In many ways, the convertible car is the ultimate expression of automotive indulgence. A roof is crucial in a car, both in blocking the rain out and keeping the body rigid enough to stop the whole thing turning into a blancmange when you show it a corner.
A car with a roof is sensible but a car without a roof is sexy, scintillating and, given the chance, most of us would pay through the nose to own one.
That bubbling demand from motorists wanting to access the seductive thrill of open-topped motoring is precisely why the convertible car market is booming at the moment. It might not make much practical sense to lop a perfectly good roof from a new model, replacing it with an intricately engineered folding canopy and enough body strengthening to stop it handling like the aforementioned pudding, but that's precisely what the market demands.
Manufacturers have become unerringly good at building convertible models, too. The best exponents of the genre today reduce the drawbacks of forgoing a fixed roof to a minimum while maximising the visceral, enchanting advantages.
Convertibles are more affordable than ever with many of the smallest city cars offered in open-topped guises - even if these economical, urban runabouts do blur the line between a proper convertible hood and a glorified sunroof.
Beyond that, the choice expands. There are family-sized cars with traditional lightweight multi-skinned fabric roofs offering eerily good noise insulation or full folding hard-tops claiming a best-of-both-worlds compromise. Depending on the size of these models, usable rear seats and a decent boot are now a very real possibility for convertibles.
The classic two-seater roadster is also in rude health, from the iconic Mazda MX-5 to the epic Jaguar F-Type. And the convertible market extends upwards further, to supercars like the McLaren 650S Spider promising huge performance and luxurious machines like Bentley's Continental GTC that afford those with the cash an unforgettable way to see and be seen.
Amid all this convertible car choice, we've pinpointed our top 10 best convertible cars currently on the market. Hold on to your hats and click the links below to find out what made the list…
1. Porsche Boxster
2. Audi A3 Cabriolet
3. Jaguar F-Type
4. BMW 4 Series Convertible
5. Porsche 911 Cabriolet
6. McLaren 605S Spider
7. BMW 6 Series Convertible
8. Bentley Continental GT Convertible
9. Citroen C1 Airscape
10. Mazda MX-5