Team AckoJun 9, 2022
The automobile industry has come a long way in terms of automotive design, and the evolution of cars over the past decades is fascinating. There are different car body types in the market, which includes microcar, hatchback, notchback/sedan, coupe, SUV, MPV, pick-up truck, convertible/cabriolet and roadster. Each body type brings it’s set of advantages and has its charm. But convertible cars are something which is unique and holds a special place in the automotive world. Who doesn’t like to drive a car with an open roof? It gives a sense of freedom while driving and also grabs the eyeballs.
This article is all about convertible cars in India. Read on to know more about the best and affordable open-top cars available in the country.
As the name suggests, a car with a foldable or removable roof is called a convertible car. Such cars can transform from a roof-top model to an open-top model within a few minutes. The roof can be a hard or soft top. Open-top cars are also called cabriolets or drop-top cars. Some companies call them convertible while some manufacturers prefer to call them cabriolets, but the basic functioning remains the same.
Convertible cars can be further classified depending on the seating configuration, soft/hardtop, engine and the comfort they offer. Below are the different types of open-top cars:
Two-Seater/Sports Car: This is a typical convertible car with 2 seats and a foldable soft roof. Usually, these cars are affordable and fun to drive.
Four-Seater: A four-seater convertible has 2+2 seating configuration with fabric/metal roof stowed at the rear. Soft-top cars offer more room for rear passengers.
Supercar: A convertible supercar is nothing but a supercar with a foldable roof. Almost all supercar manufacturers offer cars with soft-top and with different engine configurations.
Cruiser: Not everyone wants to hit those triple-digit speeds and set the rods on fire. Cruiser convertible cars are designed for relaxed drives. You sit far back and can enjoy the scenery with the roof folded down.
Folding Hardtop: This is more of a type of roof rather than a class of the convertible car. It has a hard foldable roof. Hardtops are more stable and offer better protection against weather and keep the occupants safe in the event of a crash.
Fabric Sunroof: The cars with fabric sunroof are not fully convertible. But at least they offer an open-top experience. The folding mechanism of the roof is simple, and it does not take up much space. These types of cars are also affordable when compared to a convertible car.
Luxury Convertible: If you are looking for a car with a luxurious interior and also need an open-top experience, then luxury convertibles are made for you. There are only a handful of such cars and come with a fabric roof which folds down easily.
India is one of the largest automotive markets in the world. It is no surprise that most of the manufacturers retail their top-tier cars in the country. Below are some of the best convertible cars that are on sale in India along with the current price in the market:
|Audi A3 Cabriolet||Rs. 50.38 Lakh|
|Audi A5 Cabriolet||Rs. 69.49 Lakh|
|BMW Z4||Rs. 65.99 Lakh|
|Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet||Rs. 65.55 Lakh|
|Mercedes-Benz AMG E-Class Cabriolet||Rs. 77.26 Lakh|
|Mini Cooper Convertible||Rs. 38.90 Lakh|
|Porsche 718 Boxster||Rs. 89.95 Lakh|
|Aston Martin DB11||Rs. 3.29 Crore|
|Maserati Grancabrio||Rs. 2.68 Crore|
|Rolls-Royce Dawn||Rs. 5.92 Crore|
|Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder||Rs. 4.10 Crore|
|Ferrari Portofino||Rs. 3.50 Crore|
India is a price-sensitive market, and anyone who is looking to buy a car will look for a value for money package. Convertible cars are known for their unique design and road presence, and these two factors are its USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Usually, open-top cars are expensive because they use complex roof folding mechanisms. In India, there are only a few convertible cars on sale and below are some of the models which cost between Rs. 40-70 lakh:
Mini Cooper Convertible – Rs. 38.90 Lakh
Audi A3 Cabriolet – Rs. 50.38 Lakh
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet – Rs. 65.55 Lakh
BMW Z4 – Rs. 65.99 Lakh
Audi A5 Cabriolet – Rs. 69.49 Lakh
Style: The convertible cars stand out from the crowd with its unique styling. The open-top gives a sporty look to the car and will attract eyeballs.
Visibility: While driving an open-top car you have clear visibility of the surroundings. With the roof folded down, you can easily look around and have better visibility compared to a conventional roof-top car.
Room: Usually, the high-end sports cars have a limited room for the driver and passenger. But with an open-top car, the headroom is unlimited!
Versatility: A convertible car gives you an option of driving with the roof on when the weather is not friendly. And when the sunshine hits, you can easily fold down the roof within a few minutes.
Safety: A convertible car is not as safe as a regular car. Especially with the soft-top roof, there is no protection for the driver and passenger in an event of a crash. Soft roofs will also be damaged easily.
Noise: A drive on an open-top car can be irritating within city limits as you are exposed to all the harsh sounds. Engine noise, surrounding vehicle noise and honking will be a problem if you have an open-top car.
Sun-wear: A convertible car is exposed to harsh sunlight, and after a period of time, it can have an adverse effect on the dashboard and seat upholstery. The colours start to fade, and material degrades with continuous exposure to sunlight.
Compromised Boot Space: The rear of the convertible car is occupied by the roof folding mechanism. The various components of the system will eat into the boot space.
Security: A convertible car with a soft roof is not safe as it can easily tamper. You cannot leave any valuables inside a soft-top car.
Also read: What is a Hybrid Car? Types, Advantages
Before buying a convertible car you should know the following things:Whether the car has a soft or hard roof.How much time will it take to fold the roof?How much space is there for rear passengers?How much is the boot space?Lastly, you should take a test drive to know how it feels to drive with the dropped roof.
When you buy a convertible car, you have to compromise on safety. Especially if it’s a soft-top car, the protection offered by the roof is negligible. In the event of a crash, the roof will easily collapse and cause injuries to the occupants.
You have to be careful while washing a convertible car. The high-pressure water can cause damage to the roof, and water can seep into the interior. It’s better to avoid high-pressure water guns while washing the roof of the car.
There is no difference between Cabriolet and Convertible It’s just the language preference used by American and European manufacturers. Both convertibles and cabriolets use the same concept of the folding roof.
No, you cannot convert your conventional car to an open-top car. To do so, you have to cut open the roof, and it is not at all recommended. It will hamper the stability and safety of the vehicle and also voids the warranty of the car (if applicable). You will also have trouble in insurance claims (if any) if you modify the vehicle.
There are only a few convertible cars on sale in the Indian market. Currently, the Mini Cooper Convertible is the most affordable open-top car in the country. Note that the prices may change with the introduction of new updates to the car.
A hardtop is a better option as it provides good insulation against cold and moisture and it also adds some weight which improves the stability of the car. But a hardtop will take away the typical look of a convertible, which comes with a soft roof.
If you maintain the roof as per the manufacturer’s advice, the convertible roof should last around 5-6 years. It also depends on weather conditions and other external factors.
Yes, buying a used convertible car is a good option as new models are pretty expensive. But you have to be mindful of a few things such as the condition of the vehicle, condition of the roof and the foldable mechanism, wear and tear on the hard/soft roof and the distance covered by the vehicle.
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