Fun, Fuel Efficient Convertibles

For many, summer is synonymous with convertibles. Few experiences are as liberating as cruising down the highway with the sun on your shoulders and the wind in your hair.  Unfortunately, summer is also the time when gas prices climb to their yearly highs.

The Christian Science Monitor recently published its list of four new convertible models that are fun and fuel efficient.

Topping the list is the popular 2013 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet. The Cabriolet is stylish, functional and economical. The canvas top can be stowed in a stack behind the driver’s head. The roof bars, along which the top slides can also be removed and stored under a drop-down tailgate, although they do tend to obstruct rearward visibility when in this position. With a base sticker price of $17,890 and a combined city / highway fuel efficiency of 36 mpg, this is the most affordable choice on the list.

Next on the list is the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI Convertible. In addition to great fuel economy of 41 mpg on the highway, the TDI also features retro styling and ample room for a few friends to come along for the ride. The TDI is the only diesel convertible currently available in the U.S. With a base sticker price of $27,895, however, it’s also the priciest vehicle on the list.

The 2013 MINI Cooper Roadster also made the list. The MINI comes in four flavors, the Cooper Convertible, Cooper Roadster, Cooper S Roadster and Cooper Convertible — all of which deliver a combined city / highway fuel efficiency of 30 mpg.  The base sticker price for the Cooper Convertible is $25,150. The Cooper Roadster is available for $25,550.

The Fiat 500C is another retro-styled model. Unlike the folding tops on the MINI and Beetle, the 500C’s top is comprised of shutters that slide along the roof rails and stow away on the vehicle’s back shelf.

The 500C’s 1.4-liter four-cycle engine delivers a combined city / highway fuel economy of 29 mpg. The 500C is also affordably priced at $19,500.

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