5 Myths About Cabriolet Cars Busted

You’re thinking about buying a cabriolet, but you’re worried about the myths people tell you about owning and driving a convertible:

  • No point in the UK, the sun hardly ever shines
  • You can’t fit anything in the boot
  • You’re less safe in an accident
  • They’re heavier so must be very uneconomical
  • You’re a target for vandals

Listen to these points and you’d be forgiven for thinking, ‘why bother’, so, let’s have a look and see if they’re true.

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Make no mistake cabriolets or convertibles, whichever name you prefer, are big fun! And here in the UK we love them; owning and driving a cabriolet on a beautiful Autumn day, on a country lane with the wind in your hair, is a glorious experience. Which brings us to the first myth…

There’s not enough sun

It may seem a contradiction, but here in the UK we buy more cabriolets than drivers in much warmer European countries and that’s because driving a convertible in high temperatures, under a blazing sun, is not a pleasant experience.

You overheat, are likely to get sunburnt and it’s really not the fun that you might imagine. Our temperate climate in the UK makes driving a cabriolet with the roof down a much more pleasant experience, which is why many more convertibles are sold in the UK than in mainland Europe.

You don’t have to have high temperatures to drive with the roof down either, the best days are often in the Autumn and modern cabriolets with their climate control, can make a roof down day possible throughout the year.

In Winter it’s often said that a soft-top can be much colder in the cabin than its tin-lidded counterpart, with the well-insulated roof and cabin and state-of-the-art climate control, you’ll be just as comfy as you would be in a standard car.

You can’t fit anything in the boot

You may discount a cabriolet before you even start looking thinking that you can’t fit your child’s buggy, your golf clubs or a ‘big shop’ in the boot. It’s true the folded roof and the equipment which raises and lowers is often housed in part of the boot and can reduce the space available, but latest designs either avoid this altogether or use less of the bootspace allowing you to accommodate your essentials.

A good tip is to make sure you take whatever you want to put in the boot with you on a test drive and check that it will fit. You’ll be surprised how little, if any, difference there’ll be in bootspace.

There’s also a hidden plus point with a convertible, large boxes or parcels which would never fit through a car door into the cabin, can be popped on the back seat with ease, by taking the rood down, putting in your parcel and then putting the roof back up!

You’re less safe in the event of an accident

Very few cabriolets are stand-alone models, this means they’re based on coupes or even hatchbacks which would usually have a roof.  When the metal roof is removed, the structural integrity of the car is obviously affected, but to counteract this manufacturers strengthen convertibles by reinforcing the pillars, making the chassis stiffer and adding roll bars or hoops behind the seats. These make cabriolets just as strong, and possibly stronger, than in its non-convertible form.  

Like any car, driving dangerously is not safe, but then none of us should be driving at high speed or erratically.

They’re heavier so must be uneconomical

There’s no denying that the addition of the folding roof and extra equipment does add some additional weight, but the impact is nowhere near what you might imagine.

As an example the Audi A5 Cabriolet and the A5 coupe perform remarkable similarly. With the same 2.0 TFSi engine the figures are not far apart. The cabriolet version giving 37.7mpg against the coupe’s 40.4mpg and emissions very close with the cabriolet producing 139g/km versus the coupe’s 135g/km.

Figures like these should reassure prospective convertible drivers that they won’t be paying a heavy price at the petrol pump or in terms of air pollution.

You’re a target for vandals

This is a worry for some people, but one you need to dispel. Worrying that your roof will be slashed is a waste of time; vandals who would target your convertible roof, would equally target any other high-end car and we don’t worry day-to-day about having our car keyed, or a tyres slashed.

Envy is not a pleasant thing and if a vandal is determined to damage your hard-earned car or indeed home, then there’s little you can do.

Don’t let mindlessness stop you having the car you want, this type of vandalism is in fact very rare and it shouldn’t stop you having the car of your dreams.

So, that’s 5 myths about convertible cars busted!

If you want to drive a cabriolet, you can do so. Draw up a shortlist of the models you fancy, go and test drive them, find the car of your dreams and look forward to the ultimate freedom of the road!

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