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View all MINI Convertible reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
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Four-seat drop-top is great fun

MINI Convertible (16 on) - rated 4.3 out of 5
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PROS

  • Eager handling
  • Versatile electric roof
  • Space for four (just)
  • Cheap to run
  • Interior quality

CONS

  • Firm ride
  • Wind noise at motorway speed
  • Rear visibility restricted
  • Small boot
  • Rivals are cheaper

PROS

  • Eager handling
  • Versatile electric roof
  • Space for four (just)
  • Cheap to run
  • Interior quality

CONS

  • Firm ride
  • Wind noise at motorway speed
  • Rear visibility restricted
  • Small boot
  • Rivals are cheaper

Verdict

If the regular MINI Hatch isn’t fun and vibrant enough, the MINI Convertible should do the trick. By lopping the roof off, customers can enjoy the usual MINI keen driving experience with added sun and wind-in-the-hair thrills (and probably a bit of rain, too).

Direct rivals for the MINI Convertible are few and far between, though. The likes of the Fiat 500C and DS 3 Cabrio retain their normal doors, with a fabric roof section that concertinas backwards and down the back of the car. They’re more like giant sunroofs that genuine drop-top.

Then there’s the Mazda MX-5 and Fiat 124 Spider duo which, while proper soft-tops like the MINI, only have two seats where the MINI has four.

The MINI is pricier than most of its rivals – except very high-spec MX-5s and 124s – but the Brit manages to blend agile handling, good performance and fuel efficiency, premium quality and personalisation options that the others can’t offer.

The roof opens and closes in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 19mph and folds a little fussily behind the small rear seats. The first 40cm of the roof can also be retracted while the roof rails are in place, in effect creating a large sunroof. This can be operated at any speed.

Larger than previous MINI Convertibles

Despite its larger size compared with the model that went before it, the MINI Convertible isn’t the most spacious drop-top out there.

There’s no issue in the front of the car. The front seats have a wide range of adjustment, and plenty of legroom and headroom.

Rear passengers benefit from surprisingly simple access, but those sat in the back seats won’t want to be there for too long with the roof up due to the lack of space and small windows. With the fabric lid down and with a smaller person in front, there are fewer complaints.

Plenty of engines and trims, plus that MINI driving experience

Three models were available from launch: Cooper, Cooper D and Cooper S, all available with a choice of six-speed manual, optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or eight-speed automatic, depending on the version.

A high-performance John Cooper Works Convertible is also available, but the diesel-engined Cooper D was dropped during the 2018 facelift.

Standard equipment on all models includes a colour touchscreen infotainment display with Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and reversing camera, keyless start.

Still, a range of lively and efficient engines add character and lively handling is a trademark of the brand we’re pleased to report lives on.

The Parkers Verdict

The MINI Convertible is one of a few four-seat cars with a proper folding soft-top, unlike its glorified-sunroofed rivals from Fiat and DS.

If you do want something that fulfils that brief, you’ll need to spend a lot more money on something like an Audi A5 Cabriolet or Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, so in that regard the MINI is out there on its own.

Don’t be fooled though, by no means is it a proper four-seater, but it does feel every inch the MINI with a darty driving experience that hasn’t become too compromised in losing its roof.

Read on for the full Parkers MINI Convertible review 

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