These Are Forbes’ Favorite 3 Reliable Used Sub-$10k Convertibles

Would you add a reliable used convertible to your fleet, it if wouldn’t break the bank? You’re in luck, Forbes compiled a list of the most stylish and reliable sub-$10k used cars you can buy–and it includes three convertibles. The Mazda MX-5 Mitat, Toyota Camry Solara, and Ford Mustang convertible are all excellent options for an affordable and reliable ragtop. Here are the specific model years you should be considering, and why.

1999 to 2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Three reliable used Mazda Miata convertibles, an NA, NB, and ND MX-5, all finished in red and parked in front of the L.A. skyline for a publicity photo.
Three Mazda Miata MX-5 generations | Mazda

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Mazda fans won’t be surprised that the MX-5 Miata tops the Forbes list for reliable, inexpensive used convertibles. This little roadster has a stellar reputation for reliability and is often absurdly affordable. Add in its relatively fuel-efficient I4 and nimble handling and you can begin to see why Mazda fans joke that “Miata” stands for “MX-5 is always the answer.”

Fobes picked the second-generation, “NB” Miata, (built from 1999 through 2005) because it is the oldest and cheapest generation with relatively modern looks. The first-gen 1989-1998 MX-5 has rad flip-up headlights, which make it instantly recognizable as a used car. Though used second-generation Miatas are very affordable, their downsides include no automatic transmission option and relatively little straight-line power. No Miata offers a rear seat, and they all have a tiny trunk. This might be the perfect car to have around for a weekend cruise, but has limitations for most other uses.

Learn about the future of Mazda’s internal combustion Miata.

2004 to 2008 Toyota Camry Solara

A reliable 2004 Toyota Camry Solara convertible finished in red and parked on the stage at an auto show.
2004 Toyota Solara | John Zich/ Bloomberg News via Getty Images

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The Solara was a coupe/convertible Toyota built on the Camry’s chassis for a decade. You could order it with automatic and manual transmissions and with I4 or V6 engines. All its drivetrains boasted Camry levels of reliability. This far outstripped the reliability of its contemporaries, such as the Chrysler Sebring.

Fobes suggests the second-generation (2004-2008) Solara because Toyota completely redesigned the car’s looks and boosted the V6’s output to 225 horsepower. The Solara doesn’t handle as well as smaller roadsters such as the Miata, and Toyota never paired its V6 engine with a manual transmission. That said, the Solara does have a small back seat. In addition, many used Solaras have been driven gently and are still reliable for a convertible coupe. If you do buy an I4 Solara with an automatic transmission, look for a 2005 or later model which had five gears instead of four.

Read why Toyota’s latest sports car, GR Corolla, might be overrated.

2006 to 2011 Ford Mustang

The release of the 2006 Ford Mustang convertible on the stage at the L.A. auto sho.
2006 Ford Mustang | J. Emilio Flores via Getty Images

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Back in 2006, Ford rolled out a retro-styled new Mustang and launched the modern muscle car market into overdrive. The 2006 through 2011 Mustang still looks stylish on modern roads. And if you choose your used Mustang carefully, it can be an affordable and reliable car.

Ford offered several variations of the Mustang: coupes and convertibles with manual and automatic transmissions behind either V6 or V8 engines. Under $10k you’ll be hard-pressed to find a V8-powered Mustang in good shape. But the V6 made 210 horsepower, and in a manual could be fun to drive. Note that Ford restyled the Mustang for 2010, but didn’t update the drivetrain. Many of these Mustangs were driven aggressively by previous owners, so a used convertible Mustang is worth having a professional inspect before you deem it reliable enough to invest in.

Next, read about the modern Mazda Miata’s falling sales numbers or see which affordable convertible is fastest in the video below:

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