The cheapest convertible in America is technically a Mercedes-Benz

The Smart ForTwo Cabriolet will be the cheapest top-down fun you can have in the US, with a starting price well below $20,000.

Mercedes-Benz USA, Wieck

For being a Mercedes-Benz, the color choices are surprisingly gaudy.

Smart, Mercedes-Benz

You don't normally associate Mercedes-Benz with a low MSRP -- even its used cars are expensive, once maintenance is taken into account. Yet, starting this fall, the least expensive convertible -- hell, the only convertible starting under $20,000 -- will be a German, although it won't have the three-pointed star on the hood.

After taking a gap year to find itself, the Smart ForTwo Cabriolet is returning for the 2017 model year. With an all-new look inside and out, this diminutive runabout will rock a starting price of $18,900. That's with a manual, though -- spring for the dual-clutch gearbox, and you're looking at $19,890, before options and tax and all that.

Its automatic canvas soft top is capable of stopping early and acting like a sunroof, or going all the way back for more of a proper top-down feeling, and you can remove the roof bars for even more airiness.

Of course, it's expected that most ForTwo Cabrios won't end up leaving the dealer for less than 20 large. Smart offers a wide variety of customization options, from two-tone paint schemes to grille colors and multiple soft-top choices. Three trim levels are on offer, and you can spring for a few other add-ons, like an armrest and parking sensors.

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