We all have our opinions on what makes a good car, and to many a convertible is the embodiment of freedom, a symbol of fun, and the only way to enjoy driving in the summer.
Convertibles are unique cars with a few compromises. Some say open-air driving is the best experience you can have in a car, others say it’s not so fun.
So what does driving a convertible say about you?
Driving a convertible says you prioritize having fun over practicality on the road. Driving is an experience rather than a chore, and you would rather drive a nice-looking car than one with superior handling.
People’s opinions may vary, but are convertibles going out of style, and can guys drive convertibles?
Are Convertibles Going Out of Style?
Convertibles have been going out of style for many years. Sales continue to decline as larger cars, such as SUVs, become more popular.
There have been a few attempts by car manufacturers to save the convertible market by creating convertible SUVs, but the resulting abominations have not gone down well with consumers.
Unsurprising, when they look like this…
SUVs aside, people now seem to value practicality and affordability more than in previous decades. As the majority of convertibles don’t fit the bill, they’ve become far less popular than they were 20 years ago.
Are Convertibles Still Cool?
There will always be a proportion of people that find convertible cars cool. There are plenty of cool convertibles still being sold, but some seriously uncool ones have entered the market in recent years too.
One of the best things about car ownership is seeing the envy on friends’ faces when they see your new ride, and that’s especially true when you turn up in a drop-top.
What could be better than opening the roof on a beautiful day and being able to enjoy the feel of the wind in your hair while you cruise down the street?
There’s no doubt about it, some convertibles are just so damn sexy. Other than some tragic attempts by certain manufacturers, convertibles will always be cool, and they hold a special place in many people’s hearts.
There are, of course, some situations where convertibles are uncool. Think: balding middle aged man who’s bought an SUV convertible in bright orange as some sort of attempt to rekindle his youth. Not a good look.
Are Convertibles Feminine?
Some convertibles can be feminine. It’s subjective, and it depends on the make, model, and color of the car.
Convertibles are for girls, right? Guys who drive convertibles must be compensating. Wrong.
Convertibles aren’t just for the ladies. In fact, these roofless sports cars have been a popular choice among men for decades.
Whether they’re taken on long road trips or driven around town with the top down, convertibles have had a loyal following among both sexes for many years.
Guys can drive convertibles as long as they pick the right model. Convertibles with aggressive looks and plenty of power aren’t girly, nor are beautiful old classics.
But if you’re a man driving pretty much any underpowered, small, European or Japanese cabriolet on the other hand, you may be on the receiving end of some odd looks from passers-by.
At the end of the day, who cares what other people think? If you’re a guy and like that Range Rover Evoque convertible, go for it!
Actually that might be a step too far, but you understand the sentiment.
Are Convertibles Rare?
Convertibles are quite rare, they make up less than 2.5% of new cars sold and that number is decreasing every year.
If you love having a car that’s somewhat unique, a convertible might be the one for you.
It’s not only the number of convertibles sold that’s extremely low, but the number of convertible models available is also reducing.
Their decreasing popularity means they make up a tiny share of all vehicles on the roads today, and the market remains a niche one.
Surprisingly, despite the weather, the UK is one of the biggest markets for producers of convertible cars. But they still make up only a handful of cars sold.
Why are Convertibles not Popular?
Convertibles are no longer as popular as they once were due to their impracticality, people’s preference for larger cars, and the notion that convertibles aren’t as safe as hardtops.
If you drive a convertible you’re making a statement. You don’t care about how practical the car is, you don’t care about the risk of imminent death in the event of a rollover, and you don’t follow the SUV trend just because everyone else is.
OK, so imminent death in a rollover is largely untrue in modern convertibles as they can be as safe as their hardtop counterparts.
Lack of practicality is also untrue in many cases, designers have done amazing things to retain as much cabin space as possible.
But people’s unwavering desires to buy the ugliest SUVs they can get their hands on is absolutely true and it’s killing the convertible market.
Don’t be that person. Life’s too short, buy something fun. (We don’t like SUVs, can you tell?)
Are Convertibles Ugly?
In general, convertibles are not ugly. In fact quite the opposite, they’re considered some of the most beautiful cars in the world.
Of course, there will always be some ugly convertibles. But ugly convertibles are much rarer than in any other corner of the automotive market.
Cars these days are pretty generic. One manufacturer comes out with a new design, and soon enough all the other manufacturers have copied their style if it worked.
And every now and again a manufacturer will come up with something truly ghastly, and for some perverse reason people buy it.
That’s rarely the case in the convertible market. Manufacturers know their audience are people who value the car’s looks over its practicality and performance, and the design needs to match up or the model won’t sell.
If you drive a convertible, it’s unlikely you have an ugly car.
Are All Convertibles Considered Sports Cars?
Not all convertibles are considered sports cars, but many are. Sports car convertibles usually have two doors, two seats and better than average performance.
Just because you’ve bought a convertible doesn’t mean you’ve bought a sports car. There are plenty of convertibles which aren’t classified as sports cars.
Some have four seats and are more of a luxury vehicle than a sports car, such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes E-Class.
Some are just regular cars that have had their roof chopped off so the manufacturer can tap into a different market.
Roadster type vehicles are the ones that are usually considered sports cars. For example, the Mazda Miata (MX-5), the Toyota MR2, and the Mercedes SLK.
Should I Be Worried About What Other People Think?
No, you shouldn’t care what other people think about the car you drive. The perception that all convertibles are girly cars is outdated, and convertibles are some of the best looking cars out there.
There are many different types of convertible; hardtop, ragtop, roadster, etc. and all of them offer a brilliant driving experience that can’t be matched by any other car.
Not only that, but your car will look great on the road. When the sun comes out and the top goes down, you can’t help but smile.
If you want a convertible, go out and buy one!