Quest: Start Yer Engines!
It’s summer, and you know you want to take your top off. So we drove four new convertibles a gajillion miles to help you do it in style.
Lexus SC 430
The dent: $65,355 base
What it’s got: A 288 hp V8 engine and a super-sleek Japanese design that screams, “Looky here!”
What it’s not: Family-friendly. It claims to seat four passengers. It doesn’t. But then, you’ll probably want to keep the kids as far away as possible from a car that oozes this much sex anyway.
The spin: The hundreds of miles of Turnpike that lie between Mid-County and Ohio make for an incredibly boring drive — except when you can feel the breeze in your hair at 120mph. Amazingly, we eluded the state troopers.
Chrysler PT Cruiser GT
The dent: $29,060 base
What it’s got: An inferiority complex. You buy a convertible to attract attention. Behind the wheel of this bad boy, we shallowly hoped we wouldn’t see anyone we knew.
What it’s not: A sexy high-school graduation present. (For Nana and Pop-Pop’s 50th anniversary? Totally.)
The spin: Too-cool people in Fishtown and Northern Liberties literally laughed at us, but who had the last laugh when we packed in three people, a baby in a car seat, and two weeks’ worth of Genuardi’s groceries? (Okay, they did.) Still, if you want a family convertible that won’t break the bank, go for it.
The dent: $78,800 base
What it’s got: The ability to take you from a dead stop to 60 in 5.3 seconds. And its “Active Roll Stabilization” means you won’t flip when barreling through a perilous Lincoln Drive curve.
What it’s not: For the frivolous driver. It demands one who can rock 360 hp.
The spin: We weren’t planning on hitting the Borgata again. (We sorta lost our shirt last time.) But the BMW has High Roller written all over it, and we couldn’t resist. The good news: When you’re stuck on the AC Expressway, people have more time to ogle. The bad news: In a car like this, you have to over-tip valets, or you just look cheap.
Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster
The dent: $328,150 base
What it’s got: More car than you can afford. You can drive from the waterfront to 30th Street Station in less time than it takes to get a Venti Macchiato with Whip at Starbucks.
What it’s not: A city car. With the exception of some rural stretches of Chester and Bucks counties, there’s not too much use for a Lamborghini in these parts.
The spin: You realize what true absurdity is when you pull a car worth more than most houses into Weber’s Drive-In on Route 38 in Pennsauken and order a few hot dogs. Positively the most impractical car on the road, but a helluva lot of fun if you have the scratch.