The compact convertible market is quite a small one, but it’s mostly filled with stylish options for customers to choose from.
One such model is made by Mini, and simply called the Convertible, the car is based on the same chassis and design as the popular Hatch model.
The premium compact comes with seating for four, plenty of tech and the option of quality engines – but can it be a suitable option for those wanting fun, top-down driving? We take a look…
Mini only offers the Convertible with two petrol engines for the standard model, labelled Cooper and Cooper S, while the dynamic John Cooper Works option comes with an uprated version of the Cooper S engine.
The Cooper uses a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder unit that develops 134bhp and 230Nm of torque, allowing the Convertible to get from 0-60mph in 8.6 seconds. For the Convertible Cooper S, 0-60mph takes just seven seconds and it comes with a top speed of 143mph. Both engines come with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission, and the latter takes 0.1 seconds off the 0-60mph and offers improved quoted fuel economy.
For the John Cooper Works model, the Convertible gets from 0-60mph in just 6.4 seconds and has a top speed of 150mph.See Available MINI Convertible deals
Ride & Handling
With the lack of a fixed roof, the rigidity of the car does suffer when compared to the hatchback, as when going over rougher surfaces the Convertible doesn’t feel as refined and as smooth. This does also affect how the car feels to drive as well, with the steering feeling strangely weighted and a bit too quick – but body lean is well-managed compared to other small convertibles.
But when you fit the wind deflector and take the roof down, there is little turbulence in the cabin, while road and other exterior noises are well managed. When looking through which transmission to go for, the manual feels more relaxed to use, so if you want a sportier and smoother drive, go for the automatic.
Interior & Equipment
The Mini Convertible can fit four people, with two seats in the back – although getting into the rear seats is much easier when the roof is down. Rear leg room is limited, though even with the roof in place, head and shoulder room is very good. But as a soft-top, boot space isn’t spectacular at 160 litres with the roof down and 215 litres with the roof in place. You can fold the 50/50 split rear seats down, although there is a considerable step when they are flattened.
The Convertible is available in three trim levels – Classic, Sport and Exclusive. The base level model comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, cloth seats, brake assist, LED head and taillights, air conditioning, interior lights pack, multifunction steering wheel, 6.5-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, DAB radio, parking sensors, electric windows and automatic lights and wipers.
The Sport model adds John Cooper Works equipment, such as 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and leather steering wheel, as well as cruise control and performance control – while the Exclusive version comes with customisable Mini Yours equipment for a smarter finish.
Prices for the Mini Convertible starts from £19,335, which gets you the model with the Cooper engine and six-speed manual transmission.
With no diesel engine available, drivers who want efficiency from their Mini Convertible should opt for the Cooper which is the cleanest and most frugal option available. It boasts emissions of 127g/km CO2 and a quoted fuel usage of 50.4mpg.
Although it may not be quite as refined or as go-kart-like to drive as the Hatch, the Mini Convertible still manages to be a decent car to drive – especially those wanting a city car to use with the roof down. Equipment levels are also on as high a level as the hard-top option and when the soft-top is in place, the model feels refined enough. There are limitations to rear passenger space, but it could still be a good convertible option for those needing to ferry people around on a regular basis.