2010 Audi S5 CabrioletEnlarge Photo
Rating: 8.8 out of 10
The 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet might be the most handsome German luxury two-doors available-and are surely among the best performers. Its sculpted flanks have a Camaro-like appeal, and its 333 horsepower--from a supercharged V-6--underscores that muscle car comparison. Handling's a bit less precise than the BMW M3, but the Audi's back-seat and trunk space are up to the task. In folding soft-top form, the S5 Cabriolet is at its best in the $58,250 edition with Audi's S-tronic transmission.
Key feature: For all the suave good looks minus some performance and minus a lot of dollars on the pricetag, TheCarConnection discreetly points you toward the less expensive Audi A5 Cabriolet. At 8.6 out of 10, it's not a bargain-basement edition, though it lacks the crispness and strong acceleration you'll find in the S5.
2010 MINI Cooper ConvertibleEnlarge Photo
Rating: 8.6 out of 10
Talk about players: the 2010 MINI Cooper Convertible charms the top off itself with its unmatched driving feel and expertly interpreted styling heritage. It's a delightful car to drive, and at $24,950 for the Cooper Convertible, it's a reasonably fair deal--particularly when you price it against the hardtop Mazda MX-5 Miata and even the Ford Mustang convertibles. A John Cooper Works edition with a manual six-speed transmission is the ultimate urban thrill-seeker, with the thrusty feel of a pint-sized USS Enterprise (which we're still trying to line up for a test drive.)
Key feature: The MINI Convertible's trunk is a two-piece deal, with a flip-up lid and a very brief tailgate, so you can lock up your precious cargo in very tight parking spaces. Less practical is MINI's "openometer," which reminds you how long the top's been down over the life of the car--and how many days you actually have to put at work, by inference.