Review

MINI convertible

Price  £16,585 - £26,730

MINI convertible

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Economical engines
  • Roof operates quickly and easily
Cons
  • Firm ride
  • Noisy with roof down
  • Tiny boot and rear seats

At a glance

The greenest
Cooper D Convertible 2dr £19,075
The cheapest
One Convertible 2dr £16,585
The fastest
John Cooper Works Convertible 2dr £25,460
Top of the range
John Cooper Works Convertible Auto 2dr £26,730

"Because it’s great to drive and very desirable, the MINI Convertible offers a near perfect way to enjoy the sun."

For drivers who put the emphasis on style and fun over practicality and ultimate comfort, the MINI Convertible is an excellent choice. It doesn't offer the same amount of space as bigger rivals like the VW Golf Convertible and Audi A3 Convertible, or the quirky roof of the Fiat 500C, but it blends MINI's desirability with an excellent range of engines, plus handling that's almost as sharp as the hatchback's. Now, you can even buy it with a diesel engine for lower running costs.

The appeal of the MINI is pretty universal and the key to its success has been maintaining certain key traits across the whole range. The MINI Convertible carries over the key characteristics that make the hatchback so satisfying to own – it's distinctive and good to look at, plus it's great fun to drive, while adding the extra enjoyment of open-top, wind-in-your-hair motoring.

Although the MINI Convertible is about as impractical as a car can get, with the electric fabric roof severely limiting boot space, it's sufficiently entertaining to drive to justify these negatives – as long as you don’t regularly carry a lot of shopping or more than one adult passenger.

The MINI Convertible range of trim levels has also increased from an initial three specifications to a current total of seven – encompassing One, Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper D, Cooper SD, John Cooper Works and the special-edition Highgate. All are expensive to buy, but they’re relatively economical, with the addition of the diesel models improving average efficiency substantially. The MINI John Cooper Works convertible is undisputedly the fastest in the range, but has limited appeal, as it's not cheap to buy or run.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4 / 5

Remarkably economical, with prepaid servicing softening the initial high price

Engines, drive & performance

3.6 / 5

Great handling and strong performance make the MINI fun to drive

Interior & comfort

2 / 5

The wind makes its presence felt with the roof both up and down

Practicality & boot space

1.4 / 5

Tiny boot and impractical rear seats do the MINI Convertible no favours

Reliability & safety

3.6 / 5

Owners aren't very happy, but BMW quality means it should be reliable

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 2 reviews
What's more, the familiar styling and excellent quality inside mean the One doesn’t lose any of the desirability that is an absolute essential in this competitive sector. The sturdy cloth roof takes only 15 seconds to open fully, and the process can be carried out at up to 20mph.
4 / 5
It may look very similar, but in fact it is totally new with a stiffer body for better refinement with the roof down. MINI has also changed the rollover hoops which used to block rear visibility, making the model much more driver-friendly, especially when parking. As with any MINI it is great fun to drive while the engines offer a strong combination of performance and economy.
Exterior styling changes may demonstrate the reality of the word “subtle” but they are sufficient to freshen things up a bit. The major interior improvement is the replacement of ugly, vision-blocking fixed rollover bars with a hidden pair that can pop up in 150 milliseconds to help reduce a looming crisis to drama status.
4 / 5
The Mini Cooper Convertible provides all the open-top driving thrills you could ask for, while residual values are exceptional.
What owners say 
4.0394736842105
4 /5 based on 38 reviews
63%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
2 Feb 2015
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