People of Britain – you're doing topless wrong

Major Waffle
Data from Auto Trader suggests the top ten most searched for convertibles are all German. Well, PetrolBlog reckons you're all doing topless wrong.

Dear people of Britain, PetrolBlog is here to tell you you're doing topless wrong. Data released today by Auto Trader suggests you're lacking the intuition and courage to step away from the norm and to think a little differently. You see, over the past four weeks, the top ten convertible searches on Auto Trader have all been German cars.

And what a depressingly boring list it creates. The cars are worthy enough, but you just know by looking at the names that people are dreaming of oversized and ride-ruining alloy wheels and a sea of metallic black, grey, silver and white paint options. Amazingly, there have been well over half a million searches for the BMW 3 Series Convertible in the last month alone. That's around 400,000 more than for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in second place.

Sure, the 3 Series, E-Class, A5, CLK and the like will almost certainly give you months and months of trouble-free motoring. But where's the fun in that? And besides, if half the people in your street are searching for the same car, you're hardly going to stand out from the crowd.

No, what you need is a PetrolBlog-approved convertible. Some are guaranteed to leak. Others will almost certainly feature a folding roof that gets stuck halfway between open and closed. A few will feature a comical amount of scuttle shake. The majority will have terminal electrical problems. While the rest will deliver all of the above.

But hey, they will add some colour to your life. And that's not just your choice of language when they leave you stranded by the side of the M3 on Bank Holiday Monday.

Vauxhall Cavalier Convertible

Topless Vauxhall Cavalier Convertible

You could spend £24,500 on a new Vauxhall Cascada. But you won't.

Because you know there's only one family-size Vauxhall convertible worthy of your attention - the quite brilliant and probably misunderstood MK2 Cavalier. You can almost hear the sound of the body flexing as you attempt to tackle a roundabout outside the Harvester in Luton. But at least you won't have spent £24,500 on a white elephant.

Rover Metro Cabriolet

Topless Rover Metro Cabriolet

Here we see a young Victoria Beckham ‘poshing it up’ with a Rover Metro Cabriolet. We have it on good authority that this was the very photo the then Victoria Adams used in her audition for the Spice Girls. She never looked back.

Fiat Punto Cabrio

Topless Fiat Punto Cabrio

In the mid- to late-nineties, this was the height of glamour for some folk. That was until they realised the Fiat Punto Cabrio wasn't built at the Bertone factory as claimed, but by Bertone Motor Bodies at the trading estate on the edge of town. Turn left at the traffic lights, up past Homebase.

Ford Escort Cabriolet

Topless Ford Escort Cabriolet

Had Makepeace – of Dempsey and Makepeace fame – lived on until the nineties, this would have been her car of choice. A shining beacon of light in what had become a miserable time for the once-admired Ford Escort. The Escort's days were numbered, as the frightfully new and edgy Focus was waiting in the wings. Could you imagine Glynis Barber driving a Focus Coupe-Cabriolet? Shudder.

Renault 19 Convertible

Topless Renault 19 Cabriolet D53

We're big fans of the Renault 19 here at PetrolBlog , with the 16v and Chamade 16v representing the pick of the crop. But don't rule out the Karmann-engineered 19 Convertible of 1992. When was the last time you saw one? Has to be more appealing than an Audi A5 Convertible, right?

Talbot Samba Convertible

Topless Talbot Samba

How utterly depressing to think that 154,000 people searched for a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertible this month, but as nation we're prepared to let the Talbot Samba Cabriolet spiral into oblivion. According to How Many Left? Talbot Samba Cabriolet there could be as few as 40 left in the UK. The photo shows Julia Roberts on set during the filming of Pretty Woman. Classy lady.

Saab 900 Convertible

Topless Saab 900

The Saab 900 Convertible was once the epitome of cool. For people of the Home Counties and the commuter-belt, this was the car to be seen in. At least it was before the days under General Motors rule. Then things went a bit pear-shaped and the 900 seemed to lose its lustre. Today, prices of classic Saab 900 Convertibles have put the car firmly beyond the reach of PetrolBlog, but you can buy a GM900 Convertible for 500 notes. And you have to say, it's beginning to look rather magnificent. You can't buy more class for less cash.

Rover 200 Cabriolet

Topless Rover 216 Cabriolet

Phoawr, to the manor born, or what? Of course, ideally we'd have a Tomcat, but the 200 Cabriolet of 1993 is beginning to look appealing. And to think that this was launched a year before BMW took a majority share in Rover. Stick up for Britain by spending a few hundred quid on one of these and shunning the appeal of a new 6 Series Convertible. You know you want to.

Renault Megane Convertible

Topless Renault Megane Convertible

Nothing will give your French drop-top some much needed longevity quite like parking it on the beach and waiting for the tide to roll in. You can almost hear the salt biting away at the electrical components and roof mechanism. Unlike its rival from Peugeot (which we'll come on to in a moment), the Renault Megane hasn't aged well. Check out the used car listing to see a plethora of tired and weather-beaten cars listed for the price of a 32-inch TV. And even then it would be a risk. Gotta be better than a reliable German, right? And there's never much on TV.

Peugeot 306 Cabriolet

Topless Peugeot 306 Cabriolet Roland Garros

Saving the best until last? We reckon so and are happy to reaffirm our belief that it's not possible to buy a more elegant car for less money. The Pininfarina-styled 306 Cabriolet remains a thing of beauty. Look at it. Way more appealing than a CLK Convertible or a TT. Anyone for tennis?

So there we have it? Why buy German when you could buy French, Italian, British or Swedish? These fully paid-up members of the Style Council will provide hours* of fun in the sun and will look far better on your driveway than a me-too car that looks remarkably similar to the one owned by Claudia in HR.

And what's a leaky roof, blown head gasket, broken air conditioning unit and a few MOT advisories between friends?

*this could actually be minutes.

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