The Best Used Cars for Cheap Summer Motoring
This article looks at some of the best used convertible cars for this Summer in the UK, if you're on a budget!
The summer solstice is upon us, so our attention has immediately turned to what car is best to make the most of the summer sun...or at least, the two or three hours worth we get every year here in the UK! But, what if you don't have the money for a new F-Type or, dare we say it, a Range Rover Evoque convertible? (Actually if you do have the money and fancy a convertible Evoque...just, please don't!)
Well, that's where this list comes in. We've put together a selection of used convertible cars you could buy right now in the UK for under £2,000 - they might not be new, but they would all let you enjoy the sun while it lasts and have a bit of fun driving them too!
There simply isn't another car to start this list with...the Mazda MX-5 is the epitome of a cheap convertible car and the flood of models on the market means you can pick up some really good examples for an extremely low price! Decent mk1 models are now going back up in price but there's a huge range of mk2 cars available. We found a 2004 Arctic example with just over 50k on the clock for just under our 2 grand budget...and you'd be hard pressed to find more fun for that money!
The modern Mini may not be to everyone's taste, but it's still one of the most fun cars you can buy for a cheap price, and the cabriolet models are perfect for a bit of summer sun! For under £2,000 you'll find it difficult to get a low mileage model, but how about a 2004 model with the optional Chilli pack? With 90,000 miles on the clock it's not fresh, but you won't care when you're out on the open roads on a sunny day!
The MGF hasn't got the best reputation, but it's really only because it's directly compared to the MX-5, and it's difficult to beat the very best in the business! For less than 2 grand, you can get your hands on a 2002 model with only 35k on the clock! The MGF may only have 118bhp but it'll still be a fun car for the money.
EDIT - the above image, as pointed out by someone in the comments, is of course the MG-TF, 160bhp version. But you knew that already didn't you!
It might suprise some but there are plenty of 'premium' cars to choose from, even for as low as £2,000. When the BMW Z3 came out, you'd be paying well over £20k so it's a hell of a bargain now...although you're unlikely to find one of the more powerful models at this price range! We did manage to find a decent looking '99 model with low mileage - just 64,000. Ok, it's only the 1.9l version, but it's a car that's aged beautifully.
The SLK joins the Z3 as a car from what would have originally been considered a premium manufacturer...and there are plenty of examples for sale within our budget! Most of them have seen better days. However, careful looking around could get you a decent SLK with a lot of equipment - like this 2.3l model with less than 100k on the clock.
This will be many people's pick as the best cheap convertible for the summer - the Audi TT. For such a low price, you're almost certain to get one with relatively high mileage...but choose one with lots of paperwork and a full service history and it should be good for a number of years to come. Something like this 2002 Quattro model, which will do 0-60 in a cool 6.4 seconds!
If you're looking for something a bit different then you're probably already a fan of Saab. As Top Gear pointed out, there's something about the Swedish marque that makes them stand out from the crowd, especially if you're an architect. So, how about the 9-3 convertible? A 4-seater droptop with plenty of presence...and quite a bit of power too if you go for something like this Aero T model.
Another one that's definitely not to everyone's taste...but the StreetKA has a place on this list thanks to being remarkably cheap! You could get one for the summer and enjoy the sun with the roof down for well under our self-imposed £2,000 budget. Some are available for as little as £300, but we'd go for this red 1.6 model at a decent price of £1,495.
The MR2 is often forgotten about when it comes to cheap convertible motoring, but there are lots of examples on sale that could be fun to drive this summer! How about this Y-reg model in bright blue, with lots of paperwork and smack bang on our budget? It's not the most powerful or fastest car in the world, but it looks great and with the roof down it'd be great to drive around in this summer.
The Eos has never been the most popular car on UK roads, but that means it stands out as something a bit different. We found quite a few models within the 2 grand budget cap, such as this 2007 FSI - the 128k on the clock may seem like a lot, but it has a full service history and a long MOT too. It's much newer than a lot of other options in this list, so it could be a great one to go for.
BMW 3 Series
The second BMW to make our list, but this time it's the 3 Series. We found an E46 example for just under the 2 grand budget - and although it's an automatic, those extra seats in the back will let you carry a couple more people to the seaside!
Alfa Romeo Spider
Perhaps saving the best til last...the thought of owning a convertible Alfa for the summer is the stuff dreams are made of...and we found a 1998 Spider for less than 2 grand! Ok, it has 115,000 miles on the clock and it's sure to have a few issues...because Alfa. But also...it's an Alfa. For less than 2 grand. And you can drive it with the roof down. Sold!
What would you choose?
What would be your choice out of the above? Or would you go for something completely different for the small price of two grand? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Rob W, originally posted on the DriveDen blog - www.driveden.com/blog
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