Look for a brand new affordable four-seat convertible today though, and you will struggle. Beyond a new Mini Cabriolet (which many would consider to be too expensive to be affordable), and the semi-open metal door-framed Fiat 500 C, Abarth 595 C and DS Automobile’s DS3 Cabrio, no other small hatch-based open toppers exist. Contrast this to a decade or so ago and you had a rich choice of open-roofed value cabriolets, such as the Peugeot 206 and 207 CC, the Nissan Micra CC, Mitsubishi Colt CC, Citroen C3 Pluriel, and so on.
Higher up the size and price ladder, a reasonable selection of mid-range attainable four-seat convertibles also existed, without have to fork out additional hard-earned for a premium badge from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Saab or Volvo.
The Ford Focus CC, Peugeot 308 CC, VW Golf Cabriolet and EOS, and so on all sold in healthy numbers. Now only the mid-size Vauxhall Cascada, VW Beetle and outgoing Renault Megane convertible exist, with VW, Ford, Peugeot and other volume brands bereft of a four-seater soft-top today. Sure, you can pay a higher price and invest in a new Audi A3 Cabriolet, BMW 2-Series and 4-Series convertibles, open-top Mercedes C-Class, and so on, but your final four-seat convertible sales invoice price will be considerably higher.
The UK is the number one European market for new convertibles, with us Brits buying more soft-tops than France, Italy, Spain and Portugal combined. Perhaps its simply too hot and uncomfortable to drive around with the roof down in those warmer Mediterranean countries, and more comfortable, and healthier for the children sat in the back, as well as their skin, keeping the roof and windows closed, with the air conditioning cranked up too the extra-chilled setting.
As for us, as our summers become hotter and global warming increases, perhaps we will choose to keep ourselves and our families safely cocooned in the shade of a closed, climate controlled saloon, hatch, crossover or SUV. Maybe this is the reason why car manufacturers seem to have abandoned the affordable four-seater convertible market in recent years, as sadly we are the one losing out!