The Mini Convertible continues to be the choice of anyone after a car for urban roads, the open-top experience, and a ride that is able to handle finesse. There are other Mini models, however, that have caught the attention of serious car owners and enthusiasts. Nonetheless, the second generation model dazzles with its retro-inspired look and better refinement. Although it looks strikingly similar to the first, the Mini Convertible has included several major improvements such as the removal of the rollover hoops that once blocked visibility at the rear. Apart from the fun experience of a convertible, the MINI also promises a fun drive with its fuel economy and powerful performance.
Three models are available for the Mini Convertible: the Cooper S, Cooper, and the John Cooper Works. The Cooper is popular for its 1.6-litre engine at 120bhp, allowing it to reach 62mph in just 9.8 seconds. The Cooper S employs the same engine but is made more powerful via a turbocharger that increases the output to 175bhp. The 62mph sprint arrives faster at 7.4 seconds with the Cooper S. This added power boost gives you a more urgent and willing feeling as you drive. There’s no need to rev the engine too much to arrive at the right pace. Both the Cooper and Cooper S include the standard six-speed manual gearbox but also allow for a six-speed automatic option. The auto gearbox includes steering wheel mounted paddle shifts.
The Mini maintains its reputation for exceptional handling in the second generation Convertible model. Although the body is stiffer, the model is able to turn smoothly into corners, absorb shock from bumpy roads, and enable minimal vibration in the cabin. There’s more than enough grip and positive gear change to enhance the overall driving experience. Pin-sharp steering also enables the driver even on the most difficult road conditions. The Cooper S model comes highly recommended for the stiffer suspension that allows for flatter in corners. Plus there’s a Sport button that delivers more power early in the rev and tightens the steering as you drive. You don’t feel any lightness at all from the wheel, assuring you of complete control of the vehicle.
Although the Cooper S is impressive overall, the Cooper model has its downsides. The Cooper’s chassis elements need to maintain the rigidity from the previous model, adding 30kg more than the other similar hatchback vehicles. This gets in the way of the model’s overall performance.
Mini does have a reputation for holding back on standard equipment, so what comes with the Convertible is not much compared to others. The second generation has a little bit more equipment, such as the power steering, alarm, stability control, roof, Isofix child seat mounting points, CD stereo, electric mirros, remote central locking and split rear ends. You still get more from the Cooper S’s Sport button, honeycomb grille, leather steering wheel, twin exhaust pipe, 16-inch alloys, and run-flat tyres. However this isn’t as complete as getting the Chili or Pepper packs that include enhancements like a leather or sports steering wheel, climate control, and Bluetooth.
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