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Drive with your top down in these ragtops

Convertibles do not always equal two-seaters. “The Car Coach” Lauren Fix shares her convertible picks for toolin' around with room to share.
/ Source: TODAY

Hair blowing in the wind, basking in the warmth of the sun. Convertibles are the epitome of hot cars and cruising. Lauren Fix, “The Car Coach” and automotive editor of “Your Life Magazine,” suggests a few ragtops that will make driving fun, all year round.  

Summertime and convertibles go together like peanut butter and jelly. With long, hot days and cool evenings, summer is the perfect time to drive with the top down — catch the sun's setting rays on the ride home, made all the more perfect if driving the road less traveled.

But what if it's your turn to drive for the carpool? Many of us have to haul more than ourselves. So with kids and their friends or your business associates, I present to you some fun-in-the-sun four-seater convertibles. What's more, these convertibles can be driven year-round, making them a practical as well as exciting choice of car. Fun Factor
There is something inherently fun about cruising down the highway with the top down, getting a suntan while you drive, breathing in some fresh air or driving under the stars at night. But the fun factor is about more than that — it requires an exciting or lively driving experience, being in a car that you want to be seen in, and a booming audio system.Mitsubishi Eclipse SpyderEclipse has been the most popular import nameplate for the past 15 years. This is the second generation Spyder, and the REMIX Special Edition features include: sporty, stitched leather front seating surfaces, 6-disc CD changer, alloy wheels with a smoked paint finish, REMIX badged floormats, REMIX badging Muffler Cutter. And, of course, power windows, door locks and power roof. It’s very attainable, priced at under $27,000.Mini Cooper SThe fun factor is to the max with the Mini Cooper S. It offers genuine performance, with a BMW pedigree at an affordable price. The top drops in 12 seconds, and the Mini has rollover protection that really works. In addition to performance and safety, the car also delivers fuel economy and great options. The Cooper S Convertible is available as an automatic or a 6-speed manual, starting at $25,500.2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser ConvertibleMore power and new interior and exterior design upgrades take the already “too cool to categorize” Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible to new heights in 2006.The available high-output turbo engine gets a power boost with 230 horsepower. A new instrument panel has a satin silver finish, and this is a quiet convertible. Seats may be configured in nine different ways, including a position that creates a pass-through trunk opening.The Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible is available in two models for 2006: Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible Touring and Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible GT. This roomy convertible starts at just $21,000.
Ford Mustang GT
As a Mustang lover myself, I truly love the new redesigned Mustang GT. The car represents its heritage with the technology and power that Mustang is know for, including a solid V8 with 300 horsepower in the GT models. It handles well and has a slick retro interior as well as much improved cabin ergonomics. This car is very popular, and dealers can barely keep them on the lots. This hot muscle car can be yours for around $30,000. Jaguar XKR Victory Edition ConvertibleThis is the top of the line when it comes to convertibles. Nothing but the best. This special edition is one of just over 1,000 limited-edition Jaguar sports cars made to celebrae Jaguar's four championship wins in the North American Trans-Am Road Racing Series. The car has premium, soft-grain leather interior, available with traditional wood or contemporary carbon-fiber trim and Bluetooth connectivity. This Jaguar convertible has 390 horsepower and is priced at $78,495. The R-performance car starts at over $93,000.Other 4-seater convertibles to consider:Chrysler SebringToyota Camry Solara VW Bug Compact Chrysler Sebring Lexus Audi A4 Saab 9-3BMW 3 series BMW 6 seriesVolvo S40Mercedes-BenzAston Martin DB9