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Go Topless in These Unconventional Convertibles

A common misconception is that top-down driving is limited to impractical two-door coupes that seat two, four-seaters with rear seats only for the leg-less, or Jeep Wranglers. In recent years, we have seen some unique convertibles from mainstream manufacturers that break from the familiar, leaving some drooling while others scratching their heads. Here are a selection of unique vehicles that approach the convertible problem with unconventional solutions, proving there are always new ways to enjoy the open air and stand out from the crowd.

Nissan Murano Cross-Cabriolet

Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet Convertible Top Down In Teal

In a strange but memorable move, Nissan took their popular mid-size SUV offering and transformed it into a two-door soft-top convertible SUV called the Nissan Murano Cross-Cabriolet.  Available for four years from 2011-2014, it was met with bemusement by critics who struggled to place this unique coupé-SUV-convertible mash up. Powered by base Murano underpinnings, the Cross-Cabriolet pricing started at $47,000 – well into a luxury brand territory, which simply put, Nissan is not. That being said, I applaud Nissan for taking the risk on a design such as this one. With used pricing between $9k for models that have travelled over 100,000 miles, and up to $25k for like-new, the Nissan Cross-Cabriolet is still attainable, and stated to be a collectible just out of its sheer weirdness. Find a Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet for sale

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Following Nissan with their Murano Cross-Cabriolet, Land Rover took their best-selling Range Rover Evoque, and sliced the roof off of a limited number of 3-door Evoque Convertibles from 2017-2019.  With its straight, sleek body and high belt-line, the Evoque Convertible is more attractive than the bubbly Murano, and while still an automotive oddity, is just as collectible with only a handful of models available on Autotrader priced between $36,000 and $65,000. Find a Land Rover Range Rover Evoque for sale

Jeep Renegade w/ MySky Removable Roof

Jeep Renegade w/ MySky Removable Roof

In recent years, Jeep has had a firm monopoly on top-down off-roading with the Wrangler. Although that won’t be the case soon with new competition from Ford’s Bronco, another offering from Jeep also offers the fresh-air experience, and it is the MySky removable roof option for the Jeep Renegade.  Available as a factory option at an additional cost of $1,595, the MySky roof is comprised of two roof panels, where the first panel can retract with the touch of a button, or both panels can be removed completely and stowed in a trunk-mounted storage bag.  While the MySky roof is not a true convertible as all vehicle pillars remain intact, it is evocative of T-tops or a Targa-style roof that affords a little more breathing room than a traditional sunroof and can be an attractive choice for those looking for open-air driving and everyday practicality without the steep price tag of the Wrangler or the discomfort of a loud soft-top at highway speeds. Find a Jeep Renegade for sale

Chevrolet SSR

Chevrolet SSR Convertible Top Down in Midnight Blue

At the turn of the millennium, many automakers embraced a retro revival design language, and the Chevrolet SSR was no exception.  Built from 2003-2006 and styled as a modern take on a hot rod pick-up truck, the Chevrolet SSR packed plenty of power to match, equipped with a 300 HP V8 from 2003-04, and from 2005-06, the 400 HP LS2 seen in the C6 Corvette and Pontiac GTO.  Although the SSR takes the form of a pick-up truck, it is a sports car at heart, featuring only 2 seats, rear-wheel drive, optional 6-speed manual transmission, and a power-retractable hardtop designed by now-defunct convertible specialists American Convertible Systems (ASC).  Pick-up truck utility is also limited on the SSR, with a smaller than average bed, and a hard tonneau cover that prevents the transportation of any materials that sticks out of the cargo area.  While also limited in production, there are over 120 models currently listed on Autotrader, with many low-mileage examples hovering in the $20,000 dollar range, making this a unique way to stand out from the crowd with the top down, as well as enjoy GM’s potent LS2 power plant in this collectible truck. Find a Chevrolet SSR for sale

Mercedes Maybach 62 Landaulet

Mercedes Maybach 62 Landaulet Top Down In White

With business in the front and a party is in the back, the Mercedes Maybach 62 Landaulet is an automotive mullet of sorts, equipped with a soft-top covering the rear compartment only. Based on a lengthened Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a fixed-roof Maybach 62 costs roughly $433,000, and if you have to ask how much the rear-roofless Landaulet is, perhaps it isn’t for you. Priced at an eye-watering $1.33 million dollars, that sort of exclusivity ensures you’re of just a moneyed few who can afford the open-air experience while presumably, your chauffeur remains in an entirely separate compartment. For those who prefer to be driven while also craving fresh air, few vehicles can compare to the Maybach. Find a Maybach 62 for sale

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Convertible Top Down in Red

New for 2021 in markets other than the United States, Volkswagen has produced a convertible version of their T-Roc compact SUV. Riding on underpinnings based on the MQB platform seen on the Volkswagen Golf and Jetta, the T-Roc Cabriolet is evocative of Volkswagen’s previous convertibles such as the Golf Cabriolet and later Cabrio, both of which featured a b-pillar based roll bar, noticeably not present on the T-Roc. While I’m doubtful we’ll get it in the United States, I’m pleased to see Volkswagen taking the risk on a new model such as this, especially when logic speaks otherwise. Find a Volkswagen for sale

Sam Keller
Sam Keller
Sam Keller is an Editorial Contributor for Autotrader & Oversteer since 2017. He enjoys covering everything from auto history and classic cars, modern and vintage driving impressions, as well as everyday car news stories. Currently based in Los Angeles, California, Sam can be found on Instagram at @hamptonwhipz where he documents interesting vehicles he encounters on his travels.

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