Friends in convertible with top down on Summer road trip.

10 Best Convertible Cars That 2021 Delivered To The Used Market

Hanna Kielar8-minute read
February 01, 2022

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    10 Best Convertible Cars That 2021 Delivered To The Used Market

    Convertible sports cars are universally relished for the sensory driving experience—the sun on your skin, wind in your hair and the bass of a powerful engine’s rev. The best convertible cars combine performance, high-tech comfort and an elegant style you can't get anywhere else. We took a look at the current market to gather the top-rated convertibles you can buy today.

    Using the most reliable data from the EPA and trade publications like Car and Driver, we ranked the best convertibles on the used market for how well they perform, their engine power and high-tech features that come standard in the latest used models. Here’s what the results say are the best convertible cars on the used market:

    10. BMW Z4

    BMW Z4 Convertible

    Image Source: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com

    Best For: Sporty appearance

    MPG: 24 City | 31 Highway

    Engine: Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-six

    Options: Soft-top coupe

    The BMW Z4 has a sleek, low profile known for its intimidating front grille that conveys the true prowess of its turbocharged engine. The strong front contour lines gradually fade into a smoothed-over set of side panels with concave doors and recessed handle wells. One look at this luxury convertible car can spark the imagination for an endless list of where it can take you.

    The BMW Z4 carries its exciting design philosophy into the space under the hood. The turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter inline-six pushes 255 HP into the rear-wheel drive for quick acceleration and decent tracking on straightaways. The front suspension wanders a little in the turns, but it's just enough to keep you awake on a twisty road. The higher gears on the Z4's eight-speed automatic transmission are laid out for smooth highway driving, while the lower gears switch easily between speeds for adaptive performance driving.

    Start browsing for used BMW Z4 convertibles nationwide.

    9. Mercedes-Benz SLC

    Mercedes Benz SLC Convertible

    Image Source: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com 

    Best For: Sporty appearance

    MPG: 24 City | 31 Highway

    Engine: Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-six

    Options: Soft-top coupe

    The BMW Z4 has a sleek, low profile known for its intimidating front grille that conveys the true prowess of its turbocharged engine. The strong front contour lines gradually fade into a smoothed-over set of side panels with concave doors and recessed handle wells. One look at this luxury convertible car can spark the imagination for an endless list of where it can take you.

    The BMW Z4 carries its exciting design philosophy into the space under the hood. The turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter inline-six pushes 255 HP into the rear-wheel drive for quick acceleration and decent tracking on straightaways. The front suspension wanders a little in the turns, but it's just enough to keep you awake on a twisty road. The higher gears on the Z4's eight-speed automatic transmission are laid out for smooth highway driving, while the lower gears switch easily between speeds for adaptive performance driving.

    Start browsing for used BMW Z4 convertibles nationwide.

    8. BMW M8

    BMW M8 Convertible

    Image Source: Konstantin - stock.adobe.com

    Best For: Punchy engine sounds

    MPG: 15 City | 21 Highway

    Engine: Twin-turbocharged and intercooled V-8

    Options: Soft-top coupe

    The elements of the BMW M8 come together to create a powerful and fun driving experience. Most noticeably, the powerful twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 screams its 617 HP to the eight-speed automatic transmission, to round out an engine that could compete on any elite racetrack. The powertrain preferentially distributes all this power to the rear axle, while disengaging the front end when accelerating into the straightaway, where the M8 can top 60 mph in around 2.5 seconds. That's the hefty 553 pound-feet of torque at work, and you'll hear every note of it through the overbuilt muffler in back.

    Despite the power packed under the hood, the BMW M8 maintains laser control and steadfastly directs that power to arrive right when you want it, where it's needed. If the build hasn’t led you to believe that this convertible belongs on a racing track, the Competition trim makes it crystal clear with a “track” mode that turns off every driving aid for traditional controlled driving.  All in all, the M8 is a stable, comfortable platform that puts a monster engine in a beautiful package.

    Start browsing for used BMW M8 convertibles nationwide.

    7. Ford Mustang

    Ford Mustang Convertible

    Image Source: art_zzz - stock.adobe.com

    Best For: Custom options

    MPG: 20 City | 23 Highway

    Engine: DOHC 32-valve V-8

    Options: Soft-top coupe

    The Ford Mustang has been in continuous production since 1964. Over the years, it's grown into not one, but several different market niches. The main production line has found a number of appreciative fan bases dedicated to the styling, surprising power of its undersized engine and pure iconography. The current generation of the Pony seems consciously designed to appeal to every market segment it's ever had, with possibly the widest set of options you can find in modern convertibles.

    The Mustang's exterior styling packages vary with trim levels, from the fairly humdrum aerodynamic lines of the entry-level EcoBoost and GT packages to the lively snarling Mach 1s and onto the hair-on-fire front blocks and side strakes of the Shelby GT500s. The interior offers nearly as much variation: between roomy rear seats and family-friendly legroom of the base models’ quiet cabins, to the leather trim and advanced avionics of the 760-HP Shelby.

    Start browsing for used Ford Mustang convertibles nationwide.

    6. Porsche 718

    Porsche 718 Convertible

    Image Source: pixarno - stock.adobe.com

    Best For: Driving fun

    MPG: 20 City | 26 Highway

    Engine: Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve flat-four

    Options: Soft-top coupe

    The current generation of convertible Boxsters with soft-drop tops will have you mooning over its luxurious interior and Borg Collective driver-assist interface with collision warning and user-friendly navigation. The present iteration of the 718 comes with three power packages, of which the 300-HP turbo 2.0-liter flat-four is the base model. You can kick that up by 50 HP in the 2.5-liter S model, but if you have the $90,000+ MSRP to spend, Porsche offers a GTS 4.0 flat-six with the most responsive 394 horses you've ever ridden.

    The 718’s disciplined power is sent through a six-speed transmission that comes standard on all three trims, though you can opt into the seven-speed automatic. It may seem irreverent to forgo the manual transmission option, but the automatic Porsche installed on its open-roof cars is practically psychic. The gearbox has a knack for hitting the right range a moment before you need it, and there's virtually no play in the shifting process. The inexplicable odd little sounds modern transmissions tend to make while shifting down into a curve seem wholly absent.

    The mid-engine layout and low center of gravity allows the Porsche to handle hairpin turns you wouldn't attempt on a bicycle. The steering matches the suspension, where the tiniest hand motions translate into perfectly tuned sweeps from lane to lane, giving you responsive handling for those alluring twisty roads.

    Start browsing for used Porsche 718 convertibles nationwide

    5. Chevrolet Camaro

    Chevy Camaro Convertible

    Image Source: Mike Mareen - stock.adobe.com

    Best For: Daily drivers

    MPG: 22 City | 27 Highway

    Engine: Pushrod 16-valve V-8

    Options: Soft-top coupe

    The Camaro may not be the first car that comes to mind as a sensible commuter car, but the 2021 model year has a suite of features that put this diamond-in-the-rough into serious contention as a grocery-getter. The base turbo-four engine package, for example, is a nicely efficient power plant for a performance-centric pony car, achieving a decent 27 mpg in highway driving and a still-frugal 22 mpg on city streets. Of course, the roaring 455-HP V-8 Chevy      premium upgrade chips away at those numbers somewhat, but you can still get a reasonable level of economy out of the 1LE trim package.

    The trunk space of the current generation Camaro earns its grocery-getter label, though consumers report that the interior leaves adult-sized humans feeling cramped and uncomfortable. Even the entry-level 2020-22 Camaros have a massively complex infotainment package, clearly designed for drivers who expect intuitive interaction while fighting traffic on the freeway. An optional bass boost makes the sound system come alive, and front-and-rear speaker sets seem designed to thump out of a convertible with the top dropped. 

    Start browsing for used Chevrolet Camaro convertibles nationwide

    4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

    Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertible

    Image Source: artographer34 - stock.adobe.com

    Best For: Luxury

    MPG: 20 City | 28 Highway

    Engine: Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-six

    Options: Soft-top coupe

    Mercedes has designed the E-Class for the person of substance, both physical and financial. The base MSRP of $56,000 puts this four-door convertible out of reach for entry-level car buyers, though it's not so high as to make it a toy for the rich alone. Plush leather interior trim and a range of subdued colors and textures offer a warm, stately atmosphere to enhance an already decadent driving experience. The understated exterior styling gives the impression of modesty and reserve that a Mercedes customer comes to expect.

    Under the hood, the E-Class uses a common turbo-four that chugs along respectably well for its size, but you can upgrade to a roaring 429-HP E53 package or the turbocharged straight-six of the E450. This performance option is available on the sedan for a little extra money, but it comes standard on the coupe and cabriolet. The convertible sedan comes standard with some pretty flashy tech, such as the advanced dual displays embedded in its dashboard. 

    Start browsing for used Mercedes-Benz E-Class convertibles nationwide

    3. Fiat 124 Spider

    Fiat 124 Spider Convertible

    Image Source: Dmytro Surkov - stock.adobe.com

    Best For: Two-seaters

    MPG: 25 City | 36 Highway

    Engine: Turbocharged four-cylinder

    Options: Soft-top coupe

    Unlike some of the bulkier convertibles, the Fiat 124 uses every inch to its advantage with light body panels and aggressive styling, a tightly tuned suspension and lots of legroom for a two-seater. The smaller four-cylinder engine gets revving with a low-lag turbocharger that comes standard on all trims.

    Meanwhile, the interior cabin is rich with soft textures and fabrics that make you forget it can be had for less than $30,000 used. The Spider remains accessible at this price point with standard infotainment systems and the option of manual or automatic climate control. At the end of the day, buyers choose the Spider for its engine over the bells and whistles of luxury convertibles.

    Start browsing for used Fiat Spider convertibles nationwide

    2. Chevrolet Corvette

    Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

    Image Source: art_zzz - stock.adobe.com

    Best For: Cargo capacity

    MPG: 16 City | 26 Highway

    Engine: Pushrod 16-valve V-8

    Options: Hardtop coupe

    The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette has made moves from previous models. Specifically, the engine has moved from the front compartment to a tight little box behind the passenger cabin. Typically, it can be a risk for consumers as engineers iron out the bugs that come with a radically shifted engine, but Chevy got this one perfect right out of the box. The engine relocation creates an entirely new, significant cargo space—something you wouldn’t expect from a hardtop convertible that looks like a sci-fi shuttlecraft.

    The shortened drivetrain now delivers performance as close to convertible supercar levels as you’d ever need. The Z51 package mates the hungry-sounding V-8 with a dual-exhaust package that bumps performance up to 495 HP and 470 pound-feet of torque. That makes for 1.03g acceleration on a straightaway.

    Start browsing for used Chevrolet Corvette convertibles nationwide.

    1. Mazda MX-5 Miata

    Mazda Miata Convertible Roadster With Top Down

    Best For: All-around value

    MPG: 26 City | 34 Highway

    Engine: DOHC 16-valve inline-four

    Options: Hardtop | Soft-top | Coupe

    The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the definition of a bang for your buck roadster. Even the base models have peppy four-cylinders that mate well with the six-speed manual shifter for a dynamic experience driving twists and turns. The optional automatic transmission plays smartly through the gears to give you fun, friendly handling through every turn at speed.

    The exterior  is not just aggressively styled for a sporty look—it’s been engineered to distribute weight evenly between the front and the back once you take the driver’s seat in order to maintain tight turns and even handling.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across all trims, which is a nice luxury touch for such an affordable car. 

    The Mazda MX-5 Miata also made it to our Best-Looking Cars roundup for 2022.

    Start browsing for used Mazda MX-5 Miata convertibles nationwide.

    The Bottom Line: You've Got Options

    Today's convertible market is lively and diverse, with plenty available to make almost any customer happy. You can opt for the raw fire of the high-performance BMWs and Corvettes or the more sedate comfort of an E-Class. If you're ambitious and on a budget, you might find the best value in the eminently affordable Fiat or Mazda MX-5. Whatever appeals to you about the best convertible cars on the market today, be sure to check out Rocket Auto’s growing inventory of used convertibles.

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    Hanna Kielar

    Hanna Kielar is a Section Editor for Rocket Auto℠, RocketHQ℠, and Rocket Loans® with a focus on personal finance, automotive, and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.