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In-depth reviews

MINI Convertible - Interior & comfort

Third-generation MINI looks superb inside, but it’s getting old now

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Interior & comfort Rating

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The MINI interior has continued to get better and better over the years. It feels plush and more luxurious than ever, with high-quality materials and switchgear dominating, but with an all-new MINI on its way, this car’s technology is showing its age in places.

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 more like a smartphone to use. There are extra connected features, including the ability to share your MINI with up to 10 people without needing the key; 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 the facelifted version 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.

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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 – especially in the Electric version. 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.

Sport is the next step up, with 17-inch black alloy wheels, a John Cooper Works bodykit, sports seats and adaptive suspension. If your tastes are more exuberant, the slightly costlier Exclusive might be the ticket. It brings distinctive Union Jack alloy wheels, but its smart chrome trim has a more low-key look and the interior is swaddled with leather for a dash of luxury.

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The MINI Resolute is a special edition based on the Exclusive trim. It adds unique bronze exterior finishes, exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels, ‘Resolute’ badging and bonnet stripes and chequered cloth upholstery. For 2023 there was also the MINI Convertible Seaside Edition, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Rover Mini Cabriolet. This has the same alloy wheels as the Resolute but with unique centre caps, Caribbean Aqua paintwork, side stripes and unique decals, 'Seaside' graphics on the scuff plates and '30 years of convertible' on the dashboard. It also gets Premium Pack plus as standard, with extra kit like a beefier stereo, wireless charging pad and different driving modes.

Options

Be warned, it's easy to get carried away with the options list, and this can make the MINI Convertible very expensive indeed. The Premium Plus pack brings a rear-view camera, front parking sensors, wireless phone charging, an upgraded navigation system, and a Harman Kardon sound system – this pack costs between £1,600 and almost £2,000 depending on the trim level and model you go for, but is standard on John Cooper Works models. Adaptive suspension is a £400 option, and a warning triangle and first aid kit comes at an extra £60.

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Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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