2012 Ford Mustang Convertible
Starting price: $27,200
Top: Automatic cloth convertible top
MPG: 19 city, 31 highway, 25 combined
This isn't the little convertible you drive out to a Sunday picnic; this is the convertible that blows the blanket and basket off that picnic car while beating it to some prime parkside real estate.
Muscle cars have been getting a lot more efficient of late, and Ford's Mustang manages to pry 305 horsepower out of its V6 engine while still managing 31 highway miles to the gallon. That's pretty good, considering that and its ragtop are the two most alluring features the Mustang has to offer.
The trunk space is strictly adequate at 10 feet. The tech offerings are optional when they do exist, and even then include a backup sensor that's standard equipment on a Fiat and the Microsoft Sync entertainment and navigation system similar to standard equipment on much smaller cars. But none of that is the reason behind anybody buying a Mustang. You put a down payment on a Pony to feel the wind in your hair and the thunder from the engine. Nobody ever named a blues song Fiat 500 Sally, and Springsteen doesn't write songs about MP3 players and remote diagnostics systems. Just take your relatively low mileage, don't let 'em slow your Mustang down and join the rest of the broken heroes on their last-chance power drive.