Gear Patrol’s 3 Best Convertibles Make for the Perfect Beach Cars in Summer 2022

Summer is finally here, bringing warmer weather and beach trips. It’s also an ideal time to enjoy a convertible. In fact, Gear Patrol calls the convertible “the perfect summer car.” But some drop-tops stand out when you want to head to the coast. Here are the three convertibles Gear Patrol says are the best beach cars.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a best-selling convertible

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata best convertibles beach cars
2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible roadster | Maza North American Operations

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has been one of the best-selling convertibles for years. Gear Patrol points to its driving dynamics, style, and low cost as prime reasons it’s a great convertible beach car. 

Now in its fourth generation, the Miata doesn’t have many direct competitors. Its small roadster design makes it nimble and fun to drive despite its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making only 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata doesn’t break the bank — its base model starts at $27,650. It won’t cost you a ton at the pump, either. The Miata is the most-fuel efficient gas-powered sports car, getting 34 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg combined. Gear Patrol isn’t alone in rating the MX-5 well. Consumer Reports hails the Miata as the best and cheapest roadster, and TrueCar names it the best convertible for the money.

And if you’d prefer a used Mazda MX-5 Miata, Gear Patrol says models from the past 20 years are both a bargain and a fun convertible to drive in the summer. If you’re looking for something similar, Gear Patrol also recommends the Toyota MR2 Spyder and Audi TT.

Hit the beach with the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

The Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet takes much of what makes the Mazda MX-5 Miata a great convertible but on a bigger scale. The 911 has much more power than the Miata, with 379 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque from a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Gear Patrol also calls the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet’s handling unparalleled, thanks to the rear-engine layout. 

The 911 Carrera Cabriolet’s interior is also spacious and accommodating for taller drivers. The convertible top retracts easily but slightly affects rear visibility. And it costs much more than the Mazda MX-5 Miata: Porsche puts the starting MSRP for a 911 Carrera Cabriolet at $118,900. But reviewers, including Edmunds, argue you get what you pay for, given the driving experience and luxury. 

If you want that driving experience at a lower price, pre-owned Porsche 911 models are bargains on the used market. Gear Patrol also names the Chevrolet Corvette and the Mercedes-Benz SL-500 as other options to consider.

The Ford Mustang EcoBoost is an iconic muscle car

The iconic American muscle car comes in as a contrast to the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet’s price tag. For just a few thousand dollars more than a new MX-5 Miata, you get nearly as much power as the 911 but with classic Mustang styling. Gear Patrol calls it an iconic American convertible. That’s fair, considering Ford pioneered the pony-car segment decades ago.

The base-model Ford Mustang EcoBoost packs a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pushing out 310 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. That’s plenty of power for a beach car. Ford puts the Mustang EcoBoost’s starting price at $32,705 — a great value considering the car’s potency. 

If you have a bigger budget, you can get even more power with the Ford Mustang GT. This model boasts a 5.0-liter V8 harnessing 450 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, plus performance and interior upgrades. It’s still an affordable convertible given the increased performance. 

If the Mustang isn’t what you’re looking for, Gear Patrol names a couple more performance sports convertibles. The Chevrolet Camaro and BMW Z4 make great beach cars with the top down.

The best beach cars of 2022 will make your summer

When it comes to the best beach cars of 2022, Gear Patrol has presented quite a few options. From the Mazda MX-5 Miata to the Ford Mustang EcoBoost, each of these beach cars is bound to make your summer. So, which will you choose?

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