3 Reasons to Buy a Hardtop Convertible

January 27, 2012

It is quite understandable why many buyers are attracted to a convertible, but often times the benefits of a hardtop convertible aren't immediately noticed. A hardtop convertible is one with a rigid, solid top as opposed to a soft cloth or fabric top. A hardtop gives you in essence, the best of both a standard coupe and a convertible all at once. To find out exactly why, let's look over the individual benefits and reasons as to why they are generally the better deal.

1. Reduced Road Noise

One of the major downsides of a convertible is the drastic increase to wind and road noise. A soft top will ruffle against the wind at high speeds; rain will be far louder as it hits a soft top; and at highway speeds you may not even be able to hear your stereo or passengers as clearly as you'd like. A hardtop solves this problem by using a much more rigid structure similar to the roof of a normal coupe. Because of this, noise and wind is not much more noticeable than in a normal car.

2. Increased Security

While most modern cars are equipped with things such as immobilizers and electronic keys, in reality, these are no more than a speed bump for most thieves. Because no car is truly safe from a car thief, the best course of action is to make your car more trouble than the other cars around you, and thus a less desirable target. A soft top can easily be punctured with a screwdriver or knife, allowing easy entry for any would-be thieves. A hard top on the other hand is far more resistant to these simple methods of entry, and therefore that much work for any would be thief who may simply continue on in search of a easier prey.

3. Improved Durability

Most soft top equipped models come with flexible vinyl or plastic windows designed to allow the flexibility needed for easier storage. These windows are very easy to scratch and are often times prone to discoloration and oxidation. In addition, many fabric tops may also be prone to creasing and rips caused by improper storage, weather and strong sun exposure. A hard top is more likely to be equipped with normal glass window panels due to the lack of need for folding or flexibility, and they are generally made from either composite material like fiberglass or carbon fiber. Or metal, which is generally finished in standard automotive paint, thus providing far better durability.

While crash test ratings and rollover ratings may be affected by top material, the effect is not usually large enough to make a difference, as even soft top convertibles must pass basic safety standards. In general, a car designed to be a convertible from the very beginning will be more likely to have a hard top, as well as far superior chassis rigidity, lower weight, and higher crash worthiness than models previously designed as a standard sedan or coupe. These reasons alone tend to make for a much more satisfying and reliable package.

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