Looking for an affordable roadster this summer? These seven options come in at under $10,000.
Spring is here, the sun is out, and the used car market will soon be flooded with convertibles. For those of you looking to soak up as much of that sunshine as possible, a cheap convertible could be the perfect option for that long-awaited weekend cruise. We’ve picked seven used options under $10,000 that might be worthy of a second look.
2007-09 Nissan 350Z Roadster
$7,819 – $10,419
Droptop Zs are available just below the $10,000 mark and they look to me like a lot of sports car for the money. Even though many of the online listings are saddled with an automatic transmission, the car’ boasts aggressive styling, sporty suspension and brakes, and that 3.5-liter V6 rated for as much as 306 horsepower (228 kilowatts), depending on which model year you buy. That’s a lot more performance than many of the other convertibles you’ll find on this list.
2007-08 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
$9,120 – $10,564
You know I’ve got to go with a 2007-2008 Mustang GT convertible. These cars just sneak in at the $10,000 mark in very good condition, and few things are as glorious as a drop top with a V8 soundtrack. 300 hp (223 kW) is enough to have fun without hitting warp speed on every twitch of the throttle, and the early-run S197 styling has really grown on people.
2008-10 BMW 135i Convertible
$8,493 – $9,620
The 1 Series was one of the last BMWs I truly bonded with. Small, rear-drive, great steering and balance, and a lovely turbocharged inline-six engine. You can likely find a 128i Convertible for even less money, with its sweet, sweet, naturally aspirated I6, but my money’s on the more powerful 135i – one of the best driver’s cars of its day, and still a droptop I’d love to steer every summer day.
2009-12 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
$7,786 – $9,556
Sure, the fourth-gen Mitsubishi Eclipse (not to be confused with the new Eclipse Cross SUV) wasn’t exactly the epitome of sporty and affordable like younger generations before it. But for less than $10,000, the Eclipse is a pretty solid option that still looks good. It comes with all the amenities you’d expect on a modern convertible, including Bluetooth and keyless entry, and its 2.4-liter inline-four engine delivers as much as 28 miles per gallon on the highway.
2007-09 Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT
$8,426 – $9,110
The prices are well under the limit, and the product is a great roadster. A hardtop convertible makes the model usable for a whole year – at least in my area of Northwestern Ohio. For that price, I could replace the two-seater with my Mini and still have a quite usable vehicle for 12 months a year. I can’t think of a better ‘vert for the money.
2007-08 Mercedes-Benz SLK350
$9,598 – $10,010
This may be the SLK with the funny nose – I’d argue the generations before and after it are better looking – but it’s still going to make one hell of a nice summer weekend car for not much cash. You can find the SLK280 for even less money, but I’d splash out the extra grand or so to get the 268-hp (199-kW), 3.5-liter V6, and the resulting spirited performance. This is a little bit like the power-hardtop Miata pick right before, but with slightly duller handling in favor of more grunt, a much nicer interior, and a good stereo. What else do you need?
2007-2008 Volvo C70
$8,200 – $10,735
The Volvo C70 has the distinction among the cars in this list of being the safest; the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a Top Pick designation in its very first round of convertible crash tests. It’s also capable of being driven in all seasons thanks to its retractable hardtop. I’d argue it’s one of the best looking convertibles in this list, too; its profile with the roof raised is gorgeous (you can hardly tell it’s a convertible). The C70 wasn’t a sports car, but it handled well thanks to a platform shared with the hot-handling European Ford Focus and its 225-hp (167-kW) turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine had just enough scoot.