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One for the Road: A summer convertible


With all this hot weather we've had, Charles Maybank fancies a convertible. He has £5,000 to spend on something fun but reliable.

A car for the head

If all he wants is some fresh air to get to his head, what Charles needs to think about is a very conventional model. A Vauxhall Astra (above) is a good example. With an electronic retractable roof, during the winter it will be as snug as a saloon, but in summer, Charles will have a four-seat convertible at the press of a button. The Astra is also excellent value for money: £5,000 buys a 2007 1.8 Design Twin Top with just 35,000 miles from a dealer.

A car for the heart

Then again, Charles may want a convertible with a more prestigious badge. So perhaps an Audi Cabriolet would be a better buy. It looks very stylish and sophisticated and the petrol models are especially good value. Charles is not planning on doing many miles, so a 2.4 petrol would be perfect. It is staggeringly well built and has an incredible feel-good factor that you just don't get with more mainstream models. A search of the classified ads uncovers a 2004 example with 65,000 miles and a three-month warranty for the budget.

Looking to buy?

Email James Ruppert at onefortheroad@independent. co.uk, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget