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Who hasn’t dreamt of cruising the countryside in a convertible with the wind in your hair and your favourite tunes on the radio? I know I have, and my father actually lived the dream for a while in a vintage Sunbeam Alpine, the same car featured in the classic 1960s comedy show Get Smart.
Sadly, my father’s little red two-seater spent more time at the mechanic’s than on the road, and it turned out to be less than practical for a man with two growing boys.
Fortunately, today’s crop of sexy drop-tops is far more reliable than the British roadsters of old, and you don’t have to be a rock star or celebrity to afford one.
How we came up with the numbers: Price reflects the manufacturer’s suggested retail price without options or destination charge. For cost of ownership, we used data from Edmunds.com and converted it to Canadian dollars per kilometre. Reliability is based on Consumer Reports data gathered from vehicle owner questionnaires. Driving experience is the average score for each model provided by our expert panel. Up-to-date safety score data from the IIHS and NHSTA, the leading authorities in the U.S., were not available. To obtain our overall value score, we assign a weight of 25% each to cost of ownership and reliability, and 50% to driving experience. The higher the score out of 10, the better the value offered by the vehicle.
Nadine Filion: Award-winning automotive journalist based in Montreal
Petrina Gentile: Automotive journalist and producer of CTV’s and BNN’s Car/Business
Jil McIntosh: Automotive journalist for the Toronto Star and Assistant Editor at Autos.ca
Dave Redinger: Syndicated columnist and host of The Neighbourhood Mechanic on AM740 radio
George Iny: President of the Automobile Protection Association