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The weather is improving, and drivers might want a car to complement the sunshine and warmth. Look no further; these convertibles offer value and joy without breaking the bank. Check out some of the best used convertibles on the market today, like the C5 Chevrolet Corvette or Saab 900. 

What is the best convertible to buy?

These five convertibles are some of the best used convertibles for the money that offer drop-top fun:

  • C5 Chevrolet Corvette
  • Mercedes-Benz SL
  • E36 BMW M3
  • Porsche 911 (996 generation)
  • Saab 900

Moreover, these five fair-weather vehicles are some of Road & Track’s picks for convertibles with the best value. Some of the names are familiar monikers in the sports car space, like the venerable Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911. However, not every enthusiast might consider an option like the Saab 900 or a Mercedes-Benz SL from the R107 generation.  

How much do C5 Corvettes cost?

The Chevrolet Corvette C5, or fifth-gen Corvette, is one of the best used convertibles and a bona fide performance bargain. For instance, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says a 2001 Corvette Convertible has a fair value of around $16,468 with average mileage. 

A bright red C5 Corvette corners on twisty roads.
C5 Corvette | PA Images via Getty Images

For that money, potential owners get a V8-powered drop-top American sports car with 350 horsepower and a choice of a manual or automatic transmission. Still, if you don’t want a traditional convertible, the coupe has a removable roof panel that lets in the sunshine. 

Is the Mercedes-Benz SL one of the best used convertibles? 

The Mercedes-Benz SL has a long tradition of elegant, handsome sports cars with convertible tops. For instance, Road & Track recommended SLs from a vast timeframe, 1971 to 2011, as great used sports car options. That span includes multiple generations of SL, including the R107. 

Moreover, Hagerty calls the R107 SL a car to “let you promenade in style.” Rightfully so, considering the model’s handsome styling, a convertible top, and even a detachable hard top. Better yet, determined collectors can get a 1973 450SL for around $17,900 in good condition. 

Why is the E36 M3 so good?

The M3 is a staple in European performance cars, and the E36 (1992 to 1999) iteration is an affordable iteration of the M car. For instance, potential owners can get their hands on a 1999 BMW M3 Convertible for around $8,897, per KBB. 

Moreover, with up to 321 horsepower, the M3 is a solid choice for a fast, fun car. 

Are 996 911s reliable?

The 996-generation Porsche 911 is the first appearance of the water-cooled engine in the model lineup and a reliable used sports car option. Of course, many purists reject the 996 models for their peculiar headlamps and lack of air-cooled propulsion. 

A used silver 996 Porsche 911 Convertible poses at a Norwegian Fjord.
A 996-generation Porsche 911 | Chris Dearden, Total 911 Magazine, Future via Getty Images

As a result, the 996 is one of the cheapest ways to get into a 911. According to KBB, a 2001 Porsche 911 Cabriolet has a fair value of around $23,119. 

Is Saab 900 a classic?

The Saab 900 might not be the first car you think of when you picture a convertible, but it’s a classic sports car with unique styling and a convertible top. Moreover, potential owners can find plenty of examples with under 100,000 miles for under $20,000. 

Better yet, James Bond even chose the trendy little Swedish sports car as one of his lesser-known rides. Whether you’re a Bond fan or not, the Saab 900 is a solid choice for drivers who want a drop-top car with character. 

A used red Saab 900 Convertible shows off its drop-top.
Saab 900 | National Motor Museum, Heritage Images via Getty Images

Should you consider one of the best used convertibles for your summer ride? 

Any one of these drop-top dynamos would be a fun way to get some sun this summer. However, your choices aren’t limited to these used sports cars. For instance, the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Ford Mustang namesakes offer historically enthusiastic convertibles that induce smiles for miles.


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