Designed to put a grin on your face, whether the roof is up or down.
With some convertibles, a little handling precision gets lost in translation from solid roof to soft top, but the MINI Convertible is made of sterner stuff. It’s just as fun to drive as its hatch stablemates and a whole lot more so when the sun is shining. For 2018 revisions to the style, technology and powertrain keep it bang up to date.
MINI’s safety features include Dynamic Stability and Traction Control to provide the optimum grip on all driving surfaces, with Dynamic Stability Control intervening to keep the vehicle on line by applying braking force to individual wheels. The optional MINI Driving Assistant offers a camera-based active cruise control to monitor traffic in front and apply the brakes if it slows. Other safety technology includes Pedestrian Warning and Collision Mitigation, which scan the streets and apply the brakes if they detect trouble ahead.
It’s a good looker whether the roof is up or down, and to take advantage of every passing ray of sunshine the electrically-powered soft top folds down in 18 seconds – it operates at speeds of up to 18mph, too. You also have the choice of sunroof mode, just opening the roof above the driver and front seat passenger’s head. Roof up, you have 215 litres of luggage space, and roof down the figure drops to 160 litres – still respectable for a sporty soft-top. For the 2018 Model Year the MINI Convertible gains the same design refresh as the 3- and 5-door hatch. Most striking of these are the ‘Union Jack’ rear taillights, but there are also new LED lights front and rear, some additional colours to choose from and a new version of the MINI badge on the bonnet.
Standard equipment on the MINI Convertible includes a multi-function steering wheel and a 6.5in colour infotainment screen with Bluetooth connectivity. This can be upgraded with sat-nav and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring. The Navigation Plus upgrade has a larger 8.8in screen and adds wireless mobile phone charging, real-time traffic information and other connected services.
MINI's Pepper Pack adds 15in alloy wheels, automatic headlights, climate control and rear parking sensors to the standard specification, while the Chili Pack includes 17in alloys, part-leather upholstery, a sports steering wheel and Sport driving mode.
If you’re interested in the Convertible, you’ll have a choice of Cooper and Cooper S, powered by 1.5 and 2.0 litre petrol engines respectively, or alternatively the John Cooper Works model that hits the 0-62mph market in just 6.6 seconds. Gearbox options include a six-speed manual across the range, a 7-speed automatic for the Cooper, or a new 8-speed sports automatic transmission for the Cooper S and John Cooper Works.
If a MINI Convertible can’t put a smile on your face, nothing will. It’s great to drive, good-looking and offers the usual MINI infinite scope for personalisation, from bonnet stripes to mirror caps, roof and interior lighting. It’s a ray of sunshine on wheels.
|Dimensions (MINI Cooper)|
|Vehicle width (incl. wing mirrors)||1932mm|
|Max Torque||220Nm /1250rpm|
|Acceleration||0-62 mph / 8.8 sec|