Summer sampler: Ups and downs of convertibles

We sample eight cars with good, and some not so good, removable tops.

Mini Cooper
Mini Cooper
The car: The Mini is every bit as much fine to drive as it looks. As befits its tiny size, it also gets good fuel economy.

The cost: About $22,000 to start

The top: The Mini Cooper's power-operated convertible top can be used in three different positions: all the way up and all the way down, of course, but it also has a "sunroof" setting. In that position, just the front seats are uncovered. It's especially handy if you're just making a quick trip and want that open-top feeling without waiting for the roof to completely lower then raise again.

The Mini's one major problem is rear visibility. That's often an issue in cloth-top convertibles when the top is raised, but in this car the folded top blocks your rear view when it's down.








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