6 Cars You Didn’t Know Were Available as Convertibles
Cruising the American roadways in the 1950s was a national pastime as auto enthusiasts embraced the sex appeal and coolness factor of their vehicles having a removable top. In the age of muscle cars and roadsters, almost every U.S. automaker had a convertible in its product lineup.
However, with increasing speed limits and growing safety concerns in the 1970s, hard-top roofs became the norm, and automakers stopped directing their attention to convertible models. Nowadays, convertible vehicles are rare and typically only found on higher-end luxury sports cars, with perhaps the exception of the somewhat affordable Mazda Miata MX-5.
However, not every convertible model is so stereotypical. Here’s a look at six vehicles you might not have known were available as convertibles.
1. Chrysler PT Cruiser
The Chrysler PT Cruiser gained a cult-like following throughout its nine years of production. Unveiled at the turn of the century, its nostalgic appearance helped the unique vehicle earn Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award in 2001.
In 2004, the automaker offered a soft-top convertible variant of the PT Cruiser. Despite its popularity, production of the convertible ended in 2008, and the following year production halted on the hard-top version, with the nameplate discontinued.
2. Jeep Wrangler
While not a traditional convertible, the Jeep Wrangler makes our list due to its removable top and doors. First appearing in 1986, the current Wrangler is in its fourth generation. Initially only available in a two-door convertible option, the iconic Jeep has evolved with enhanced roofing, roll-up windows, and hard top availability.
Today, the 2024 Jeep Wrangler features a two or four-door variant that includes a three-piece hard top, a mesh sunbonnet top by Mopar®, a Sky One-Touch® Power Top, or a zipperless black Sunrider® soft top. The two-door Sport 4×4 has an MSRP of $31,195.
3. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Many people don’t realize that Land Rover had a convertible model for a short time. It featured a fixed bow, fabric Z-folding roofing system that automatically opened and closed with the touch of a button, taking less than 20 seconds to lower. The convertible roof could operate while traveling up to 30 mph and featured an acoustic liner to reduce road noise. The frameless doors provided for a one-of-a-kind stylish exterior appearance.
The Range Rover Evoque convertible was only available between 2017 and 2018. While the soft top is no longer in production, the current variant of the Evoque offers a panoramic fixed roof as an optional feature.
4. Mini Cooper
The 2024 Mini Convertible has a starting price of $35,700 and features an electrically-powered soft top that takes only 18 seconds to go up or down, able to operate while going 18 mph. The top can also be left in sunroof mode, and there is an option to have the Union Jack design woven into the soft top.
While the Mini Cooper has been around since 1959, it wasn’t until 2002 that the iconic European car hit American roadways. A two-door convertible option became available in the 2005 model year, and almost 20 years later can still be found in the Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works (JCW) trim levels. Additionally, a limited amount of electric Mini Cooper convertibles became available for the 2023 model year.
5. Nissan Murano
The Nissan Murano is a popular choice in the SUV segment, but the infamous Cross Cabriolet convertible version is no longer available, ending production in 2014.
Touted as the “world’s first and only All-Wheel Drive crossover convertible,” it featured a powerful V6 engine, ample cargo space, an easily storable soft foldable top, and a unique skylight feature. It first debuted in 2011.
6. Volkswagen Beetle
The classic Volkswagen Beetle is a nostalgic reminder of the 1960s counterculture hippie movement. In 1949, the first convertible version of the iconic “bug” rolled off German production lines. Named the Beetle Cabriolet, the four-seater sold approximately 330,000 units before ending production in 1980.
Reintroduced in 2013, the Cabriolet featured a soft top that could go down in less than 10 seconds with a K-fold feature that quickly converted the foam-bonded, weather-proof fabric into a compact space. Safety upgrades included a sturdier folding frame, enhanced attachment points, an invisible roll bar, a reinforced body shell, and a rollover protection system.
In 2019, Volkswagen produced the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL, marking the end of one of the most popular vehicles in automotive history.