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Drop the top and take to the road

Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Just because it's colder, it doesn't mean that you can't have a drop-top. Ted Welford rounds up some convertible favourites.

You might think that convertibles are limited purely to summer use in the UK and Ireland, and those occasional dry and warm days that come along in spring and autumn.

But many actually choose to use their convertible all 12 months of the year, and unless you live miles off the beaten track, they'll likely prove useful even in the colder months - many are even available these days with all-wheel-drive for improved traction in trickier conditions.

Here are seven convertibles that could prove to be ideal through winter...

 

Undated Handout Photo of the BMW M4 Convertible. See PA Feature MOTORING Column. Picture credit should read: Handout/PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Column..

BMW M4 Convertible

 

1. BMW M4 Convertible

BMW's M4 has always been known for its lairy rear-wheel-drive setup, but for this latest generation it gets an all-wheel-drive option for the first time and in the case of the Convertible that's all you can choose.

Offering a more sure-footed driving experience in bad weather, the M4 remains as fun behind the wheel as ever, while its 503bhp 3.0-litre petrol engine offers all the performance you could ask for. Though this new model reverts back to a fabric roof, it remains impressively refined.

 

Undated Handout Photo of the Audi TT Roadster. See PA Feature MOTORING Column. Picture credit should read: Handout/PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Column..

Audi TT Roadster

 

2. Audi TT Roadster

Audi is renowned for its quattro all-wheel-drive system and it's available on the vast majority of its models - even including its TT sports car. Helping to offer superb traction, it doesn't detract from the TT's brilliant driving experience. Though the standard 242bhp 45 TFSI should offer plenty of power for most, those seeking extra performance can look out for the 'S' and 'RS' models.

Its fast-closing roof will come in very useful should you find yourself in a winter shower, while the TT's superb, upmarket and tech-laden interior is an absolute joy to spend time in.

 

Undated Handout Photo of the Jaguar F-Type. See PA Feature MOTORING Column. Picture credit should read: Handout/PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Column..

Jaguar F-Type

 

3. Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar might be better known for its SUVs these days than its sports cars, but if you want something that can provide thrills, there's still the excellent F-Type. Benefitting from a recent update, it now looks even more stylish, while also getting a more advanced interior too.

With all-wheel-drive also available on the P450 and P575 models (the number representing how much power it has), it means there's nothing stopping you from using the F-Type in all the seasons.

 

Undated Handout Photo of the Porsche 911 Cabriolet. See PA Feature MOTORING Column. Picture credit should read: Handout/PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Column..

911 Cabriolet

 

4. Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Porsche's 911 is a sports car that's renowned for its all-round ability, with many owners choosing to use their cars regardless of the weather. But if you want to use your 911 in the colder months, it's worth buying a model with all-wheel-drive - identifiable by a '4' in its name.

This just helps to provide greater security in bad weather, with the Carreras 4S Cabriolet being a particular highlight thanks to its fantastic 444bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine letting the 911 reach 0-60mph in just 3.6 seconds. Granted, its £115,000 starting price is rather steep, but if you want the ultimate all-weather sports car, the 911 is hard to match.

 

Undated Handout Photo of the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet. See PA Feature MOTORING Column. Picture credit should read: Handout/PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Column..

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet

 

5. Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet

The SUV market has now expanded to such a point that manufacturers are even chopping the roof off them to appeal to buyers. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible was the first, and while no longer on sale, Volkswagen has aimed to fill the niche with its new T-Roc Cabriolet.

Bringing chunkier styling than your typical drop-top, this T-Roc isn't really all about performance, but rather ease of use. It gets a generous amount of equipment as standard, while is far roomier than a typical convertible, with a usable boot and decent amount of space in the rear seats. While oddly only available as a front-wheel-drive, it's still an attractive winter convertible to choose.

 

Undated Handout Photo of the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet. See PA Feature MOTORING Column. Picture credit should read: Handout/PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Column..

Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

 

6. Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Mercedes offers one of the broadest ranges of convertibles of any manufacturer, and one of its best options is the E-Class Cabriolet. Offering glamorous looks, a stunning interior and a surprising amount of interior space, it's a great option for those wanting a classy drop-top, but are not too fussed about performance.

That said, there is still a great range of engines available, with many units available with '4Matic' all-wheel-drive. Choose one of the efficient diesel engines and it could also prove to be quite frugal to run - Mercedes claiming 44mpg from the E 300d engine.

 

Undated Handout Photo of the Jeep Wrangler. See PA Feature MOTORING Column. Picture credit should read: Handout/PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Column..

Jeep Wrangler

 

7. Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler might not be an obvious convertible, but with an optional electric 'one-touch power top' available, it lets you enjoy an open-air experience from this rugged 4x4. If you're on private property, you can also remove the doors and windscreen for a true wind-in-the-hair experience, though it might prove rather cold in winter.

And if you're worried about getting stuck in snow, the Wrangler will be one of the safest pairs of hands around, with its remarkable off-roading ability making it virtually unstoppable. This latest Jeep is also better to drive than ever, while its interior is well-built and comes with plenty of standard equipment too.



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