It’s that time of the year again, where the crisp winter chill has made way for sunny and warmer days. With that comes the insatiable desire to enjoy the weather in every way possible. One of the ways you can do this is in a sexy drop-top car. 

Convertibles are thought to be expensive and out of reach for many, but today we want to debunk that myth and present to you four exciting and affordable convertibles that you can purchase for under R200 000 in the used car market. 

Mazda MX-5

The third-generation Mazda MX-5 is not only a cool and timeless looking item, but it’s one of those collectable toys. If this is the convertible that’s calling out your name this spring, you should purchase the Mazda MX-5 to keep it, because not too many of them are laying around and that makes them gems if you find one. The Mazda is powered by a 2.0litre 4-cylinder engine and will not only give you tonnes of street cred with those in the know, but in our opinion, this is the best looking MX-5 design since its inception. It even looks better than the current Mazda MX-5. The fact that it’s a sexy convertible available in hard and soft top, and would make for a fun toy if drifting were to come up on your to-do list, makes this Mazda all the more enticing.

Audi TT

If cruising with the roof down in a premium but affordable convertible is more your cup of T, then Audi’s TT will do the trick. Firstly, it’s an Audi and is available in both coupe and convertible trims. The first and second-generation TT’s have not aged a single day thanks to their enduring design. This means you can easily blend in with the “new car” crowd while driving a 10-year-old vehicle. The TT comes with Audi’s Quatro all-wheel-drive system which is good for traction and road grip. One thing to also note about the second-generation Audi TT specifically is that it only came with an automatic gearbox, paired to a 1.6-litre or a 2.0-litre TFSI engine. A premium badge and style is what the TT brings to the table – and it’s also a vehicle that you can use every day!

BMW 135i Convertible

When four cylinders just aren’t enough, the answer to your equation becomes six. BMW’s 135i convertible is one for the purists, those who get a shiver from hearing the growl of a naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine. This short wheel-base machine offers BMW’s renowned driving dynamics, which as they say, induce sheer driving pleasure. It’s a sporty car and two-door coupe, so it passes the “cool car” test, and much like the Audi, it’s engineered in Germany. Did we mention the fact that the BMW 135i convertible is a rear-wheel-drive car? And that it’s available in both manual and auto? Well, those are just some minor details that should sway you either to towards or away from BMW’s 135i – we’re betting on the former!

Mini Cooper S Roadster

What’s better than a Mini Cooper? Well, a Mini Cooper Convertible, of course! If you haven’t had the privilege of being behind the wheel of a Mini, then you probably only appreciate the British car for the way it looks, and we don’t blame you. It is a stylish car and has maintained the same design blueprint for decades.

What makes the Mini Cooper S Convertible unique on our list of topless vehicles is its ability to combine trendy looks with thrilling performance. An unknown secret to none-Mini drivers is how dynamic these compact vehicles can be on to drive, having what is often described as “go-kart-like handling”. Of course, this is music to any car enthusiasts ears and to have looks, performance as well as a retractable roof is pure gold! Beneath the bonnet, the little Mini Cooper S Convertible is propelled by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, capable of producing 135 kW and 240 Nm. It may not sound like a lot, but if you consider the power-to-weight ratio factor, you may see things differently.

With R200 000 in your back pocket during these tricky economic times, your options are plenty in the used car market and will go beyond this group of cars. If you asked us which convertibles we would spend our money on this Spring, these four would be our top go-to options.