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Top-Rated 2014 Convertibles: Performance & Design

Top-Rated 2014 Convertibles: Performance & Design

By Jeff Youngs,

To identify what new-vehicle buyers find most gratifying about owning and driving their cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans, J.D. Power conducts the annual Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study. Surveys are sent to verified owners who have owned their new vehicle for at least 90 days, and respondents share their experiences by answering questions designed to determine what people like and dislike about their new vehicles.

From this information, J.D. Power calculates Power Circle Ratings to visually summarize the findings and to guide car shoppers as they decide which vehicle to buy.

Based on the results of the 2014 APEAL Study, the following convertible models receive a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for overall appeal. They are listed below, in alphabetical order.

2014 Audi A5
The Audi A5 Cabriolet is essentially an A5 Coupe with a fabric convertible top in place of the coupe's metal roof. Using a fabric top helps to conserve rear-seat and trunk space when the driver decides to drive with the top down. Audi sells this model in A5, sporty S5, and performance-tuned RS5 variants.

2014 BMW 4 Series
The BMW 4 Series convertible replaces the previous BMW 3 Series convertible in accordance with the automaker's new naming approach. It has a power-retractable hardtop and is offered with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and a choice between a turbocharged 4-cylinder and a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine.

2014 BMW 6 Series
The BMW 6 Series convertible costs $7,500 more than the 6 Series coupe upon which it is based. Like the coupe, the convertible is available with a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine in the 640i model or a twin-turbocharged V-8 in the 650i model. The BMW M6 version makes 560 horsepower in exchange for its six-figure price tag.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette
The Chevy Corvette convertible is redesigned for 2014, and for the first time it does not require additional structural bracing to retain its top-down rigidity, helping to save weight and retain performance. A 6.2-liter V-8 engine making up to 460 horsepower is standard, and buyers have a choice of a manual gearbox or an automatic transmission.

2014 Jaguar F-Type
With a starting price of about $70,000, the new Jaguar F-Type is considered to be the automaker's entry-level sports car. New for 2014, the rear-drive, 2-seat roadster is offered with a choice between three supercharged engines generating between 340 and 485 horsepower.

2014 Porsche 911
The big news for the 2014 Porsche 911 Cabriolet is the addition of a 560-horsepower Turbo S model, which the automaker says will accelerate to 60 mph in 3 seconds flat. All told, there are six different 911 Cabriolet models from which to choose; eight if you count the new 911 Targa models.

2014 Porsche Boxster
When it comes to buying a Porsche sports car, the Boxster is the least expensive path to ownership--a 2-seat, mid-engine, rear-drive model that costs just over $51,000 before piling on the options. For greater performance, there is the slightly more powerful Boxster S.

2014 Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen Beetle buyers love their cars, as evidenced by the model's strong showing in the 2014 APEAL Study. Go with the convertible version and buyers can pick from three turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, including a TDI Clean Diesel model that gets up to 41 mpg on the highway.

Additional Research:

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