Hardtop vs. RagtopCote’sSpring is upon us and we’re about to start seeing a lot of topless cars driving on back roads, parked at the beach and hitting the downtowns. There are some who insist on driving on the highway but the occupants look a little less than thrilled. The occasional spring or summer shower aside, New England is perfect convertible country. The views are awesome, the air is fresh, and if you’re lucky, very few bugs.

Let the debate rage: Which is better, hardtop or ragtop? It’s kind of like asking which lottery you’d like to win. I’m not here to change minds, but I’d like to point out some pros and cons of each.

One of the major benefits of having a hardtop is security. If you’ve ever seen (or experienced) a ragtop with a slashed roof, it’s not pretty. There’s very little you can do to repair a cloth roof other than a frankenstich. Most people opt to replace it. But, with security, comes cost. Hardtops are usually more expensive than their canvas counterparts in initial cost and if the top needs a repair. Another benefit is the defense against the weather. Hardtops are insulated and are better at keeping out moisture. They can be your cold weather car if need be.

So, what does a soft top have to do to compete? Two of the reasons chosen are cost and looks. Growing up, there was someone in town with a classic Jaguar, British racing green with a dark tan top. It’s what car lover’s dreams are made of! To me, nothing beat the look of that car. A bright yellow VW beetle with a black top was the ultimate beach machine in the summer. Classic looks aside, soft tops were what made a convertible a convertible. Some high-end car companies haven’t switched to hard tops for that very reason. Despite the ragtops obvious security risks, they’re cheaper to buy and maintain as well.

I think that either way you go, you win!Hardtop vs. RagtopCote’s