Well, I'm back to my GTI again. I made a 6-day swap with my friend for his Z3 about a week and a half ago. The goal: an extended test drive to see whether I'd really want a convertible, or whether it was just a novelty that would wear off and leave nothing but impracticality. Here are a few notes on what I've noticed ...

- It gets warm in there! The interior space is small, so it heats up quickly from the passengers' natural body heat.
- Plastic rear windows suck for visibility, and they tend to get scuffed and are difficult to clean (even with solvents in hand).
- The rear mesh thing that helps with curbing wind bluster when the top is down? That sucks for visibility too.
- A 5.25" subwoofer is not a subwoofer. It just isn't.
- A CD changer sucks without an in-dash CD slot, because if you are dying to hear a new CD, you have to pull over and get at the trunk.
- There's not much room around the gas pedal -- sometimes my shoe trips on the brake pedal when moving over to the gas. You know, I just need an extra inch there so my shoe won't get caught. It should be considered a safety issue!
- It's a little loud through the cloth roof -- almost like sitting in a hardtop with your windows cracked open.
- Every once in a while, a gust of wind comes at the car. And if you're taller than 5'6", your hair will feel it like a smack on the head. It doesn't hurt, but it can be rather startling.

Girls do not like convertibles on account of them ...

... being rather loud and rough on the ride.
... ruining their hair.
... tanning them unevenly dark.
... making them hot and sweaty (in a bad way).

That said, there are still a lot of fun things about a convertible.

- Driving with the top down in mediocre weather is still fun.
- People still look and admire it. (Obviously not people who own one and know the problems of having one.)
- Open air, open air, open air, baby! It's almost like driving time becomes outdoor time. Very nice.
- Sitting in the comfy seats, and being able to stare up at the stars or night sky.

So the longwinded answer to my decision is that ...

... I love the convertible.
... it's still a little expensive and a little impractical.
... I'd want a four-seater, not two.
... I'd want cooled seats (fans or AC).
... it has to be a second (toy) car, in which case I might loosen some of the practicality issues.

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