Best New Convertibles of 2022

Car and Driver

Most commonly the topless version of a coupe counterpart, convertibles are about maximum curb appeal and wind-in-the-hair driving pleasure. These drop-top models are the best because they deliver on both accounts—and then some. Along with smaller rear seats and more limited trunk space, convertibles often are heavier than their fixed-roof siblings—and sometimes have less-rigid body structures—but those are small penalties for the charisma they otherwise provide. These are the best convertibles for 2022.

Those who are interested in the best convertibles from 2021 can refer to last year’s list.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata

Few cars deliver driving thrills at an affordable price quite like the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata, and it’s the only affordable sports car with a convertible top. It’s also on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. A spunky four-cylinder primarily pairs with a satisfying six-speed manual, but an automatic transmission is offered, too. The Miata’s handling is eager and playful, which makes encountering twisty roads a joyful experience. Most versions come with a manually-folding soft-top, but there’s a more expensive RF model available with a power-folding Targa hardtop. With either roof, the Miata’s interior is snug but nicely equipped, with infotainment features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across all trims.

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Ford Mustang

Whether it’s used for top-down trips on the Sunset Strip or track time at Lime Rock, there’s a 2022 Ford Mustang for most every lifestyle and personality. With countless appearance packages, notable performance-enhancing options, and coupe or convertible body styles, it can be highly personalized. Power comes from a punchy turbo four or a mighty 5.0-liter V-8; both engines feed the rear wheels through an engaging manual transmission or a terrific 10-speed automatic. While all models are fun to drive, Ford offers myriad packages to up the excitement, culminating in the track-focused Mach 1. Even the most aggressive Mustang (excluding the 760-hp Shelby GT500) can be driven every day, and it has a roomier back seat and better outward visibility than the Chevy Camaro. When it comes to pony cars, there’s none better than the 2022 Mustang, which is why it’s on our Editors’ Choice list.

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Chevy Camaro

The 2022 Chevrolet Camaro coupe and convertible are about the pure and simple joy of driving. Forget about their compromised outward visibility and cramped rear seats. Instead, embrace their lithe handling, satisfying stick-shift transmission, and remarkably smooth ride. A 275-hp turbo four is the default engine, but opting for the 335-hp V-6 or the 455-hp V-8 unlocks more melodic soundtracks and punchier acceleration. Its cabin includes some unattractive materials, and some will call it claustrophobic, but its front seats are comfy and supportive, and its well-stocked infotainment system is easy to use. The Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger are better as daily drivers, but with the optional 1LE package, Chevy’s pony car transforms into the best track car of the three. When it comes to performance for the price, it’s hard to find a better value than the 2022 Camaro.

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Chevy Camaro ZL1

The 2022 Chevy Camaro ZL1 isn’t the most powerful muscle car, but when it comes to driver involvement and value for the performance, it’s unbeatable. It’s also on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. The bow-tie boys stuff a 650-hp supercharged V-8 between the ZL1’s fenders and offer a satisfying manual transmission or a snappy 10-speed automatic. Sure, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 packs a 760-hp V-8 and its own incredible track capabilities, but it doesn’t offer a stick-shift or a convertible body style. Plus, unlocking the Shelby’s full potential costs considerably more than the Camaro’s transformative 1LE package. While a ZL1 1LE has the hardware and tuning to slay some six-figure cars around a racetrack, its ride will be too harsh for anyone who isn’t a glutton for punishment. And, as with every Camaro, the ZL1’s outward visibility is compromised, and the interior materials are unimpressive. Still, the 2022 Camaro ZL1 makes its driver feel like a king and lords over its fiercest rivals.

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BMW Z4

Confident handling and a powerful turbocharged engine are expected from a BMW sports car, and the 2022 Z4 convertible delivers just that. But part of its appeal also lies in its upscale cabin, which is comfortable enough to serve as a daily driver. The base engine offered is a peppy turbocharged four-cylinder while a twin-turbo inline-six can be found in the racier M40i model. All Z4s are rear-wheel drive and use an eight-speed automatic transmission that is as well-tuned for sporty driving as it is for highway cruising. Handling isn’t Porsche Boxster sharp, but it’s close enough and still plenty fun on a twisty road. The Z4 is only offered as a softtop convertible, but if you’d prefer a hardtop coupe, take a look at the mechanically similar Toyota Supra, which was developed alongside the BMW.

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Mercedes-AMG C43

Offered as a coupe and convertible, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG C43 provides sports-car attitude with luxury-car accoutrements. It’s on our Editors’ Choice list, too. These two-door C43 models come standard with a 385-hp twin-turbo V-6 that provides ample power and sounds fantastic. All-wheel drive is standard, and the C43’s handling is razor sharp. Unfortunately, the same can be said of its ride quality, which can be tortuous over rough stretches of road. Like most cars with sporting intentions, the C43 requires you to take the good with the bad. The cabin is stylish, well-equipped, and comfortable for front-seat riders, but those relegated to the back may want for head- and legroom. Likewise with trunk space, which is merely average for the class. This current crop will likely be this generation’s last, as the C-class has been redesigned for 2022, meaning an AMG-tuned variant should be on its way to replace the C43 with something more modern and, hopefully, just as fun to drive.

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Chevy Corvette

With a lineage that stretches back to the 1950s, the Chevrolet Corvette is a mainstay of performance-car culture, and the current C8 model takes that tradition to a new place with a thumping V-8 mounted behind the passenger compartment and a still-affordable price tag. Performance in the supercar range and surgically precise handling make the Corvette a track day darling when equipped with the Z51 package—but its ride over rough stretches is unexpectedly smooth and its cabin is comfortable enough for daily use. Both a coupe and a convertible are offered, and the coupe has a lift-off roof panel for open-air motoring. Storage areas behind the engine and in front of the cabin offer enough cargo space for a weekend away, and its attainable price, exceptional performance, and surprising practicality make it a 10Best winner and earn it a spot on our Editors’ Choice list.

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Porsche 718 Boxster

Most convertibles are a romantic way to enjoy the open road, but the 2022 Porsche 718 Boxster takes it a step further with its joyous handling and eager turbocharged powertrains. It shares its chassis and mechanical parts with the similarly sporty 718 Cayman coupe, but the Boxster’s cloth top opens the cabin to fresh air and the freeing feeling of the wind in your hair. Base models come with a turbocharged horizontally opposed four-cylinder, but speed freaks will gravitate toward the optional flat-six. The 718 Boxster may not have the cachet of Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car, but its focused chassis and lively nature make it one of the best-driving sports cars on the road earn it a 10Best award and a spot on our Editors’ Choice list.

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BMW M4

The 2022 BMW M4 is just as exciting as its M3 sedan sibling, but only it’s available as a coupe or soft-top convertible. Both make our Editors’ Choice list. The base hard-top model comes exclusively with rear-wheel drive, a satisfying manual transmission, and a thrilling 473-hp twin-turbo straight-six. The Competition variant gets an enhanced 503-hp engine, a snappy automatic gearbox, and unique chassis tuning that should culminate in quicker lap times at the local racetrack. Only the automatic M4 is available with all-wheel drive, and this slick system features a drift-worthy rear-drive mode. Regardless of the body style or power delivery, the M4 is a hoot to hoon, and its ride is remarkably civil when hunting apexes isn’t part of the daily commute. We wish BMW gave it analog gauges instead of indecipherable digital ones, and we’d prefer fewer adjustable drive-mode settings, but overall the 2022 M4 is delightful to drive, and that’s what matters.

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Mercedes-Benz E-Class

There are sportier alternatives to the 2022 Mercedes-Benz E-class, but few are as seamlessly high-class and high-tech. While the behind-the-wheel experience isn’t as exciting as that of its AMG-tuned twin­–the separately reviewed 429-hp E53–the regular E is subdued and serene. Its cabin is beautifully appointed, remarkably quiet, and fitted with flashy tech features such as the dual displays embedded in its dashboard. The E350 sedan is powered by a common-for-the-segment turbo four, but the E450 enjoys a sweet turbocharged straight-six. This strong, smooth mill is available in the sedan and standard on the coupe and cabriolet. Regardless of the powerplant, all body styles supplement their classy interiors with a cushy and composed ride. Add the 2022 E-class’s roster of advanced driver assists to its luxury appointments and quality assembly, and its esteemed position among mid-size luxury cars is evident, as is its spot on our Editors’ Choice list.

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Mercedes-AMG E-Class

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG E53 doesn’t compromise sportiness for luxuriousness, and vice versa, making it a complete and compelling machine. It also makes our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. As with the regular Benz-branded E-class, the enhanced-by-AMG E53 is available as a sedan, coupe, or cabriolet and boasts a beautifully appointed and well-equipped interior. Unique to this AMG-tuned trio is a rich-sounding turbocharged straight-six-cylinder engine that pairs with an electric supercharger to produce an uninterrupted 429 horsepower. Teamed with a nine-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, it’s notably quick and capable in all four seasons. With a chassis that’s successfully setup to both excite and soothe the senses, the 2022 E53 does a masterful job of being everything to almost everyone.

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Porsche 911

With transcendent driving traits and terrific twin-turbo flat-six engines, the 2022 Porsche 911 is a nearly flawless sports car, and it’s an obvious Editors’ Choice winner. Apart from being too expensive for most enthusiasts, Porsche’s iconic two-plus-two-seater is as immersive as it is versatile. Along with the aforementioned flat-six which produces a distinctive snarl and makes between 379 and 473 horsepower­­–we review the higher-powered GT3 and Turbo variants separately­–the lineup offers a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic or manual transmission and rear- or all-wheel drive. The latter ensures its incredible performance can be enjoyed in all four seasons. The 911 comes in coupe, cabriolet (read: convertible), or quasi-convertible Targa body styles. The beauty of the 911 is that its athleticism doesn’t diminish its livability. Its ride is surprisingly civil considering its cornering limits and race car-like steering feel. Its interior is roomy up front and can be lavishly appointed. And its driver is treated to a satisfyingly low seating position but also excellent outward visibility.

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Porsche 911 Turbo

The 2022 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S, which come in familiar, understated coupe and cabriolet body styles, are the pinnacle of the automaker’s most revered nameplate. At their heart—albeit located in their tails—is a twin-turbo 3.7-liter flat-six that develops 573 horsepower in the Turbo and 640 in the Turbo S. Along with spine-tingling yawps at stratospheric rpm, the engine delivers neck-snapping acceleration. After all, the 911 Turbo S is among the quickest cars we’ve ever tested. Helping achieve that historic status is standard all-wheel drive and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic that ranks among the best. While we wish there was a manual option, and though we found the sportiest suspension setup to be overly stiff, the 2022 911 Turbo and Turbo S offer a sublime driving experience that even some more exotic supercars can’t replicate. This helps them earn a spot on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list.

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Aston Martin Vantage

A sports car’s primary mission is to make the driver feel behind the wheel, and the beautiful 2022 Aston Martin Vantage does all that while making heads turn everywhere it goes. Its sensual shape­–available with a fixed roof or a retractable soft top­–is classic sport’s car stuff, with a long hood and wide haunches. What’s under that clamshell hood is almost equally as lusty: a 500-plus-hp twin-turbo V-8 sourced from Mercedes-AMG. This vociferous mill mates with a manual or automatic transmission, but unfortunately the former is only offered on the regular coupe. For drivers looking to channel their inner Sebastian Vettel, Aston now offers a track-tuned F1 Edition with distinct styling, an enhanced chassis, and extra horsepower. While the Vantage’s interior suffers from some fit-and-finish issues and uncouth wind and road noise at highway speeds, the highly customizable cabin can still be lavishly appointed. Most importantly, Aston Martin’s entry-level machine constantly manufactures smiles and stares.

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Mercedes-AMG SL-Class

With a legacy that stretches back all the way to the original 300SL Gullwing, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL-class is an automotive icon. Recent examples haven’t been as impressive as expected and a host of newer two-door, four-seat grand touring convertibles have rendered it obsolete, but the new generation SL is taking a sportier tack and will be offered only with an AMG badge. The entry-level SL55 is powered by a 469-hp twin-turbo V-8 while the racier SL63 gets a 577-hp version of that same motor. All-wheel drive and four-wheel steering are both standard and are intended to improve both handling and performance. Although it’s being reimagined as a more focused sports car, the new SL also sports a luxurious and tech-heavy cabin. And in a nod to previous generations, the new SL features a folding fabric roof in place of the outgoing models’ power-folding hardtop, thereby retaining its open-air persona while also saving weight.

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