Best Convertible

Mazda MX-5 RC


Meddling with a classic formula is dangerous, so Mazda was cautious when it built the latest MX-5.

It was launched first as a soft-top roadster in the same vein as the much loved original, and the question on everyone’s lips was: would there ever be a folding hard-top? Bosses repeatedly denied the existence of such a model right up until the British Motor Show in 2006 – and then it turned out they had been working on the MX-5 RC all along. In fact, the Mazda was developed from the start to accommodate a compact metal roof. As a result, the MX-5 is one of the most accomplished hard-top convertibles on the market.

Having a larger glass rear screen pays dividends in the cabin, where the claustrophobia created by the dark fabric hood is replaced by a more airy feel. There are also clear advantages in terms of noise insulation and security. What’s more, any buyers disappointed that they can no longer drop the hood at speed will be appeased by the fact the metal top can be raised electrically. Anyone who put their shoulder out trying to pull up the roof in the standard MX-5 will welcome the ease of simply pressing a button on the dashboard.

Yet whether the top is up or down in the MX-5, you will still be able to enjoy one of the purest driving experiences offered by any new car.

Commended: BMW 3-Series Convertible

Shortlist:Mercedes SL-ClassAudi A4 CabrioletAudi TT Roadster BMW 6-SeriesPeugeot 207 CCVolkswagen Eos

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