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Cars Under that Scream for Summer Fun

It's coming. Summer that is. With its long warm days, who hasn't been tempted to go out and get a convertible. So here it is.

5 cars that know what fun in the sun is all about.Just don't forget the sunscreen.Mazda MX-5 Miata.Introduced to North America 17 years ago, the Mazda Miata has become as American as apple pie.And like many of us, it has grown in just about every dimension over the years.

But don't be fooled, this guy has some muscle. With a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine that pumps out 170hp, the Miata can hold its own, especially when it comes to the twisty bits. Great handling, strong brakes and a well-finished interior round off a top-notch package built for summer fun.Pontiac Solstice.Not since the Pontiac Fiero have we seen a 2-passenger vehicle from GM's performance division.

But all similarities stop there. The Solstice is a thoroughly modern car with a 2.4L 4-cylinder generating 177 horsepower. Available 18" wheels and distinctive styling mean the Solstice doesn't go unnoticed.

Starting at just over $20,000, don't except to see many of these sitting on dealer lots anytime soon. In fact, many dealers have sold the vehicles for more than MSRP, a sign that this car is in huge demand.Jeep Wrangler It's no sports car but the Jeep Wrangler is all about summer fun. Put down the roof and head for the hills.With 4-wheels drive and a rugged suspension, the Wrangler is just at home on the Rubicon trail as it is in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Jeep will be introducing a revised version of the Wrangler for the 2007 model year and rumors have been swirling about a 4-door version.

If so, you'll now be able to bring your friends along in comfort as well as style.Ford Mustang Convertible Who could forget about the original pony car? Whether you opt for the standard 210 horsepower V6 or the heart pounding 300hp V8, the Mustang grabs your attention. Open the door and you'll be greeted by a handsome interior with just enough retro cues to make it interesting. Though you could fit someone in the back seat, I wouldn't ask the in-laws to jump back there unless I was looking for trouble.Sorry, the back seat is reserved for junior.

But who said buying a convertible was about being practical?.MINI Cooper Convertible It may not be the most masculine car on the market, but the MINI Cooper Convertible is certainly one of the most fun convertibles available at any price. Check out that handling. Sticks to the road like a go-kart.Spring for the supercharged engine and its 170hp will pull this MINI around without hesitation. Truck space? Uh, yeah just about enough for a couple of gym bags but who cares? Fold down the top and put your golf clubs in the back seat.

Nothing else will fit back there anyway.

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By: Peter J.H. Johnson

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