Convertibles with AWD are fun, fast, and fashionable. They’re ideal for anyone who wants a capable racing machine or leisurely luxury cruiser with the added pleasure of top-down drivability. With power being directed to all four corners, many deliver some of the most enjoyable driving characteristics one could want from an all-frills automobile. There are numerous makes and models for sale in the USA, mostly proffered from premium supercar and high-end brands, though there are plenty from the more commercial automakers, too. Whether new or used, a 4WD-equipped drop-top is a must in any enthusiast's garage.
Why Consider an All-Wheel-Drive Convertible Car?
AWD is most often offered to improve traction on vehicles in slippery conditions but, in the case of sports cars, it also improves acceleration and handling performance. Hence, convertibles with AWD can potentially ride or handle better than their rear- and front-wheel-drive counterparts. They’re also one of the greatest ways to embrace a luxury lifestyle. Nothing is quite as cool and exhilarating as cruising through scenic US landscapes in an attractive, roofless automobile.
Common Specifications for Convertibles with 4-Wheel-Drive
Cabriolets are proffered with an array of powertrain options with some carrying different body constituents and trim most with a selection of trims. Here are just some of the more common specs for vehicles in this class:
Performance: Most, if not all convertibles are based on regular fixed-roof versions of themselves While many of these vehicles do present some serious performance capabilities in their regular forms, the installation of a retractable top comes with some compromises in aerodynamics and structural integrity. This sometimes results in slower acceleration times and reduced handling dynamics.
Guise: With a hardtop in place, passengers are better isolated from the outside elements such as weather and outside noise. A soft, fabric- or cloth-type roof may not provide as much comfort in that regard. In either case, both can be removable or retractable. In the case of the latter, there is usually a trade-off in trunk space.
Features: Because cabrios are more exposed to the elements, they usually offer high-end creature comforts and conveniences to offset any discomfort. Some of these include seat heating and/or ventilation, a neck-level warming function, and a rollover protection system.
What to Consider Before Buying
Anyone that owns a convertible car will certainly tell you all about the benefits, though they may forget the downsides in their excitement. So, here we list three of the obvious advantages and disadvantages of 4WD convertibles.
Fully immersive open-top thrills and chills while feeling stylish
Sporty, animated all-wheel acceleration off-the-line and onward
Many feature all-weather comfort parameters such a neck warmers
Relatively pricey for what you get overall in terms of luxury and features
Structural integrity is compromised, sometimes hindering handling dynamics
Most, especially those with four seats, lack rear passenger and trunk space
What’s the best AWD convertible?
The Mercedes-Benz AMG S63 Convertible is the top-ranking sports cabrio for 2020. It comes equipped with a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine developing 603 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, commanded by a nine-speed automatic gearbox. A slightly more affordable option is the C43 or the competing BMW 4 Series Convertible.
Are there any cabriolets available with a manual transmission?
Yes, the Ford Mustang, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and 2019 Mini Cooper are just some of the convertible rides out there with a selectable manual transmission. However, none offer an all-wheel drivetrain.
Are cabriolets less economical on fuel?
All-wheel-drive convertibles do often return lower mpg figures than their FWD and RWD counterparts because of their heavier overall construction and 4WD setups.