Is there a 4 seater convertible equivalent of the MX-5?

I’m looking for options and opinions on a 4 seater convertible I can fit the kids (under 10) in the back. I see it’s been discussed before on this thread, but figured as it was 8yrs ago it was ok to start new one.

By equivalent of the MX-5, I mean like the goto/defacto choice. i.e fun to drive, good value - not cheap per se, but reliable and doesn’t cost the earth to run. Looking for a used option budget up to 25K.

  • BMW 2,3,4
  • Audi A3, A4, A5
  • Mini Cooper
  • Merc C or E class
  • Maserati Grancabrio (in my dreams :wink: )

At the moment the most likely candidate is the Mini Cooper S convertible although with lockdown I have not tested to see if kids can actually fit in the back. I wondered if there are others I’m missing?


Firstly non are really comparable to an MX5 - but I am sure that you know that.

If you need a convertible with space in the back, you will need one of the larger cars you list - so A5, BMW 4 (the 3 was older - and they are a lot cheaper now) or Merc.

The BMW is good, but has a hard roof - if you feel you need one of those, then it is the only answer, but personally I would go for a proper soft top. I had a BMW 325 sport convertible and it was really good, but the newer ones are and feel very heavy and drive like a truck.

The Audi and the Merc are both good cars and I would probably choose between either of those. The Merc will probably have more space and the E class the most. There should be plenty of either around, but it would come down to which you like the look of most.

Good luck!!

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BMW 240i convertible is a great car, - room for kids, fabulous 6 cylinder b58/ZF8 drivetrain, plenty of power/torque (340hp/500nm) decent build quality, economical, good value used.
Personally I wouldn’t go near anything VAG, and Merc’s reliability and servicing costs are dreadful.
Can’t think of anything else that might suit you.


£10k+ buys you a good used one.
200hp engine, have to push it hard to get anything out of it as it’s Naturally/Aspirated.
Designed to be fun.
Tax is about £250 a year
All UK Spec cars have a mechanic LSD as standard

GT86 convertible (when?) and a 4 seater

Yeah I thought it was just something fun to drive and good value.
I didn’t read the title properly.

The GT86 has 4 seats, you can fit children in the back. It’s a 2+2 and 2 ISOFIX options in the rear but yes pretty useless as a convertible. You can fit small adults in there, probably 170cmm or smaller.

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My son has a BMW 220 soft top which is very nice to drive, comfortable with good performance. Whilst my 8 year old Grandson can sit in the back ok a teenager or adult would not fit in behind my 6ft tall son.

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My sister in law wanted a 4 seater convertible after their Boxster. They went with a Mustang Convertible. What a beast!

(Not their car)


Nice, but rare in the UK I imagine…

I think perhaps the 2 series convertible has taken over from the old 3 series, with a soft top. Just a bit smaller though…

Morris Minor?

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Gladys Emmanuel will want a trip out!!!

Had an 2017 A3 for the weekend, dreadful car has a convertible my little one was in tears getting buffeted by the wind sat in the back so swapped her around with the wife who just nagged to put the roof back up.Not designed to be a convertible by just cutting off the roof.


I moved from a Honda S2000 to a 2012 Mini Cooper S, to accommodate the family, with my boys aged 9 & 12.
The space in the back was severely limited, but the car was a hoot to drive and handled very well, glued to the road. In the three years I had it, it was utterly reliable.
The kids continued to grow and I missed RWD (and N/A engine rather than turbo) so sold it for my first MX5.
I was loaned a GT86 and that was almost perfect for family outings, space wise. But it wasn’t a convertible. :unamused:

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It’s a choice I’ll have to wrangle with at some point.
How about an MX-5 and a cheap winter car, Golf, Astra or Focus?
The problem with the Audi, BMW and Merc options is that hardly any are available with a manual gearbox, none are chuckable like an MX-5.
I guess if you can get a 240i with a manual box, that might be quite good.
Mini Cooper S is another good option, but the convertible looks a bit pram like.


Plenty of Mustangs around, 2.0 ecoboost and 5.0V8 have a look on Autotrader.

Bit of a barge to drive after an MX-5 though.

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… as long as those children have very small legs and the people in the front don’t mind having their seats moved quite far forward.

The GT86 is a fabulous, fabulous car to drive (better than any MX-5, dare I say it; if only Toyota made it as a convertible!) but the idea that it’s a 2+2 is more rooted in theory than in reality.

Going back to the OP’s question, I’m a big fan of folding hard top convertibles, so I have to recommend a BMW E93. I currently have a 335i (and previously had an M3) and it will fit 4 people in comfort. Only problem is that the roof takes up quite a bit of the boot space when it’s down, but you can get fitted luggage to make the most of the space that’s left.


My old brother in law had a 2008 mustang 5.0. He loved it but I found it hateful. The MX5 is light and agile, stang is fat and wallows. MX5 is small and involving to drive, stang is huge and numb. They are polar opposites. Some people love them all the same so may work for you.
I test drove a 440i convertible it was a great car. Not small and agile but it had a feel of solid quality that the mustang lacked. Now have a M140i and that is epic! The 240i is the same car essentially with a boot, so a soft top version would be great, the lack of roof adds weight and body flex tho. The MX5 body is quite ridged for a top down car. If you get a BMW you must get LCI 6WA or 6WB dash, the standard orange disks are nasty! Also Bimmercode is worth every penny!!

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Eos roofs leak so make sure the seals have been changed.

2003 C200K Coupe auto with the massive glass sunroof, 168bhp supercharged, rear wheel drive. All the safety features. £3,300.