NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- With temperatures rising and the sun sticking around longer, commuters shouldn't be spending their summer drive in a dark cabin built to withstand a blizzard.And indeed, the sunroofs are sliding back and the windows are rolling down. Still, drivers who want to soak up the sun should cultivate more than just a farmer's tan this season. We spoke with Brandy Schaffels, senior editor at car pricing site TrueCar, and put together a list of the top 10 convertibles on the market. If you're feeling cramped in your rolling cave, drop the top and step into the light:
Starting price: $22,045
That loud, flapping soft top gets a lot quieter when you put it down. Chrysler's marketing team will be more than happy to remind you of this on May 19, its fifth annual Jeep Go Topless Day.
Starting price: $109,400
Its six-figure price, 385-horsepower and 4.7-second zero-to-60 acceleration hide the fact that this sporty drop top's seats can carry four people as it cruises. Seriously, full-sized human beings fit in the back seats.
Starting price: $19,500
The tiny, underpowered Italian toy comes with a faux-canvas retractable roof that stacks up like an automatic pool cover and turns any coastal town into an American Riviera.
Starting price: $25,650
How much does Mini love letting the sunshine in? Enough to build a sunroof into its soft top and install an "Openometer" on the dash that counts the minutes you spend with the top down.
Starting price: $24,000
All the zip of a Porsche Boxter, but with better Consumer Reports reliability ratings and about half the price. Retirees call at "The Island Car."
Starting price: $127,000
The three-layer acoustic top keeps things quiet and retracts in 19 seconds at 31 miles per hour, which is practically idling for the R8's 430-horsepower V8 engine. Oh, and the headlights kill vampires.
Starting price: $30,180 (Camaro), $27,200 (Mustang)
These both have V6 engines with around 300 horsepower and 30 mpg highway fuel efficiency, but summer strips and boulevards would be lined with them even if they didn't. Memorial Day brings out the old-school muscle cars.
Starting price: $47,600
The standard retractable hard top is a nice touch but, as luxury cars go, Schaffels says the 3 Series convertible is as safe a choice as wearing a blue shirt to the office. "The cliche convertible for those who don't want to think too hard and just want to go with the familiar choice," she calls them.
Starting price: $34,350
Volkswagen loaded the Eos with standard features such as leather heated seats, dual climate control and a touchscreen sound system, but the retractable hard top alone earns the asking price.
Starting price: $42,500
This roadster's retractable hardtop is available as a standard steel roof or two panorama roof options: a tinted see-through panel, or an innovative electronically variable tinted panel. In Schaffels' words, it's "pure pimped-out performance." -- Written by Jason Notte in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.
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