The girls of summer are back in town…Take a ride with Kim Parlee and Petrina Gentile, award-winning automotive journalist from the Globe and Mail, in some of the hottest convertibles on the market.
Great to be here.
What is this?
Oh, this is from Mercedes. This is a C Class Cabriolet. It's the first ever Cab in a C class. And it is really quite beautiful. It is what I would call an everyday convertible, if you want to drive it every day, because it actually has the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. So technically you could drive it year-round.
How much would this everyday convertible put me back?
Well, the starting price is about $68,000. It has a lot of extra goodies inside, and that pushes that price up to over $82,000.
Can we get in?
Yes. Let's get in.
- This is a fine looking vehicle inside. Very nice. But the first thing is, this is a convertible, so how do you get the roof off?
Oh, simple. See this little button here?
Yeah, just pull it towards you.
And the roof will come down. It's about 17 seconds or so for the roof to come down. You can actually close it while you're driving as well.
While you're driving?
Yeah. As long as you're going slow speeds-- less than 50 kilometers an hour or so.
What else is in here that you think is interesting?
What I love is this neck scarf.
A neck scarf.
Neck scarf. Right here there's a little button. You just push it.
And you'll notice there's heat that comes out of the back rest. And that will actually keep you nice and warm and toasty if you're going for a ride.
I love it.
Yeah, it's a great idea. No cold air out of here, but the seats are ventilated. There's even a wind blocker here that you can pop up. And you'll notice that the back--
The wind-blocker's coming up. And there's this little area up here that pops up as well, and that forces the air over the convertible so that you get less wind in the cabin. Your hair stays in place, and you don't have to worry too much about having a conversation and screaming it out because there is less wind turbulence inside.
All right. How does it drive?
All right. Here we go. It feels fantastic.
Do you like it?
I do. I like how it drives. Do you, in terms of who is this car is popular with, like in terms of-- do they target it to certain people?
They usually target to more professionals. Their age group is like 40 and up. Women tend to like Cabriolets more than then men.
It was lovely. It was a really nice drive.
See what I mean when I say, everyday drive?
Yeah. No, you're totally right. Now the one thing I would say is that there's obviously room in the back, but you said if the roof goes down we lose the room in the trunk. Not really good for me with a small child. So what do you have that's kind of summery but is good for family packing.
Oh, I have the perfect vehicle for you if you're looking for a family and a nice road trip where you can put in lots of suitcases and all the extra goodies. Wait until you see this one.
All right. Let's go. All right. We are sitting in this car. I'm being massaged from the seat, which I just love, which I know you said is kind of more of a standard luxury feature in a lot of cars right now. What is it? What are we in?
This is the Range Rover Evoque convertible. And it is basically the world's first compact SUV convertible. You can drive this all year-round. And it also has, of course, lots of room, seats for four people. For what you get, those massage seats, the heated and the air conditioned seats-- I mean, it starts around $65,000. And as tested it's closer to about $72,000. But not bad considering this is still a Range Rover. If you want to, you can go off-roading, you can go water-boarding with it. It is still a Land Rover brand.
How much trunk space is there once you put the roof down? Is that where it goes?
You know what, there's still good space with it. Like I say, with convertibles that are smaller, it eats up more space. But the way they've designed this, it actually has quite a bit of good trunk space in there so you can put in a suitcase or golf clubs.
And this panel-- I have to say I like it. It's basic, but I actually like the fact that it's basic. I mean, it's clear where everything is.
Exactly. With this vehicle when you put the top back up, visibility isn't the best. The windows in the back are quite small. So that might be something that might be a concern. But it's easy to remedy that. Just put down the roof and your--
The visibility is great.
I can see everything. What if I want to be really impractical? You've got something pretty cool.
Oh, I have the vehicle for you. I can't wait to show you this one.
- Let's go. What is this?
This is the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder. It is a new rear wheel drive, a convertible that they have, and it is just beautiful. This one starts around $240,000.
Of course it does.
It has a lot of power. It's a 5.2 liter V-10 with 580 horsepower.
Mileage? What does it get?
Mileage-- you know, if you're going to buy a Lamborghini, you can't even ask.
You can see that fuel economy gauge going down as you're driving it.
How many of these are sold?
In Canada we'll get about 30 of them.
I've never been inside one. What should I get ready for?
Oh, don't let it intimidate you. You're going to do a great job. We're going to have a lot of fun.
- I can't wait. Let's go. Oh my gosh. This is like a rocket ship.
So let's start.
So underneath the red danger button is the start-stop button. Put your foot on the brake and start her up.
- Well, hello.
Isn't that a beautiful sound? Music to your ears.
Wow. How do we get the roof down?
It's one button. So it's just right here. Just push it down.
And the roof will come down in about 15 seconds or so. You can even do it while you're driving at slow speeds as well. So you don't have to pull over, and worry about getting out of the car and then trying to get the roof up. So it's much easier.
- Tell me what I'm looking at here and tell me what's interesting in the inside. I mean, this just looks like a rocket ship.
This is your gear selector. Now this has what is called a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
Of course it does.
It's not a manual transmission. They sort of have gone the way of the dodo bird. There just wasn't a demand for manual transmissions anymore.
But this gives you the best of both worlds, because you have paddle shifters here and you can drive it in a manual mode, which is the M. But if you don't want to drive it in the manual mode and use the paddle shifters, if you're lazy like I am and you just want to enjoy the ride, you can just hit it again and you can actually drive it in automatic. And it's just like driving a regular car. There's nothing difficult about it.
This is your reverse and you just lift it up. And to put it in reverse you'll see there's also a reverse camera. It has three different driving modes right here-- strada, which means street in Italian. And that would be your everyday drive.
Sport is something if you want it a little bit sportier, quicker gear shifts. And corsa, that means race in Italian. So that's built for the race track. That's a lot of fun. And then if you look around it has a lot of beautiful features inside. But I have to show you this one, the cup-holder. But really what is so much fun about this is the drive. And you've got to have a quick spin in this vehicle.
- Let's do it. Are you ready?
Wow. It's just so strong.
Usually on the Lamborghini trips, they actually will take you to a racetrack so you can really open it up and you can have a lot of fun with it. I mean, they handle beautifully. They stop on a dime. And this is a rear wheel drive. You can also get it in all wheel drive if you want the all wheel drive version in the coupe.
Well there you go. My thanks to Petrina Gentile for a wonderful day test driving those hot convertibles of 2017. The only problem with driving a Lamborghini, of course, is you get the Lamborghini let-down when you have to get back into your own car afterwards.