Kbb.com's 10 Best Road Trip Cars Of 2012: Editors Recommend Best New Convertibles For Hitting The Open Road

Kicking Off Summer Driving Season and Popular Road-Trip Weekend, Ragtop Renaissance Inspires Top-Down Theme for Annual Kbb.com List

IRVINE, Calif., May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time for Memorial Day, one of the most popular road-trip weekends of the year, the expert editors from Kelley Blue Book's www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today announce the 10 Best Road Trip Convertibles (http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/10-best-road-trip-convertibles-2012/).  According to AAA, about 30.7 million people will drive to destinations 50 miles or more away from home between May 24 and 28, the start of the peak driving season in the United States, which is nearly a half million more people than last year.  With so many Americans kicking off summer driving season with Memorial Day road trips, the kbb.com editors decided to compile a list of their favorite new convertibles for hitting the open road.

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Three decades ago, many industry experts predicted the end of the convertible.  Citing safety and security concerns, insiders conspired to persuade car manufacturers to abandon this previously popular body style.  However, history proved the naysayers wrong and these days we are in the midst of a ragtop renaissance.  With that in mind, when it came time to choose Kelley Blue Book's ninth annual 10 Best Road Trip Cars list in spring 2012, the expert editors of kbb.com decided there was no better way than to rank the 10 best new convertibles

"Say the words 'road trip' and for many people, one of the first images that pops into mind is top-down driving in the sun with wind blowing through your hair," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com.  "This year there seem to be more great new convertible options than ever before, which is perfect for the start of the summer driving season.  Our convertible-themed 10 Best Road Trip Cars of 2012 list will inspire readers to drop the top, put the car in gear and have some summer fun."

Sample Selections from Kbb.com's 10 Best Road Trip Convertibles

2013 Porsche Boxster
King of our road-trip convertible contingent, the all-new 2013 Porsche Boxster and its more-intense Boxster S sibling expand on a legacy of dynamic brilliance while boasting even more power – 265 horsepower in the Boxster and 315 in the Boxster S – plus improved fuel economy.  With bodywork inspired by the Carrera GT, the entry-level Porsche remains a sun-chaser's dream machine.

2012 Audi A5
Few convertibles meld style, refinement and performance into one package as beautifully as the A5 Cabriolet.  Defying a trend, the A5 Cabriolet shuns a retractable hardtop in favor of an acoustically-designed soft top capable of exposing its sun-loving occupants to the elements that is deployable at sub-30-mph speeds.   

2012 BMW Z4
Of course it's a blast to drive, but it's the roof that solidifies the Z4's spot on this list of top road trip rides.  Compared to a traditional cloth top, BMW's first-ever retractable hardtop delivers a quieter highway ride, greater outward visibility, and a top-up profile that rivals the classic beauty of the Z4 roadster's top-down shape.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro
What has 580 horsepower under the hood and a cloth top for a roof?  No, it's not an exotic; it's the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible.  And while listening to the sweet sound of supercharged V8 during a weekend getaway would be music to our ears, buyers can opt for a tamer Camaro Convertible with a V6 and listen to the Boston Acoustics sound system instead.

2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Whether tracing sinuous back roads or circling simple freeway on-ramps, few cars can better transform those arcs into pure joy than the Mazda MX-5 Miata.  The MX-5 is definitely diminutive, but it's the small size that helps eliminates distractions, helping it do the one thing all road trip cars should: magnify the joy of travel.

For the remaining five vehicles, including full editorial commentary for each of the editors' picks and the rank order, please visit http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/10-best-road-trip-convertibles-2012/

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), or like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry.  Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week.  The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies.  Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs.  Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity and was named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year by the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.  Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

For further information: Robyn Eagles, +1-949-268-3049, regales@kbb.com or Joanna Pinkham, +1-949-268-3079, jpinkham@kbb.com or Brenna Robinson, +1-949-267-4781, berobinson@kbb.com for Kelley Blue Book
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