Top-Rated 2013 Convertibles: Performance & Design
By Jeff Youngs, August 07, 2013
The annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle appeal. The study examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive based on owner evaluations of 77 vehicle attributes. In the 2013 APEAL Study, 83,000 purchasers and lessees were surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership to determine their satisfaction with their vehicle's design, comfort and convenience, features and controls, performance, and related factors. This year, the following 2013 convertible models received the highest ratings for overall APEAL. They are listed below in alphabetical order.
2013 Audi A5
Audi updates the 2013 Audi A5 Cabriolet this year, freshening the styling, adding new colors, revising interior trim, and including new standard features. New exterior lighting, infotainment, and safety technologies are optional. In the 2013 APEAL Study, the A5 Cabriolet narrowly outscores the BMW 3 Series Convertible.
2013 BMW 3 Series
In its final year of production before it is replaced by a new 4 Series Convertible, the 2013 3 Series is one of the most appealing convertibles in the Compact Premium Car segment in the 2013 APEAL Study. Buyers choose from 328i, 335i, 335is, and M3 variants, all equipped with a power-retractable hardtop.
2013 BMW Z4
A 2-seat roadster, the BMW Z4 ranks second in the Compact Premium Sporty Car segment, behind the Porsche Boxster and ahead of the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class. For 2013, BMW loads the Z4 with new standard equipment, and offers a couple of special interior colors including Citrus Yellow.
2013 Ford Mustang
Though nearing the end of its current lifecycle, the 2013 Mustang Convertible is the top-ranked Midsize Sporty Car in this year's APEAL Study. For 2013, the Mustang is restyled to evoke late-1960s Mustang models, while the performance-oriented Shelby GT500 variant receives a complete mechanical update to handle the supercharged V-8's new horsepower rating of 662.
2013 Fiat 500c
The top-ranked City Car in the 2013 APEAL Study, the Fiat 500 is offered in regular or performance-tuned Abarth format for 2013. The Abarth is new to the 500c lineup, and has a turbocharged, 160-horsepower 4-cylinder engine combined with steering, suspension, braking, exhaust, wheel, and tire upgrades designed to maximize acceleration, handling, and braking capability.
2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Mercedes redesigns its flagship roadster, the SL-Class, for 2013, offering the car as the SL550, SL63 AMG, and SL65 AMG. Leading its segment in terms of appeal, ranked ahead of the Porsche 911 and BMW 6 Series, the SL-Class receives an award in this year's APEAL Study.
2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
Ranked third among Compact Premium Sporty Cars in the 2013 APEAL Study, the SLK250 loses its standard sun-reflective leather for the 2013 model year but gains a new telematics system. The SLK350's standard equipment list grows for 2013, and the engine is now equipped with automatic start/stop technology.
2013 Mini Roadster
In the Compact Sporty Car category, the new Mini Roadster is the highest-ranked convertible. It is based on the Mini Cooper Convertible, but has just two seats rather than four. Standard, Cooper S, and performance-tuned John Cooper Works versions are on sale.
2013 Porsche Boxster
Redesigned for 2013, the new Porsche Boxster outranks other Compact Premium Sporty Cars this year, and by a significant margin. The new Boxster is offered in standard and S model series, the latter equipped with a larger engine and greater performance potential.
2013 Porsche 911
Porsche redesigned the iconic 911 for the 2012 model year, and makes a number of enhancements for 2013. Active Cruise Control and Porsche Active Safe systems are now optional, and new all-wheel-drive versions debut in the form of the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S models. The 911 ranks below the new Mercedes SL-Class in the Midsize Premium Sporty Car category in the 2013 APEAL Study.