How Often Would You Use the Convertible Top? - 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: How Often Would You Use the Convertible Top?

August 29, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I'm an extremely pasty person. I can get sunburned just looking at a picture of the beach. So, while I enjoy the feeling of the free, fresh wind in my hair and life without care, I find I never actually drop the top on our Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.

Southern California's relentless sun has already freckled my arms and attacked my forehead even while wearing sunscreen religiously. You just can't escape it.

While I love the look of our Cabriolet when the top is down, I'd much rather drive the coupe. Perhaps I'm getting old. But then again, this isn't really a young person's car.

What about you, would you use the convertible top enough to justify the ~$12,000 addition in price?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    For me it all comes down to aesthetics, I usually find coupe versions of cars more attractive than the convertible versions. It also takes up space, adds weight, complexity, cost.... Like I said though, the main reason is that I think coupes look better.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Ditto. Not a convertible person.

  • It depends on where you live and what type of driving you do. In a cooler climate where it isn't 90+ and humid for month after month then a convertible is much nicer. And if the driving is typically on windy back roads rather than inching along in traffic it is also a good plus for a convertible. Nothing like being stuck at a light with the person in the car next to you being one of those "I smoke but I hold the cigarette way out the window and blow all the smoke out too so my car doesn't smell" or the umpah, umpah, umpah music cranked up.

  • nedmundo nedmundo Posts:

    I'd have trouble spending that much on a high performance car, and then compromising the performance by going with the convertible. I still think I'd like it, and would use it often despite my concerns over sun exposure -- I'd simply use it at night, when open air motoring is even more satisfying IMO.

  • spdracerut_ spdracerut_ Posts:

    Donna, I live in the South Bay, probably not too far from you. I always recognize your pictures :) Anyways, I drive a S2000, but I also try to avoid too much sun. I get enough between beach volleyball and cycling. So my favorite times to put the top down are in the morning and evening after the sun has gone mostly down. When the sun is up, the top stays up. At night, it's quite nice having the top down.

  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    Simple. Get the coupe and then get a separate convertible (Miata, S2000, etc) for when you want it.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    Top is down as much as possible unless it rains (I like playing rainstorm roulette). I just like the roar of wind, noise, and all the smells of the road (except skunk). With the top down you are in a completely different world, feeling alive--you feel like you are going faster than you really are too. Hot out? Run the A/C too. Chilly? Heater on high/low outlets. This is coming from someone who previously swore off convertibles but stumbled into one serendipitously.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I keep the top down on my Miata as much as possibly unless the mercury is pushing past 90 or the rare instance when it rains here. But if it will be anything more than a quick grocery store run, sunscreen is a must.

  • jasond52 jasond52 Posts:

    12 grand more? No, I'd get the coupe. That said, I have the top down on my Miata ALL the time here in Maryland. If it gets into the 50's in January the top is down. Never understood why so many people seem to get convertibles and rarely lower the top. I see others all the time: 80 degrees, sunny, no humidity and people driving their rag tops with the top and windows up. Why'd you get a convertible?

  • Nothing, nothing is as nice as a top down drive on a warm summer night on some canyon roads. Ok, cycling alongside the beach on the way to some alfresco dining isn't so bad either. Gawd I love living in SoCal.

  • darthbimmer darthbimmer Posts:

    The compromises of a convertible turn a sports car into a bit more of a GT car, but that's fine by me. I can drop the top when driving home from work on a warm evening and my troubles all melt away within 2 minutes. Many parts of California are great for owning a convertible.

  • vvk vvk Posts:

    Are you kidding? The only way I take my SLK350 out is if I can put the top down. Wear a hat!

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    Every convertible I owned was driven 95+% of the time top down (one of the few benefits of living in S. Cal.). I drove my S2000 in the light rain more than a few times and found a good heater, a ball cap, and a proper car coat (longer than normal sleeves so your arms remain covered even when properly gripping the wheel) kept me and my wife comfortable. That being said, and keeping in mind that I'm a HUGE Porschephile and former 997S owner, I don't think I'd buy a 911 if it weren't a coupe. If I were to buy a convertible Porsche, I'd buy a Boxster.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    as far as the higharchy of convertables you can count on one hand how many convertables are better or even in the same league as the 911

  • atomicblue atomicblue Posts:

    As the owner of a Porsche Boxster and a resident of Florida, the answer is yes. My top is down more than it's up. It's down on the drive to work in the morning. It may or may not be down on my lunch break, depending on the heat. And it's usually down on the evening drive home. As it starts to cool down next month I'm sure the ratio will skew even more to the top down side. I keep a cap in the car to keep mid day sun of my shaven head :-)

  • lostcomma lostcomma Posts:

    I rented one a few years back and it left me unimpressed. Rather have a sunroof. No huge header blocking my view, no need for a hat as to prevent sunburn and backing up was a lot easier. Then again the convertible version of the sls is so much nicer looking than the gull wing and cruising on a hot summer nite with the top down is an experience I think might have changed my opinion.

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