Why buy the Mini Convertible?
If you want a cost-effective open-top car that gives you a proper wind-in-your-hair driving experience, the Mini Convertible could be just what you’re looking for. On top of all that, it’s well equipped, fun to drive and has quite an upmarket interior.
Mini Convertible range and updates
The current version of the Mini Convertible has been on sale since 2016. It’s the third generation of Mini Convertible sold since BMW took over the brand in 2000. It has been updated several times over the years, most recently in 2021.
You can get the Mini Convertible in three forms: Cooper, Cooper S or John Cooper Works. You’ll also come across many models with extra terms in their name – Cooper Exclusive, for instance – indicating that they have a package of extra features. There are several special-edition models, too, including Resolute and Sidewalk. Most Convertibles have a petrol engine (although there are some diesels) and you have the choice of a manual or an automatic gearbox.
Mini Convertible tech and features
The Convertible’s fabric roof opens electrically. It will open fully in 18 seconds and you can be driving at up to 19mph as it unfurls. There’s also a ‘sunroof’ mode – the front 40cm of the roof slides back, opening just the front seats to the elements overhead.
Among the features fitted as standard in all Mini Convertibles are sat nav, Bluetooth, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Many also have air con and there are plenty with luxurious leather upholstery. A vast quantity of ‘personalisation’ options are available on brand-new Minis including things like sticker sets, contrast-colour styling details and many different wheel designs. These may well add to the car’s appeal to you when buying used.
Mini Convertible running costs and value
Most Mini Convertible models have very low running costs. According to official figures, petrol models can give average fuel economy of 44mpg to 57mpg; diesel models can give 70mpg. The high-performance John Cooper Works model will cost a bit more in fuel, doing 39mpg.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are 113g/km to 146g/km for petrol models; 100g/km to 104g/km for diesels; 157g/km to 162g/km for the John Cooper Works. Those numbers translate to low annual car tax charges.
The Mini Convertible does cost a bit more than its main rivals, but you may feel its premium-brand image and upmarket interior are worth having.
Mini Convertible vs rivals
The only other small, four-seat open-top cars that compare directly with the Mini Convertible are the Fiat 500C and the DS 3 Cabrio. You may also want to consider the Fiat 124 Spider and the Mazda MX-5 sports cars. Each car’s styling has a big bearing on its appeal, but taking that out of the equation, the Mini is a strong option. It stands out for its interior quality and it’s a bit more practical than the Fiat, if not quite as much fun to drive as the Fiat Spider or the Mazda.