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Few other vehicles are able to offer such a winning combination of style and comfort as the convertible. However, there are a number of things that potential buyers, especially inexperienced or new drivers, need to keep in mind when they make a decision to buy a convertible, including the understanding that purchasing such a vehicle brings with it a certain number of disadvantages as well as advantages.
Buying a convertible – the pros
One of the great advantages of buying a convertible is of course visibility. The lack of door frames and roof makes it considerably easier for drivers to be able to see much more of what is around them. This can also result in parking and manoeuvring becoming much simpler endeavours, due to top-down convertibles offering such a wide radius of vision.
Convertibles are also tremendously versatile, able to easily transform back into a coupe – in newer models, often just at the touch of a button. They can enable their owners to enjoy a summer’s day with the wind in their hair, but security and warmth when the weather gets nasty. Convertibles are also very well known for their sporty, classic appearance and undeniably offer a major “wow” factor that is guaranteed to appeal to style enthusiasts.
Convertibles also offer a greater degree of head room, something that can make them particularly comfortable and appealing to taller drivers, who may find it difficult to find vehicles that are suited to their height.
Buying a convertible – the cons
One of the biggest disadvantages of wanting to buy a convertible is the price. Convertibles have a tendency to be a lot more expensive than is generally the case with comparable hardtops. This is certainly a disadvantage for those operating on a budget, although for those for whom price is not an issue, and is more than compensated for by owning their dream vehicle, it may not be a disadvantage at all. In fact, there are often good deals to be made in the used car market.
However, there are a number of other disadvantages inherent to convertibles, most notably the chassis shudder, which is caused by the absence of a fixed roof that is a big part of the structural support system of most motor vehicles. The undercarriages of convertibles are reinforced, but this is not always enough to compensate, which can make driving over road bumps a particularly rough ride. Even with the soft tops up, convertibles also have a tendency to be noisy, and although there has been an improvement in the materials used for the roofs of convertibles in recent years, leaks can still happen during particularly heavy rain or snowy weather.
Convertibles also offer less in the way of security, making them easy targets for thieves, and because the interior is more exposed to the sun, areas such as the dashboard, seats and other surfaces, will age faster and can become cracked and damaged over time. The process can be slowed by proper maintenance.
Convertibles are great fun to drive and very attractive to look at, and the cons can be managed with a bit of common sense. Those keen on owning a convertible have no real reason not to pick one up straight away!