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The Best Convertible SUVs

The Best Convertible SUVs

Off-road and in the sun

Convertible SUVs pair the open-air experience of a classic droptop with a more practical body style. While SUV convertibles make more sense on paper than their low-slung counterparts, topless SUVs haven't enjoyed the same popularity. Only two are readily available in the new-car market today, while others can only be found on used car lots.

Convertible SUVs were offered in markets outside the U.S., as well. Volkswagen recently sold the T-Roc convertible in Europe, though it was discontinued due to — you guessed it — slow sales.

Jeep Wrangler

The iconic Jeep Wrangler has entertained sun-worshippers for decades, evolving from a basic military truck to the tech-laden adventurer you see today. The Wrangler comes in two- and four-door varieties, each available with a dizzying number of trim configurations, feature packages, and stand-alone options. Despite the myriad possibilities, one thing is true of every Wrangler: they are all convertibles.

Well, sort of. Unlike a traditional car-based convertible — where the top folds neatly downward and the only vertical element above the beltline is the windshield and its support pillars — the Wrangler has a full frame above its beltline. That means you have the windshield and pillars, plus pillars in the front and back, and crossbars — all of which give the Wrangler a strong backbone to handle off-road punishment. Most variants come standard with a top and rear panel made of vinyl, which can be manually stowed to create an open-air experience above and behind. Other versions come standard with a removable hardtop, and you can usually tick an option box for both tops. You can also specify shorter doors for a beach cruiser vibe or remove them entirely for open-air adventuring.

Ford Bronco

The Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler are perfect competitors, so it's no surprise the Bronco shares a similar design philosophy. Roll back the Bronco's soft top or remove the hard panels (depending on your configuration), and you're greeted by an exposed upper frame with vertical pillars and crossbars that help stiffen the Bronco's body when subjected to harsh off-road driving conditions. As with the Wrangler, you can take the doors off too. You can even store the doors in special bags — available as a cost option, of course — and store them in the cargo area.

Due to both the Bronco's and Wrangler's overall tough go-anywhere designs, both vehicles are quite loud inside. This is more apparent with the thin soft top, but even the hardtop offers a limited amount of noise insulation. These are more utilitarian than other convertibles, SUV or otherwise, and adaptability comes at the cost of ultimate comfort.

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible

The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible is the first of our convertible SUVs that requires a trip to the used car lot. The first-generation Evoque was produced from the 2012 to 2019 model years, with a traditional four-door version available through its entire run. A two-door "coupe" was sold from 2012 to 2017, but if it's the convertible you're after, you might have to do some digging — it was only produced from 2017 to 2019.

Unlike the Bronco and Wrangler, the Evoque is a true convertible in the sense that once the power-operated fabric soft top is rolled down, the only vertical elements above the beltline are the windshield and its support pillars. Passengers in both rows have a completely unobstructed view to the sides and behind the car. Interestingly for a luxury convertible, there's no tonneau cover for the folded roof; a portion of the vinyl top is exposed once it folds into an area just forward of the trunk.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Sold from 2011 to 2014, the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet lopped the top off the popular midsize SUV to create something fairly daring for the mainstream automaker. Not only did the CrossCab necessitate a two-door body style — which didn't exist previously — the left-field design also employed an unusual split rear window. While this may have been created with the intention of aiding rear visibility, its upward angle treated the driver to a view of the sky instead. One thing the Murano offers that the Evoque doesn't: an integrated tonneau cover that hides the soft top when retracted.

The Murano CrossCabriolet was only ever sold in one fully loaded trim level, but try to find one with the optional navigation system. It includes Bluetooth streaming audio, which will do wonders to make this decade-old SUV convertible feel somewhat modern.

Honorable mention: GMC Hummer EV SUV

The GMC Hummer EV SUV is less like a convertible than the other vehicles here, but we felt it deserves a mention thanks to its innovative Transparent Sky Panels. Each of the four panels can be removed and stowed in the electric vehicle's frunk, and with the panels stowed and windows rolled down, each passenger is treated to a completely unobstructed view from the door all the way above their heads to the center of the car. It's a major wow factor, and just one of many that the Hummer EV SUV affords. However, its fixed rear canopy stretches the definition of a convertible. Call it a decent half-measure.