Q: What is a Convertible?

December 17, 2013 12:53 PM

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A convertible can go from being an enclosed car to an open-air car by means of a roof or top that can be retracted, folded or removed. Convertibles are usually more expensive than ordinary cars because of the mechanism that is used to retract or fold the top. Because of this, a convertible car is sometimes considered a sportier or even a luxury car.

Convertible tops can be either soft or hard. Soft-top convertibles use vinyl or canvas as the material for the roof. Hardtop convertibles use metals like aluminum, steel or plastic. A few convertibles offer the choice of hardtop convertibility and soft-top convertibility as one of the car options that you need to think about before purchasing. Depending on what you want and need in a car, your security needs, and the weather, the type of convertibility may affect your purchase decision.

Hardtop convertibles and soft-top convertibles each have their advantages and disadvantages. When retracted, the roof of a hardtop convertible may occupy some of the space in the trunk. Soft-top convertibles use less space in the trunk and are more flexible. However, hardtops are less prone to leaking than soft tops. This makes hardtop convertibles more practical to use in inclement weather.

Security in soft-top convertibles is also an issue. Because a knife can easily tear the textile material used in soft-tops, these cars are prone to theft, unlike hardtop convertibles that use steel or aluminum for the top. The textile material of a soft-top convertible is also prone to deterioration because it is always exposed to the sun.

On the other hand, hardtop convertibles are heavier and have a more complex retracting mechanism than a soft-top convertible. Hardtops also rely on batteries to retract or move the top. In the event that the battery fails, the top is retracted, and there is an imminent rain, hardtop convertibles are very vulnerable.

There have been many improvements made by carmakers to address these problems. If you plan to buy a convertible, it is best to know about these improvements so that you can make a good choice. There are also variations like hatchback convertibles and semi-convertibles.

The best thing about convertibles is that they can adapt to the weather. If you want to feel the breeze and the sun's glow while driving on a perfect, sunny day, you simply need to retract the top. It lets you feel more air than by just opening the windows. If it starts to rain, you can put the top back. Convertible cars are also stylish. And they have the market cornered on the feeling of open-air freedom.

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