In-depth reviews

MINI Convertible - Interior & comfort

Third-generation MINI looks superb inside

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Interior & comfort Rating

4.0 out of 5

The MINI interior just gets better and better over the years. It feels plush and more luxurious than ever, with high-quality materials and switchgear dominating.

For 2021, MINI has focused on updating the features on board. All models now come with an impressive 8.8-inch touchscreen, which has been redesigned and feels like a smartphone to use. There are more connected features, including the ability to share your MINI with up to 10 people without needing the key, and the car will unlock and start for the designated user if it’s within their timeslot. New optional extras include a heated steering wheel, a digital instrument cluster, adaptive cruise control and an electronic handbrake.

MINI Convertible dashboard

As we’ve already seen in the latest MINI hatchback, the traditional circular theme for the instruments has been maintained, but the layout has been improved compared to earlier versions – the speedometer and rev counter are in front of you and the large touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard is used solely for the infotainment system.

Climb out of a 2020 MINI Convertible and into a 2021 equivalent and you’ll notice new gloss black buttons for the steering wheel and touch-sensitive panels below the infotainment system. They look smart but aren’t an improvement; the steering wheel buttons feel plasticky and cheap, and the buttons under the screen are hard to press while driving.

Convertibles with fabric roofs can be noisy, particularly at speed, but wind roar isn’t at all bad in the MINI Convertible. Refinement is excellent with the roof up, to the point where you might forget you’re in a convertible. Putting the roof down takes 18 seconds and can be done at speeds up to 20mph. Driving on the motorway doesn’t create too much buffeting for occupants in the front, but those in the back might find life rather windswept and everyone would benefit from a wind deflector. The folded roof also sits on the top of the tailgate, so rear visibility is slightly compromised.

Choosing a specification for your MINI Convertible isn’t too complicated. The default entry-level model is dubbed Classic and has all the basics you'd expect, such as air-conditioning, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and the aforementioned infotainment screen with DAB radio and Bluetooth connection. You get some nifty details, too, like MINI logos projected onto the ground when you open the doors. All cars now feature a Union Jack roof.

If your tastes are more exuberant, the slightly costlier Sport might be the ticket. It's distinguished by a motorsport-inspired bodykit and alloy wheels from the John Cooper Works collection, and has sports seats, a grippy sports steering wheel and darkened headlining to match. Alternatively, for the same price you can opt for the more restrained, luxurious Exclusive pack. It, too, brings distinctive alloy wheels, but its smart chrome trim has a more low-key look and the interior is swaddled with leather for a real upmarket air.

Options

Be warned, it's easy to get carried away with the options list, and this can make the MINI Convertible very expensive indeed. Sat nav (contained within the Navigation Pack, which also includes Apple CarPlay) costs £900, or £2,400 when part of the Navigation Plus pack that adds digital dials, a head-up display, wireless phone charging and connected features - allowing owners to check on their car, send destinations to the sat nav and even lock its doors remotely. The Comfort Pack adds automatic air conditioning, heated seats and an armrest for £700, while the Plus pack also brings a rear-view camera, front parking sensors and folding mirrors for twice as much.

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