The Pros and Cons Of Convertibles


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Are convertible cars worth it? Whether you’re hypothetically toying with the idea or ready to put your money into a beauty with a top down, it’s always a good idea to do some thorough research. As with purchasing any vehicle, you’ll need all the info on the pros and cons of convertibles to make the best possible decision.

Whether it’s a soft-top Fiat 500 or hard-top Porsche Boxster, here’s what you need to know.

The cons of convertible cars

We believe in delivering the bad news first so we can finish with the good news, which is why we’re starting with the cons of convertibles. Here’s what puts the ‘con’ in ‘convertibles’…


Driving with a convertible’s top down is fun and free. It’s also loud. Research has found driving a convertible over 88km miles an hour creates sound levels above 85 decibels. Unsurprisingly, this is considered ‘excessive’ and potentially damaging to hearing!

Unlike with a hard top or fixed top roof you’re now competing with wind, road and engine noise. Not only will you struggle to chat to your passengers, but you’ll have to turn your radio up quite loud to hear the music.

If you have a fabric top roof, the sound can be quite loud even when the top is up. At high speed, the wind rushing over the canvas makes a noise, especially if there are any rips or tears in the fabric.

And older couple in a red thunderbird convertible. Are convertible cars worth it? You have to weigh up the pros and cons of convertibles before making that decision

Fabric or metal

On most convertible cars, you can choose between a fabric or metal roof. Picking one or the other can be a matter of taste, however there are also some pros and cons of convertibles in terms of roof type.

A fabric roof is lighter than a metal roof, which reduces the car’s weight and makes it potentially lighter on fuel. On the downside they’re not as quiet as metal roofs or as resistant to thieves. Some fabric roofs need to be manually put up and down, which can be a chore.

Metal roofs are more durable and resistant to tampering. Their biggest drawback, however, is that they take up a ton of boot space. We know boot space isn’t exactly a top consideration if you’re considering a convertible, but not being able to load anything bigger than a small suitcase can become a real bother.

Ever wondered are cars waterproof, whether convertible or not? It might seem obvious but think again!

Back seats

Convertibles aren’t exactly known for their roomy back seats. This is by no means a utility vehicle or a car for a big family going on vacation. The back seats are usually smaller than in a sedan and leg room is limited. Tall and long-legged people – you won’t want to squish in here!

A man in sunglasses driving a convertible. Are convertible cars worth it? You have to weigh up the pros and cons of convertibles before making that decision

Wear and tear

Convertible fabric tops, by their nature, are more prone to wear and tear than a fixed roof car. But it’s not only the roof that can get damaged. If you’re doing a lot of driving or parking with the top down, your car seats are far more exposed to the elements than in a fixed roof car. Fabric and leather seats will degrade much faster, and moisture can even cause mould in your carpets.

Driving metrics

Contrary to what you may think, convertibles don’t drive as sharply as fixed roof cars. The lack of a fixed roof makes the car less rigid, which is a big factor in how a car sits on the road and takes corners. Although extra bracing is used to make up for this, convertibles often shake more over bumps than a hard-top car.

In terms of speed, convertibles are slightly slower than fixed-roof cars. The extra weight of the bracing and roof mechanism affects the car’s performance. For instance, the 190 Hp Audio A5 Cabriolet takes 8.3 seconds to get to 100km an hour, while the coupe version is 4.6 seconds faster.

(Speaking of car brands, do you know what cars are made in Australia? We have the answer.)

Fuel consumption

Due to the weight of the mechanism that raises and lowers the convertible’s top, they’re generally heavier on fuel than their fixed-top equivalents. If good petrol consumption is what you’re looking for, check out our list of most fuel efficient cars in Australia.

A man filling up a fuel tank with petrol. you have to weigh up the pros and cons of convertibles before buying - and fuel consumption is one of them

The pros of convertible cars

Now that the drawbacks are out the way, let’s focus on what makes a convertible purchase a good choice.

They’re cool

There’s no other way to say it, convertibles are sexy luxury cars. You only have to see the shark-like body lines of a BMW Z3 or expressive build of a Mazda MX-5 Miata to agree. Not to mention supercars like the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse.

Retro convertible cars are especially evocative – picture a red 1965 Mustang or silver 1956 Porsche Speedster. Cinephiles will fondly remember Thelma & Louise‘s 1966 Ford Thunderbird, Austin Powers’ E-Type Jag or the 1971 Chevrolet Impala Convertible in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. And for a classic car of any collector’s dreams, the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost – made in 1906!

Speaking of cool, check out these fun car accessories to brighten your day!

Happy senior couple having fun in convertible car during summer vacation


With the roof down, convertibles offer incomparable visibility. No more blind spots caused by the roof chassis – this is a 360 degree view like no other. Better visibility means safer driving, as well as easier maneuvering and parking.

How they make you feel

Sure, the list of convertible cons is far longer than the list of pros. From a pragmatic standpoint, convertibles don’t stack up to fixed roof cars. But this is hardly the reason people buy them. More than the practical pros and cons of convertibles are the way they make you feel.

Thanks to classic car iconography and a hundred famous films, speeding off in a convertible with the top down and the wind in your hair is seen as the ultimate display of freedom.

A convertible says something about its owner. And if that something speaks to you, then no list of ‘cons’ will deter you from buying one. So go on, put the top down.

PS: Check out our list of best cars for empty nesters … because who said getting older meant growing up?

Insurance for a worry-free ride

We hope we’ve helped you answer the question ‘are convertible cars worth it?’ Once you buy your dream car, you’ll want comprehensive car insurance to ensure you’re covered.

Besides helping you cover the costs related to accident, theft and breakdown, insurance helps give you peace of mind for an enjoyable drive. PD Insurance offers affordable, straightforward car insurance to suit your needs. Just click below for a free quote!

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