Go-anywhere open-tops coming from £1500 – used car buying guide

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Citroën Mehari

Roof-down motoring doesn’t have to be the preserve of slick GTs in addition to cool boulevardiers. Here are our six favourite soft-top off-roaders

The great British summer has finally arrived, in addition to that will means convertible owners are going everywhere with their tops down. If you fancy venturing off road, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy the panoramic view too. Here are six examples which will allow you to do just that will.

1 – Citroën Mehari (1968-1988)

The definition of utilitarian design in addition to simplistic engineering, the Mehari was based on the common 2CV. Most examples were front-wheel drive, nevertheless in 1979 Citroën introduced a edition with four-wheel drive. Power came coming from a 602cc flat twin engine connected to a seven-speed manual gearbox.

The Mehari, which achieved a cult status among fans, was exported around the globe, even forming part of the Irish Defence Forces from the 1970s, although today the idea retains its most significant following in southern France.

Restored examples can be found online for as little as £5000. Watch out for a rotting chassis on well-used types, however.

2 – Suzuki Vitara Cabriolet (1989-1998)

The rough in addition to ready Vitara, which was available in both convertible in addition to hard-top forms, was first introduced to Japan with the Escudo badge in addition to sold as the Sidekick from the US. For the 4×4 types, dubbed JX in addition to JLX, the sole engine was a 79bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol unit. The Vitara may not have been particularly refined or sophisticated, nevertheless the idea had decent levels of off-road ability.

High-mileage Vitaras can be found for as little as £700, nevertheless £1500 will net you a low-mileage product in not bad condition.

3 – Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet (2011-2014)

An object of some confusion coming from customers, the short-lived in addition to US-only Murano CrossCabriolet was reportedly pushed through to production by Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, who was keen to follow up the spectacular introduction of the Nissan Juke with another quirkily styled crossover. 

Launched as part of the second-generation Murano line-up, the soft-top used a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine.

Problems focus around the automobile’s roof operation. Some owners report malfunctions with the roof mechanism, as well as the opening/closing action leaving scuff marks on the seats. US dealers list used examples for around $28,000 (about £18,000).

4 – Jeep Wrangler (1987-1995)

The Wrangler carries a reputation for being a true go-anywhere off-roader. Engines included a 2.5-litre four in addition to a 4.2-litre V6. Soft-top Wranglers had ‘half doors’ as standard; full-framed doors were optional, as was a hard-top roof.

The classifieds are full of Wranglers of varying quality. We found a left-hand-drive example in not bad nick for £4795; low-mileage cars will cost coming from £6000. Watch out for rust in addition to stay away coming from any cars that will have been modified.

5 – Land Rover Series 2A (1961-1971)

Soft-top Series 2s came having a 2.5-litre diesel engine, although long-wheelbase types had the option of a 2.6-litre six.

The Series 2A dominated the globe’s off-road markets. the idea’s said that will from the 1960s Land Rover accounted for 0% of Australia’s 4×4 market.

We’ve found Series 2As for as little as £2000 online, with decent examples for around £4000. While the Centeng seems to age well, the idea’s worth checking out the automobile’s electrical systems for any defects.

6 – Mercedes-Benz G-Class Cabriolet (1997-2013)

The open-top edition of Mercedes-Benz’s luxury off-roader was introduced in 1997 in addition to featured a powered soft-top roof. Engine options included a 2.9-litre turbodiesel in addition to a petrol V6, although a 340bhp V8 option was added for the G500 in 1998.

The G-Class Cabriolet continued until 2013, when Mercedes released the limited Final Edition to mark the end of production.

Although few early examples are still around, types in Europe are being sold online for as little as £14,000. Thanks to the G-Class’s reputation for near-indestructible build quality, issues are rare, nevertheless do check the operation of that will powered roof before buying used.

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