How To Spend Your Summer Vacation: Five Convertibles for Summer 2009

How To Spend Your Summer Vacation: Five Convertibles for Summer 2009

Cheapest Convertible: 2009 Smart Fortwo Passion Convertible
MSRP: $16,990 (not including destination)

It may not be the most exciting drop-top on the market today, but the Smart Fortwo Passion is certainly the most affordable. Its $16,990 base price is almost $6000 less than the basic Mazda MX-5 SV.

True enthusiasts, however, won't dare to compare the two. The Smart may be fun in the same manner as a go-kart, but it doesn't offer the driving prowess of a balanced, rear-wheel-drive chassis. Nor does it offer much power - its turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder musters only 70 horsepower, much less than the Mazda's 167 horses.

But that's not the point. At this price, the Fortwo Passion (one can also upgrade to the visually-intense Brabus model) may be just the ticket for penny pinchers looking to infuse their commute with some UV exposure. They'll also love the fact that, according to the EPA, the Smart is the most fuel-efficient convertible offered in North America. The tiny two-seater also has got to be the easiest to park, and it garners far more attention than its price would suggest.

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