Cool Convertibles Worth the Money

Last Updated May 26, 2010 6:00 PM EDT

Imagine the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and that deal you got buying a new convertible for just the right price. Okay, the deal isn't quite as inspiring, but it will let you hit the road with the top down just in time for summer.

There are now quite a few sweet deals on ragtops. Rebates, low-rate financing, and other incentives are showing up on convertibles, too. The Volvo C70, for instance, offers a $1,000 rebate and is the MoneyWatch discount champ with an average sale price 18% below list, according to TrueCar.com.

Not all of our four selections in this ragtop roll call offer such drooling discounts, but all are good value for your money. They appear in descending order of price, beginning just above $30,000 and going down to around $20,000.

Volvo C70 A redesign is coming for 2011, likely contributing to the big discount on this sleek model. Reviewers like the retractable hardtop (which makes this car more winter-worthy than many convertibles) and its smooth ride. Like all Volvos, the C70 has the latest in safety equipment. Though not as much a performance car as the BMW 3 series convertible and some others, the Volvo is a good buy for top-down cruisers at TrueCar's average purchase price of $33,366.

2010 Ford Mustang The impressive 2011 Mustang will be on sale shortly (See New Cars: Are the 2011 Ford Mustang and Fiesta Worth the Money?) but if you crave the good looks of the convertible model, the 2010 remains a good buy. If style instead of speed is your pleasure, you can opt for the V6, rated for 18 mpg in city driving and 26 on the highway. At Edmunds.com's average selling price of $24,606, this convertible is selling at a 6.7% discount from list and just $200 over dealer's invoice. Promotional incentives include a $1,000 rebate or 0% financing.

Mini Cooper-What could be cuter than a Mini convertible? And what better lineage than British origins and German engineering? Mini's BMW parent has produced the unusual combination of a fast and fuel-efficient car with great handling. The Mini is rated for 28 mpg city, 37 highway. And at an average selling price of $23,015, the Mini Cooper convertible is at a 5% discount from its list price.

Jeep Wrangler-If  navigating over rocks and through mud is your idea of fun, why not do it with the top down? Reviewers say the the Wrangler, the classic Jeep, may not be the best choice for a long daily commute on the highway, but that it's an unbeatable off-roader. You just missed the annual Go Topless Day for Jeep owners to drive with the top off, but you can still get the Sport model with its 3.8-liter V-6 engine (15 mpg city, 19 highway) for an average selling price of $20,512, a 3% discount from list. The Wrangler has 0% financing for buyers with strong credit ratings.

Photos courtesy of the manufacturers

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    Jerry Edgerton, author of Car Shopping Made Easy, has been covering the car beat since Detroit companies dominated the U.S. market. The former car columnist for Money magazine and Washington correspondent for Business Week, Edgerton specializes in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.