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In-depth reviews

MINI Convertible (2009-2015)

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

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.1 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Fun to drive
  • Economical engines
  • Roof operates quickly and easily

Cons

  • Firm ride
  • Noisy with roof down
  • Tiny boot and rear seats

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.

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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.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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