Reliable, But Affordable, Convertibles

Convertibles may be the ultimate summer car, but they sure aren't cheap. These won't break the bank, but they'll still be good quality and dependable.

They may be the ultimate summer car (and the car of choice during a mid-life crisis), but convertibles aren’t cheap.

With the improving economy and the hot summer weather, people might be more willing to spend the extra cash for a convertible. The cheapest new model starts at close to $19,000, but consumers can easily see price tags closer to $30,000.

But if the convertible is a second car to be driven on weekends, rather than day-to-day when going to work, than a used car might be preferable. J.D. Power and Associates has compiled a list of the most dependable models with fewer than 75,000 miles that cost less than $15,000.

Dependability was determined by the annual J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability StudySM, which measures problems experienced over the course of a year by the original owners of three-year-old vehicles.

Now, consumers can have their workday car and their fun, weekend escape car.

Costs are estimates and will vary depending on seller. Cars are listed in alphabetical order.

Photos from J.D. Power and Associates

2003-2005 BMW Z4

In 2003 this two-seater model was redesigned and renamed.

2003-2004 Ford Mustang

These two years were the last editions of the boxy car. Better yet, as a four-passenger car, the Mustang is good the family.

2005-2008 Ford Mustang

The Mustang was redesigned for 2005 for a more retro look, but still had room for four. To get one of these Mustangs for under $15,000, expect the car to have higher mileage.

2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird

It won’t be easy to find this car with low mileage for less than $15,000, but it is possible. Unlike the Mustang, the Thunderbird is a two-seater.

2002-2005 Honda S2000

If you do find one for less than $15,000 with low mileage, keep in mind that you need to know how to use a manual transmission.

2002-2005 Mazda Miata

This two-seater will be easier to find with low mileage than some of the others on this list. In fact, J.D. Power expects you could pay as low as $11,000.

2006-2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

In 2005 the Miata was redesigned to be a little bigger and more powerful. And the 2007 model had a power-retracted hardtop option.

2003-2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK

You might have to do a little searching to find one with low mileage for less than $15,000, but since it has a power-retractable hardtop roof, this car will be great for the winter too.

2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice

Pontiac is gone today and since the Solstice isn’t a collector’s item, it should be easy enough to find one with low-mileage.

2002-2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder

Few were sold in the first place, but this 2-seater should still be easy enough to find.

2004-2007 Toyota Solara

The roomiest car on the list, the Solara is a four-passenger car.