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mtn MegaDork
5/29/24 12:46 p.m.

E30 Convertible

Seriously though... Solara. I'm astounded at how good this thing is at being a car. Once you put away any sporting intentions, it just works. It's a Camry. That is really nice, it means that my wife is happy driving it too. 

First gen you could actually get with a manual. First gens were also extremely floppy. Second gens are very floaty, but fixable through TRD.




We test fit 2 car seats in it and it works 1 forward 1 rear facing. My wife can't sit in front of the rear facing because she has long legs. I have stumps. 

Old_Town Reader
5/29/24 12:51 p.m.

VW Eos 


mtn MegaDork
5/29/24 12:54 p.m.

2009 Infiniti G37 hardtop convertible 

Pros:  Manual available, RWD, seats 4

Cons: ?

Bumping this idea. 

Naturally aspirated V6, RWD, 6 speed


spandak Dork
5/29/24 3:12 p.m.

G37 is worth looking into. I'm not sure I find it exciting but I have no experience 

Mondial is a suicide mission but they are cool

Solara... I don't know if I can. I would need something else that scratches the sporty itch and that kinda defeats the point. 

EOS is interesting as is the Mini 

I've considered CLK/E550s as well. Not manual but a big V8 might offset the loss 

Old American is cool but doesn't fit my needs. This car will do many other things including work trips and general daily use. And they fold like soda cans when hit so I won't be putting my kids in the back of one. Around here that's a real concern

Lexus and A5 are interesting as well though Audi is the German brand I'm most afraid of. 

mainlandboy HalfDork
5/29/24 3:50 p.m.

I've also been thinking about a fun summer convertable that can fit the family, and have been considereing a VW Cabriolet:

68TR250 HalfDork
5/29/24 5:36 p.m.

Triumph STAG, Herald or Sports Six

buzzboy UltraDork
5/29/24 6:57 p.m.

VW New Beetle? Full size back seat, manual, sporty engines, what's not to like‽

bludroptop UltraDork
5/29/24 8:28 p.m.
914Driver said:


Man, I had this exact car...   color, trim and everything.  

Another vote for VW Cabriolets.  Had one of those too.  The nicest one in the market is probably ~$10k-ish.  Practical and fun cars.

Stealthtercel Dork
5/29/24 10:39 p.m.

I saw a G37 convertible at the auto show back in the day, and the overriding impression I took away with me was the trunk "space" with the roof down: it looked like you could maybe fit a cheese sandwich in there if you didn't make it with thick slices of either bread or cheese.

If your use case involves fresh air and stuff at the same time, I would do some careful test-fitting before purchase.

akylekoz UltraDork
5/30/24 6:31 a.m.

My SIL had a G37S manual for a while, not a bad car at all, have put teenagers in the back seat.  The S came with Brembos and Rays wheels.  

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
5/30/24 7:34 a.m.

Considering the audience, I'm a little surprised no one suggested getting two Miatas (hey, that adds up to four seats doesn't it?)  cheeky

mtn MegaDork
5/30/24 7:39 a.m.
stuart in mn said:

Considering the audience, I'm a little surprised no one suggested getting two Miatas (hey, that adds up to four seats doesn't it?)  cheeky

ClearwaterMS did throw the Miata limo into the equation.

pushrod36 HalfDork
5/30/24 8:00 a.m.

When I was in this position I ended up with an E46.  I preferred it to the E93 because there was a useable trunk with the top down.  I liked it more than the E88 because (at the time) it was less expensive and offered a latch anchor for kids seats in back.

Eventually the kids got to a point where they were to small to be out of a car seat, but too big to fit while in the car seat.  The E46 was sold.  I would happily own another.

mtn MegaDork
5/30/24 1:33 p.m.

You're trying to make 2 big compromises that don't play too well together. You can have a sporty convertible or a sporty 4 seater, but taking the roof off takes up seat space, makes the car floppy, and makes it heavier up high. Be realistic about what you're going to see.

You want the sportiest convertible that can reasonably take 4 adults? Find the best version of an M3 for you. 

You want the most comfortable convertible for 4 adults? Pick out a Wrangler/Gladiator/Bronco. Don't want the SUV? Solara. Throw some shocks on it and lower it, it'll be as good as anything on most roads. With the top down, you're already having fun. 

I'd also consider the 6 series BMW. I know nothing about them, but manual, I6 or V8, RWD, Convertible...






mtn MegaDork
5/30/24 1:34 p.m.

Oh, also don't forget Toyota Celica's of various generations. 

NY Nick
NY Nick SuperDork
5/30/24 3:06 p.m.

One of the families in the school pick up line has a BMW 4 series with the hard top convertible, i guess it is a 2014-2020 deal. That car is bad looking as can be and seems to be big enough to fit an 8th grade girl and a golden doodle in the back.

spandak Dork
5/30/24 3:09 p.m.

E93 is definitely my top pick at the moment. It's not original but it's the best compromise of agility, size, safety and features. 

I had an E36 cab years ago. It's compromised but has the most balanced spider graph I can think of. BMW does that well. 

The car will live outside so a folding hard top isn't a bad thing. Trunk space is only required with the top up. 

I'm not looking for a scalpel but something that's fun to drive at 6-7 tenths on a windy road. Hard to beat a RWD in-line 6 manual. 

The G37 is interesting but 4200lb is.... significant. Coming from a 986 I'm worried that will ruin the car for me. But if I can find one I'll try it for sure. 

I realize my goals might be a stretch. This is mostly an idea check to make sure I'm not missing something obvious. Appreciate the help everyone

Will UberDork
5/30/24 8:18 p.m.

Buick Cascada? I know nothing about them other than they exist.

rallyxPOS13 Reader
5/30/24 9:52 p.m.

If you're game for a bit of an interesting project...

Infiniti M30 Convertible 

  • suspension is compatible with concurrent 240SX's and 300Z's
  • engine bay will swallow just about anything, I'd recommend an RB25DET for straight 6 sounds with turbo noises
  • you'll never see another one on the road
  • lower it, get some fun wheels, win all the radwoods 
  • you get to have random discussions about the 1999 film Three Kings


aircooled MegaDork
5/30/24 10:10 p.m.

Get one of these.  It will even help you loose weight, because every time you see it, you will puke.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Buying Guide

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/30/24 10:31 p.m.

E36 convertibles have really small back seats. My parents had one. 

ClearWaterMS HalfDork
5/31/24 1:01 p.m.
aircooled said:

Get one of these.  It will even help you loose weight, because every time you see it, you will puke.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Buying Guide

not only do you puke when you see it.  After driving it and the CVT transmission disappointing you you lose your appetite.  

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