Mini Cooper Convertible Review

By   |  December 6, 2013


First things first, the hard top Mini Cooper is undoubtedly the most fun to drive car in its price range. Secondly, when engineers throw away the roof of a car to make it a convertible, the car loses a lot of its structural rigidity and becomes all flobbery. To counteract this effect, strengthening beams have to be fitted to give the car some of its rigidity back but this adds weight and, in a lot of cases, kills the driving experience. Put all this together and you would expect the Mini Cooper Convertible to be nowhere near as good as its hard top sibling. But you would be totally wrong. The soft top Cooper is surprisingly almost identical to the hard top to drive.

Powertrain & Performance

The engine that powers the Mini Cooper Convertible is the same little gem that does the job in the hard top Mini Cooper ——— a 1,598 cc, 4 cylinder petrol engine that delivers 122 hp of power and 160 Nm of torque, which is in turn mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission. Although it is expected in a car in this segment, Mini regrettably does not provide paddle shifters for this gearbox. Also, the roof is not folding metal, but very hard-wearing fabric; and it does tend to rattle a little at times. But nonetheless, you will be having too much fun to notice because the Cooper Convertible performs almost as spectacularly as the Cooper hard top. The lightest turns on the steering wheels result in immediate responses. There is a definite feel that this car isn———t as rigid as the hard top but even so, take this car on a twisty mountain road and you are guaranteed to have a whale of a time. And best of all, this incredible driving experience can be had with the top down and the wind in your hair.

Build & Styling

With the top down, the Mini pretty much becomes a strictly girls-only car. The car looks cute but the racing stripes let you know that, if asked to, it can still batter most cars in its price segment. The interiors of the Mini Cooper convertible are very familiar to anyone who has driven the hard top version. You still get the speedometer that is as large as a saucer which houses the optional BMW i-Drive based infotainment system. The car is comfortable to drive on both that standard 16 inch alloys or the optional, larger 17 inchers. The car didn———t have a large boot to begin with and with the roof retracted, there———s even less but on the inside, the quality of the materials, switches and knobs have stepped up from the previous version. Colours for the Mini Cooper Convertible can be chosen from one among twelve ——— Chilli Red, Ice Blue, Pepper White, British Racing Green, Kite Blue, Midnight Black, Lightning Blue, Velvet Silver, Spice Orange, White Silver, Highclass Grey or Reef Blue. As with the hard top Mini Cooper, the back seats are designed more for children than adults. A full sized adult sitting with her/his knees squashed up against the front seat on a long journey will eventually flip! But if one is planning a weekend trip with their spouse and kids without too much luggage, this will surely be a perfect little car for the job.


The Mini Cooper is a brilliant car in almost every way. One can drive it to its limit and the happiness and satisfaction rewarded are off the scale. The Mini Cooper convertible goes one step higher by giving you this pure exhilaration of driving while the wind whips through your hair. If you———re a girl, or a guy who doesn———t mind drawing questioning looks, the Cooper convertible is one sensational car to possess.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • Brilliant handling
    • Top quality interiors
    • Convertible appeal
  • Cons

    • Very expensive
    • Confined back seat
    • No manual transmission