Top 10 Luxury Convertibles in America
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UPDATED: Jul 23, 2019
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The cars heating up this list of America’s top 10 luxury convertibles have it all: speed, acceleration, luxury and style.
However, they also have price tags to match. Whether you’re a serious buyer or a dreamer, this list has all the facts you need about the 10 best luxury convertibles on the U.S. market today.
Top 10 Luxury Convertibles in the USA
#1: 2011 Chevrolet Corvette
Scoring a 9.1 out of 10 on U.S. News and World Report’s rating scale, the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette offers highly-ranked performance and sex appeal for a starting MSRP of $48,950.
This makes it a top pick for value in the luxury convertible category. The 2011 Corvette’s V8 engine produces 430 horsepower that takes it from 0 to 60 in just above 4 seconds.
Despite its exceptional sports performance, though, it’s still a practical, comfortable choice for everyday driving. Even better, it gets 26 mpg on the highway, which is impressive for a car this powerful.
The one weakness of the 2011 Corvette is its interior, which Edmunds describes as “disappointing” compared to the richly-appointed cabins offered by the more luxury-oriented members of this class. However, the Corvette is still an excellent choice for sports car lovers who prize performance and sleek design.
#2: 2010 Porsche 911 Carrera
With a starting MSRP of $77,800, and sportier handling than the Corvette, the 2010 Porsche 911 Carrera is more of an impulse buy than the #1 ranked luxury convertible.
However, if you’re in this for the performance, the 911 is the “quintessential” sports car, writes Edmunds. The Carrera is in line with the Corvette in terms of power, but bests it when it comes to handling.
Driving the 911 Carrera at high speeds is “stirring” and “exhilarating,” according to Car and Driver, while the ride is “comfortable” and “refined” at moderate speeds.
However, U.S. News and World Report emphasizes that this luxury convertible is not for everyday driving.
#3: 2010 Lotus Elise
Pulling even further in the direction of performance over practicality, the 2010 Lotus Elise beats out both the 911 Carrera and the Corvette when it comes to high-speed sports performance. If you’re seeking a semblance of comfort and luxury while you’re burning rubber, though, you’d best look elsewhere.
In order to achieve the racecar-like agility noted by reviewers such as Edmunds and New Car Test Drive, the Lotus Elise is stripped to the bone, and its tiny cabin struggles to accommodate anyone over 6 feet tall.
Another downside is the Elise’s small gas tank, which gives the vehicle a range of less than 300 miles, according to Road and Track.
#4: 2010 Mercedes-Benz SL
While their respective sticker prices place both the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SL and the 2010 Lotus Elise solidly in the luxury convertible category, the SL is a completely different animal compared to the sparsely-appointed Elise.
The Arizona Republic describes the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SL’s cabin as “luscious,” and Consumer Guide notes that larger adults will fit comfortably in the car’s front seats.
The SL even features luxury touches like ventilated seats for top-down cruising on hot days, and an Airscarf system that blows warm air onto the driver and front passenger when the weather turns cool.
This luxury convertible goes from a dead stop to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, which brings it close to the acceleration offered by the Elise, Carrera and Corvette. However, its larger size means it is not quite as agile as these competitors, and some reviewers, like Autoweek, were not satisfied with the braking action.
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#5: 2011 Infiniti G
With a starting MSRP of $31,400, the 2011 Infiniti G is one of the lowest-priced luxury convertibles on this list. However, it delivers a lot for this price, including highly-rated interior and exterior styling and a V6 engine that generates 218 horsepower.
Drivers can also upgrade to the 3.7 liter V6 engine, which generates 330 horsepower and delivers “thrilling acceleration,” according to Edmunds.
Automobile Magazine raves that the 3.7 liter V6 gives the optional 348 horsepower IPL engine a run for its money.
While the G will never rival the top-ranked cars in this class when it comes to sports performance, this vehicle is an exceptional choice in the luxury sport convertible category given its much more affordable price.
#6: 2010 Jaguar XK
Like the Mercedes-Benz SL, the 2010 Jaguar XK leans more strongly towards luxury than performance, and it’s a “Recommended Buy,” according to Consumer Guide.
As expected for a larger luxury cruiser, the XK takes a bit longer than the top-three ranked cars to get from 0 to 60 (5.3 seconds for the convertible), but Cars.com notes that the 6-speed automatic transmission is extremely responsive, and its handling is “nimble” and “athletic,” especially for such a large car.
#7: 2010 Mercedes Benz SLK
The Mercedes SLK received a “Top Recommendation” rating from Consumer Guide, and like the Mercedes SL and the Jaguar XK, it offers a pleasing compromise between luxury and sportiness.
It’s a bit less roomy than the XK, and the interior is less luxurious than the SL’s, but the SLK makes up for this with a lower sticker price than either of these models can claim.
#8: 2011 Audi A5
If you’re looking for a bright spot of practicality in the luxury convertible class, the 2011 Audi A5 could be the vehicle for you. With an MSRP starting at $36,900, it’s pricy but not extravagant, and it boasts excellent fuel economy for its class (21 mpg city/31 mpg highway).
In addition, the A5 comes closest of any car on this list to being able to seat four adults comfortably, and critics like Automobile Magazine love this car’s sumptuous styling, both inside and out.
Potential buyers should note that the convertible version does not come standard with the Quattro All-Wheel-Drive feature.
#9: 2011 BMW Z4
With an MSRP starting at $46,500, the 2011 BMW Z4 delivers solidly in all performance categories, and it also offers sleek styling inside and out. The new Z4 also features an improved iDrive infotainment interface that reviewers enjoyed.
This well-rounded vehicle is excellent overall, but it does not stand out against the competition in any particular category.
It is practical for daily driving if a bit less roomy and sumptuous than the A5, and it’s also a powerful performer, though it’s no match for the Porsches and Lotuses of the world.
#10: 2010 Dodge Viper
With a much higher MSRP than most luxury convertibles on this list, starting at $90,255, the Dodge Viper joins the Lotus Elise and the Porsche 911 Carrera in the realm of vehicles that are thrilling but impractical for everyday driving.
According to Automobile Magazine, the Viper is a “raw sports car” with a stripped-down interior that is a bit more luxurious than the Elise’s, but no match for the Carrera’s.
Choosing a Luxury Convertible
This list offers something for everyone, from the weekend thrill-rider to the daily luxury driver. It also offers quite a few choices for drivers who want something in between.
The Porsche 911 Carrera, Lotus Elise and Dodge Viper are best-suited to drivers who want to throw practicality to the wind, while the Audi A5 is arguably the most sedate choice on the list.
The Chevrolet Corvette is a solid choice for buyers who want top-notch power and everyday drivability, but are willing to forgo some luxury.
The Mercedes SL and SLK, BMW Z4 and Jaguar XK all offer satisfying compromises between performance and luxury, while the Infiniti G Series offers a top-shelf luxury convertible at a more affordable price.