Europe is currently experiencing somewhat of a heat wave at the moment and in the UK it seems to have been welcomed by most. With the sun out and temperatures in upwards of 20º, now is the time for the summer cars to emerge from the garage and go for a drive.
But what makes a great summer car? Performance, style and a pinch of luxury all wrapped up in a drop-top package of course! Here’s the best for under £5,000…
Mini John Cooper Works Convertible
While the regular Mini Convertible is nothing to celebrate if you like fast cars, the JCW variant is something fairly different and considerably more appealing to enthusiasts. Featuring a 208bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder, it’s a quick little car and produces as lovably juvenile exhaust note too.
Audi TT 3.2 Roadster
Here’s another car which on the surface may appear to be a run-of-the-mill vehicle, however, is actually rather rapid. Utilising a 247bhp 3.2-litre V6, this TT can do 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds. Even though it’s not necessarily as fun as Porsche Cayman, it’s a bargain at £5,000 and it drives great – and having the roof down only goes to enhance the experience.
Alfa Romeo Spider
Now this one’s a stunner – the Alfa Romeo Spider. Designed by Pininfarina, the Spider oozes cool – it’ll look especially amazing under the sun. Unfortunately, on this budget, the 3.2-litre V6 model is a tad out of reach, but does that really matter when it’s an Alfa with style as good as the Spider’s?
Mercedes SLK 350
The second-generation Mercedes SLK is a great all-rounder – especially with this 3.5-litre powerplant. It’s a refined vehicle that will make a pretty awesome daily driver. It’s metal roof offers increased comfort, driveability and security, although in this weather it’ll most likely be stowed away to allow for the driver to enjoy top down motoring.
Though if it’s top down driving pleasure you’re after, it doesn’t come much better than the 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated, high-revving masterpiece that is the Honda S2000. Created as the Japanese firm’s 50th birthday present to itself, the S2000 is a pure and uncompromising sports car. Featuring a 237bhp 2.0-litre motor with VTEC and a six-speed manual transmission, the S200 is back to basics at its best.