Summer sampler: Ups and downs of convertibles

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

Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda MX-5 Miata
The car: The Miata is a near-perfect sports car that delivers thrills with finely-tuned balance and quick reflexes rather than raw power. (Not that it's, by any means, slow.) A low price and good fuel economy are added benefits. Some drivers may find it a bit too snug, though.

The cost: About $21,000 to start

The top: The Miata now offers a choice of two roofs, a manually folding cloth top or a power-folding hard top. The cloth top can be raised and lowered one-handed without even having to take off your seatbelt.

Amazingly, the hard top version has just as much trunk space as the cloth top. That's not an enormous amount to begin with, but it's enough for a couple of bags.








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