible offers a fun driving car that is extremely economical to own and operate. This car can be purchased used for far less than the $25k limit.

2012 Mazda Miata Grand Touring

2012 Mazda Miata Grand TouringIt is no secret that I love to drive this car, despite the fact that some have pointed out my distinct similarity to “Donkey Kong” while doing so. It is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is more than adequate for both acceleration and top speed. It offers full power accessories, premium audio, and cutting edge connectivity, combined with a truly enjoyable driving experience that is addictive. It is available with either a convertible soft top or convertible hard top, which is rare these days. If you can find one with leather seating then you have struck gold. The seats provide the perfect balance of comfort and support for a driving experience that will provide you with more inner peace then a high-dollar therapy session.

2010 Chrysler Sebring Limited 

2010 Chrysler Sebring Limited (Hardtop)The Sebring convertible offers the advantages of a hardtop coupe and the emotion of a convertible with a power retractable hard-top design. The base model LX was sold with a four-cylinder engine, 16-inch steel wheels, power adjustable front seats, air conditioning, and full power accessories. Touring level trim upgrades to a V6 engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side view mirrors, premium cloth upholstery with a cushioned center console armrest, and a key-fob operated power retractable top. The Limited features 18-inch alloy wheels, Boston Acoustics audio system, V6 engine with dual stainless steel exhaust tips; steering wheel mounted audio controls, leather upholstery, a LCD touchscreen with GPS navigation, and remote start.

2011 Chrysler 200S

2011 Chrysler 200S (Hardtop)The Chrysler 200S also uses a power retractable hardtop to yield a two-fold atmosphere to consumers. This front-wheel drive convertible coupe is available with a choice of two engine sizes. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in all except the “S” level trim packages. It produces 173-horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque. The S level upgrades the engine to a 3.6-liter V6 that manages 283-horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is used in all but the entry-level LX trim convertible which came with a four-speed automatic as standard equipment. The Limited level convertible accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5-seconds in performance testing.

2011 Volkswagen EOS 

2011 Volkswagen EOS (Hardtop)This sporty convertible is ready for spring with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that makes 200-horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. The Komfort trim level offers your choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed dual clutch automated manual, which functions similarly to a conventional automatic with quicker and more efficient shifting. The Lux model is also available exclusively with the dual clutch automated manual. Standard safety equipment on all EOS convertible models includes antilock disc brakes and front seat side airbags. It features a five-piece retractable hardtop that goes from one extreme to the other in only 25-seconds but it does require 16-inches of clearance directly behind the car to operate. The top is equipped with sensors to warn of any impeding objects.

2011 Volvo C70 T5

2011 Volvo C70  T5 (Hardtop)The C70 T5 is a luxury convertible with a power retractable hardtop that will draw crowds when you put it up or take it down — it is that amazing. It is available with only one trim level which features 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear fog lamps, power adjustable heated side view mirrors, leather seating surfaces, eight way power adjustable driver’s seat (with memory), dual-zone automatic climate control with air conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, an eight-speaker premium audio system with Bluetooth capability and an integrated CD/MP3 player. The engine is a turbocharged 2, 5-liter that pumps out 227-horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque through a five-speed shiftable automatic transmission.

2010 Infiniti G37

2010 Infiniti G37 (Hardtop)These retractable hardtops are like the candy coating on the outside of an ice cream cone, they come off in pieces. This entry-level luxury convertible certainly has a treat underneath (albeit not so vanilla). A potent 3, 7-liter V6 makes this our most powerful late-model used convertible for less than $25k. It generates 328-horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque through a seven-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and rev matched downshifts. Surprisingly, all G37 coupes and convertibles are rear-wheel drive, except the G37x, which is all-wheel drive. In performance testing the G37 convertible blasted from 0 to 60 mph in only 6.0-seconds (nearly a half second slower than the coupe — the price you pay for candy coating).

2010 Lexus IS250

2010 Lexus IS250This is a four-passenger convertible with a fully automatic retractable hardtop. A more powerful version of the same car is also offered as the IS 350C, which features a larger and more powerful 3, 5-liter six-cylinder engine. The IS250 is outfitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, heated side view mirrors, keyless entry/ignition, power adjustable heated front seats with leather seating surfaces, dual zone automatic climate control with air conditioning, cruise control, an auto dimming rear view mirror, and an eight speaker premium audio system with Bluetooth capability, six-disc CD player/changer, and a USB jack. The luxury package upgrades available amenities even further.

2010 Nissan 370Z

2010 Nissan 370ZThis Japanese roadster offers room for two for an emotional driving experience that will titillate the senses. Standard safety equipment for the 370Z includes antilock disc brakes, mitigated braking, electronic stability and traction control, front seat side impact airbags, door-mounted side curtain airbags, and active head restraint devices. A power operated fully retractable soft top, 19-inch wheels, a limited slip differential, heated and ventilated seats, front and rear spoilers, high-performance brakes, and SynchroRev Match manual transmission are standard equipment on all 370Z Roadsters. Entry-level roadsters are equipped with the 332-horspeower V6 with a six-speed manual gearbox. A seven-speed automatic transmission is also available on select models.

2011 BMW 128i

2011 BMW 128iThis little Bavarian comes with 17-inch cast aluminum wheels, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, automatic windshield wipers, heated side view mirrors and windshield washer jet outlets, cruise control, tilting and telescoping steering column, premium leatherette upholstery, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 10-speaker premium audio system with a CD player and auxiliary jack. This rear-wheel drive convertible lists a 230-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment but a six-speed automatic is also available. Antilock disc brakes with automatic drying and standby, electronic stability and traction control, hill-start assist for manual transmission equipped cars, front seat side airbags, and pop-up rollover hoops are all standard safety fare for the 128i convertible.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.