Friday, April 12, 2019

2019 Convertibles Under 30K

A convertible is the epitome of summertime fun, as it lets you and your passengers enjoy the sun on your face and the wind in your hair.

Although convertibles may seem to be made only for the well off, there are actually several new 2019 models that have been priced below $30,000, making them affordable for nearly anyone looking for a new car on an average budget.

Check out these seven amazing new 2019 convertible models for under $30k, and find the right one for you.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible 




This powerful roadster comes with a great new design for 2019. It has a unique modernistic shape with great flow on the exterior and a teardrop-shaped interior with enough room for comfort. The new 2019 model has added more power to the design with an extra 26 horsepower. You can also now get 7,500 rpm thanks to lighter rods and pistons that help supercharge the drive.

  • Soft or hardtop retractable convertible 
  • Six-speed automatic or manual transmission 
  • Light design with 20 percent less weight compared to previous models 
  • Standard rearview camera, LED headlights and two USB ports 
  • 29 mpg combined fuel economy 

Starting Price: $26,500 


2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 




This iconic car comes with a spectacular convertible option in its final year. This is one of the most affordable convertibles on the market, and now is the time to snap it up. Many parts of the retro Beetle styling stay the same, but the manufacturer has modernized many features to create a safer, more comfortable drive. Changes for the 2019 model year include four trim levels with plenty of amazing equipment in the high-end models.

  • Automatic transmission only 
  • Fender premium audio system with four speakers and trunk-located subwoofer 
  • Standard blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and crash response system 
  • Space for four passengers 
  • 29 mpg combined fuel economy 

Starting Price: $21,790 


2019 Mini Convertible 




The 2019 model comes with newly configured trim levels, all of which now come with updated infotainment systems and Apple CarPlay. Drivers love the great handling of this car as well as the elegant interior.

  • Six-speed manual transmission with front-wheel drive 
  • 134 horsepower on the 1.5-liter model 
  • Standard safety features include traction control, emergency braking assistance and stability control 
  • Rear parking sensors, keyless ignition and rearview cameras included 
  • 29 mpg combined fuel economy 

Starting Price: $27,750 


2019 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Cabrio Convertible 



If looking out for the environment is important to you, this may be your best option. This two-seat car is perfect for city commuting. You will love how easy it is to maneuver through traffic and how cheap it is to drive. The newest model no longer has a gasoline engine but is only electric powered.

  • Fabric top lowers with the push of a button 
  • Removable roof bars 
  • 80 horsepower electric motor 
  • Easy to park with a 22.8-foot turning circle 
  • 102 miles per charge 

Starting Price: $28,850 


2019 Fiat 500c Abarth Convertible 




This convertible is another small but surprisingly stylish option that is also great for city and suburban driving. The new model received more horsepower along with a turbocharge. Higher-end models also got better brakes and suspension along with rearview cameras, fog lights and spoilers.

  • Easy to park with less than 12 feet of space needed 
  • 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic options 
  • Canvas roll-top with permanent metal roof frame 
  • Standard features include a USB port, Bluetooth and rearview monitor 
  • 30 mpg combined fuel economy 

Starting Price: $23,285 


2019 Fiat 500c Convertible 




The Fiat 500c is one of the most affordable convertibles available today. It is another small two-door car that is perfect for commuting. Like its sister Abarth convertible, it also received a bump in power with the turbocharge feature as well as new standard features.

  • Great acceleration 
  • Canvas roll-top 
  • Easy handling and parking 
  • Small interior with limited seat and steering wheel adjustability 
  • 30 mpg combined fuel economy 

Starting Price: $19,035 


2019 Fiat 124 Spider Convertible 




With the same engine as the Abarth, this Fiat Spider has great acceleration, wonderful speed and superb handling. For 2019, the Spider now comes with a rearview camera and a 7-inch touchscreen on the dashboard. Plus, its interior and exterior body were updated slightly.

  • Manual convertible top 
  • Quiet interior with an acoustic windshield and increased insulation 
  • Standard accessories include rearview camera and a four-speaker audio system 
  • 160 horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged engine 
  • 30 mpg combined fuel economy 

Starting Price: $26,240 

If you are in the market for a new car and are looking for something that will get you through the year in style while keeping your wallet healthy and happy, look no further than these amazing convertibles. With some of the greatest new features, wonderful fuel economy and smart new stylings, these cars give you the best of all worlds.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Hardtop vs Soft-top Convertibles: Which is Better?


If you’re in the market for a new or classic convertible, you may have asked yourself whether a soft-top or a hardtop is better for you. While you might have heard that hardtops are better than soft-tops due to higher noise and weather insulation, modern soft-tops actually share the same benefits as hardtop convertibles.

Long gone are the days of yelling at each other to be heard and braving the cold with potential leaks in a soft-top. With modern advancements, today’s soft-tops are engineered to feature stronger insulation and longer lifetime.

This means that they are more weather resistant, quieter, wind resistant and stronger, which means lower replacement costs. Let’s review some of the major myths associated with soft-tops in a convertible.

Are Soft-top Convertibles Loud? 


Not quite.

It used to be that you had to yell at each other to be heard in a convertible due to the fact that the soft-top would let in a lot of wind and road noise. Modern soft-tops are now engineered to feature acoustic technology, which makes the cabin almost as isolated as that of a hardtop. This technology continues to improve according to Matt Williams, director of business development at Haartz, who affirmed that, “Haartz is working closely with OEMs to optimize the balance of noise-blocking material while making sure to not add extra weight to the vehicle." In fact, their sound-blocking technology has improved performance by over three decibels, making soft-tops quieter than ever before.

Do Soft-top Convertibles Get Hot or Cold Depending Weather?



Not anymore!

It also used to be the case that convertible owners could only drive their beloved cars in the spring and summer. In the winter, the car was completely uninsulated from cold drafts and might even leak water and snow.

However, today’s soft-tops are now engineered differently to consider these weather factors in mind. Modern technology has allowed OEM soft-tops to become just as insulated as hardtops and are completely waterproof and resistant to many other weather conditions.

According to Doug Haartz, International Sales Manager of the Haartz Corporation, “cloth tops today are designed to withstand the rigors of the environment and testing is done in all kinds of extreme conditions from arctic to subtropical to desert. Stringent requirements are built into the soft-top fabric so that no matter what car company or region of the world is considered, performance is assured.”

At AutoTops Direct we offer an extensive selection of weather resistant soft-tops, which fit just as well as the original part. All of our soft-tops are made with original Haartz waterproof materials, which provide premium protection against leaks. They also feature a color coordinated UV resistant polyester thread for better protection against normal wear and tear.

Are Soft-top Convertibles Safe? 


While many think that soft-top convertibles are unsafe because they offer less protection in a rollover event, soft-top convertibles are not associated with higher death rates.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “death rates aren’t higher in convertibles,” as opposed to hardtop vehicles. While the institute deems that, “a roof is still safer,” some convertibles are equipped with an instant rollover protection feature, which automatically raises a roll bar when the vehicle detects a rollover. This protects the passengers in the event of a fatal rollover accident.

***NOT ALL convertibles have this feature, therefore it is important for you to check before you decide to buy one.***

Which Top is Easier to Repair?



There are two different types of cost associated with each top. A hardtop is more expensive to buy and also has more mechanical and electrical components, which means more expensive repairs. It is also prone to cracks, which can be difficult to repair, can spread, and may require replacement sooner.

On the other hand, a soft-top doesn’t last as long as a hardtop, can be slashed and is prone to weather-related wear and tear, especially sun and hail. However, it is cheaper to buy, repair and replace.

Plus, one of their modern advancements includes stronger fabric that is more resistant to the usual wear and tear of an older soft-top. Overall, soft-tops are cheaper to have due to lower initial, repair and replacement costs. In addition, because soft-tops are lighter, they increase the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

Which Top Will Give me a Higher Trade-In Value?


If you’re wondering which car will result in a higher trade-in value once you’re ready to move on to a different vehicle, both hardtop and soft-top convertibles will actually yield the same trade-in value.

Car dealerships and online appraisal sites such as Kelly Blue Book typically don’t consider whether the vehicle has a hardtop or a soft-top and classify both under the same category of, “convertible” during the appraisal.

Thanks to modern technology, soft-tops share the same insulation benefits of hardtops so don’t let this myth stop you from buying a classic convertible with an iconic soft-top. Besides, soft-tops can take away from the classic look of a convertible, which let’s be honest, it's half the reason you want to buy a convertible.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

How to Buy a Convertible Top Online



When it’s time to replace your convertible top, you don’t need to go to the local trim shop and work with whatever they happen to have - you can get a brand new, perfect fit convertible top online at an affordable price point and a 100% guarantee.

Buying a new convertible top online is actually pretty easy! Here’s all you need to know:


Based on the criteria above, you can easily shop, buy, and get your new convertible top online.

The Benefits of Buying a Convertible Top Online


Shopping for a new or replacement convertible online has plenty of benefits over stopping in the trim shop.

More Convertible Top Options


Chances are that your local trim shop only has a finite inventory of convertible auto tops. Depending on the shop, you’ll have limited choice in the type of material you can use for your convertible top, and the make/model they’re able to work with. Limited options will either make you end up paying more for a convertible top replacement job, or force you to hunt around for a shop that offers what you’re looking for.

By shopping online, you can choose the type of top you want based on the make/model of your vehicle or the fabric that you want to use.

Purchase Guarantee


If you’re shopping convertible tops online, from a store like AutoTopsDirect.com, you have a purchase guarantee. While some trim shops might offer a refund, their policy might not cover the manufacturer fabric along with the installation process. Shopping online allows you to ensure that you’re getting a guaranteed product.

Lower Prices


If you’re shopping online, you’re cutting out the go-between that trim shops need to do in order to acquire convertible top material from suppliers. Those suppliers markup their prices from the manufacturer and pass it on to the trim shops, and then the trim shops pass it on to the customer. By shopping online direct from a manufacturer, you can cut out the middleman and get a convertible auto top at an affordable price.

Ensuring a Good Fit for Your Convertible Top


Once you’ve selected your convertible auto top, you then need to make sure that installation is going to go smoothly. The auto top installation process is different depending on the make/model of your vehicle and the type of top material that you use, so you need to make sure that you’ve got an installer who knows what they’re doing.

AutoTopsDirect.com has the benefit of having a nationwide network of auto top installers who are able to work with our products. This network allows us to offer our “Perfect Fit Guarantee.” No matter your make/model, if you take your new convertible top, headliner, boot cover, or seat cover kit to a professional trim shop and they cannot properly fit it to your vehicle, we will gladly replace your product or offer a refund. This allows you to shop at AutoTopsDirect.com with the confidence knowing you are getting a product made correctly for your vehicle.

If you’re considering buying a replacement auto top online, be sure to make sure that your retailer can offer a full money back guarantee and connect you with a professional installer, otherwise you’ll be hunting around for a trim professional that can install your make/model top.

While you don’t have to shop for your convertible top online with AutoTopsDirect.com, we hope that our Perfect Fit Guarantee, massive convertible top inventory, a huge network of professional installers, and industry expertise will help you choose to shop for your next auto top here.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Most Common Fabrics in Convertible Tops

If you’re replacing a convertible top or restoring a classic car for the first time, you’re in for a surprise. There are a lot of options in convertible-top fabrics, each with its own specific benefits, style, and more. Hopefully, this guide will steer you in the right direction.

Everflex Vinyl 


Everflex is high-quality convertible-top material. It is manufactured in England and was primarily used on classic luxury cars like Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Jaguars from the 1960s to the 1980s. At the height of its popularity, it was featured on the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.

Everflex is similar to colonial-grain vinyl, but it’s more durable and more expensive.

Characteristics

  • Supple 
  • Handsome 
  • Extremely durable 
  • Stitched with matching colors using high-quality, bonded polyester thread 
  • Heat-sealed seams for added strength 
  • Expensive 

Pinpoint Vinyl 


Pinpoint, also known as single-texture vinyl, is the most popular and least expensive convertible-top fabric. The two-ply composite was original to many American cars made during the ’50s through the ’80s. It was also common on some European cars like the Volkswagen Beetle.

Pinpoint vinyl is constructed with an outer layer of PVC and an inner layer of dyed, 100-percent-cotton sateen. It gets its name from the tiny pips covering its surface. You may mistake it for Eurotop at first glance. It performs surprisingly well even though it costs less than most other toppings.

Characteristics

  • Durable 
  • Known for weatherability 
  • Affordable 
  • Available in a wide range of colors 

German Classic Canvas 

This superior-quality imported fabric is sometimes referred to as Original German, Sonnenland or A5. It is common on BMWs, Aston Martins, Volkswagen Beetles, Mercedes Benzes, Volvo C70s, Saab 9-3s, and Porsche Cabriolets and Boxters.

Its three-ply construction includes a twill-weave, polyester-acrylic blend outer layer; an interior layer of butyl rubber; and a dobby-weave cotton lining in a herringbone pattern. The material is specially treated with flame to remove the downy surface and make it resistant to abrasion.

Characteristics

  • Sturdy and long-lasting 
  • Fade-resistant 
  • Cut from one bolt of cloth for consistent color and pattern 
  • Stitched with matching bonded polyester thread 
  • Rich appearance because of the high thread count 
  • Most expensive of the canvas tops 

Sailcloth Vinyl 


The two-ply composite of PVC and cotton-polyester fabric has a reputation for being strong and durable. It’s featured on Chrysler Sebrings and LeBarons, some Ford Mustangs and other American cars.

Both pinpoint vinyl and sailcloth vinyl are made to look like canvas. However, the sailcloth’s bumpy texture is spread out rather than closely woven like the dimples on the pinpoint. As a result, it more closely resembles woven cloth.

Characteristics 

  • Strong 
  • Fade-resistant 
  • Known for weatherability 
  • Acoustically enhanced 
  • Suitable for replacement of original pinpoint vinyl 

Sonnendeck 


This American-made canvas is an affordable, high-quality substitute for German Classic. It also features the dobby-weave backing. The exterior fabric is a twill weave, and the inner layer is an elastomeric polymer.

Sonnendeck is also sold as Twillfast, but some Twillfast products have a five-ply construction. The basic brand is original to BMW 6 Series cars, Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros, Fiat 500s, Peugeot 108s and many others. Sonnendeck has recently become more popular among European convertible-top manufacturers.

Characteristics

  • Comparable to German Classic in appearance and quality 
  • Affordable 
  • Acoustically enhanced 
  • Fade-resistant 

Stayfast 

Stayfast canvas is a lot like Sonnendeck, but the backing is smooth rather than textured. It’s classy-looking and durable thanks to its rubber core.

Stayfast was original to Chevy Camaros, Pontiac Firebirds, Dodge Vipers and other sporty American cars. Foreign cars featuring Stayfast include Nissan 370Zs, Toyota Celicas, Mazda Miatas, Alfa Romeo Spiders and Peugeot 306s.

Characteristics

  • Highly rated for durability 
  • Wrinkle-resistant 
  • Sleek appearance 
  • Popular for upgrading vinyl convertible tops 

Twill Vinyl (HV Denim) 

This heavy-duty material is also known as HV denim, twill-weave vinyl or twill-grain vinyl. It can stand up to lots of abuse. It’s constructed with an outer layer of PVC and an inner layer of blended polyester and cotton.

The distinctive grain on the surface imitates the pricey toppings on luxury cars like Audis, Bentleys, BMWs, Maseratis and Rolls-Royces. It’s used as a direct replacement for original cloth tops or as an upgrade for vinyl on all types of cars.

Characteristics 

  • Attractive 
  • Strong 
  • Non-adding 
  • Heat-sealed deck seams 

Acoustic Vinyl 

The heavy, two-ply component makes for a quiet ride in Jeeps and other SUVs with removable soft tops. In some tests, it reduced noise by as much as 20 percent.

Acoustic vinyl is made of PVC and 100-percent-polyester laminated backing to resist mildew, abrasions and tearing. Polyester is now the material of choice in luxury European convertibles.

Characteristics 

  • Strong and heavy 
  • Significantly reduces noise 
  • Resembles expensive twill tops on luxury cars 


For more information on different types of convertible tops and tops for different convertible models, get in touch with AutoTopsDirect today!

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