5. Mercedes SLK

Mercedes SLK
21 Mar, 2013 7:03pm

The Mercedes SLK was one of the pioneers of the folding hard-top convertible, and the company has stuck with this design even as rivals have turned their back on it. The clever folding mechanism demands no compromises on styling, and the roof appeals to buyers by offering the security and refinement of a coupe.

The price is high, but the car has a strong image, while the latest efficient engines bring low fuel consumption and road tax bills – the diesels deliver up to 56.5mpg and emissions as low as 132g/km. Performance fans are well catered for, too, with a 418bhp SLK 55 AMG model, although there’s obviously a trade-off in efficiency and things like servicing costs and insurance group ratings.

But every SLK scores on the quality of its two-seater interior, and useful options include the AirScarf system, which blows warm air into the cabin at neck level from the headrests – ideal for fans of top-down driving all year round. And while space is tight, driver and passenger should have no problems getting comfortable. Just bear in mind that boot size is compromised when the roof is folded, with capacity cut from 335 litres to 225 litres.