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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 MINI Convertible
  • 90 Degree Profile 2018 MINI Convertible
  • Grille  2018 MINI Convertible
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Expert's Rating

3.35Good | Details

MPG

24 City / 33 Highway
Automotive Editor -

The Mini Convertible is one of the most affordable drop-tops on sale today, challenging the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible as an interesting proposition for those who want a fun-to-drive convertible with a quirky styling.

What's New for 2018

There are no alterations to the design or the powertrain following the Convertible's 2017 redesign. Mini has made a few changes on the inside, but the additions are minimal. Arguably, the only headline is that a rear-view camera is now standard (and welcome, considering Convertible's traditionally poor rear visibility).

Mini Convertible

Choosing Your MINI Convertible

The Mini Convertible is sold in three variants — the entry-level Cooper, the mid-level Cooper S and the range-topping John Cooper Works.

The Cooper Convertible is powered by a powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine generating 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The Cooper S gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo unit producing 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the JCW Convertible gets the same engine as the Cooper S but with the power and torque increased to 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet, respectively. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard and a six-speed automatic transmission is optional on all the models. The Cooper S and JCW models also get paddle-shifters with the latter. Power is sent to the front wheels.

Mini is renowned for offering a plethora of optional gizmos and customization features and the Convertible is no different, with several packages available to buyers. These include the Technology Package ($1,750), which adds a Harmon Kardon sound system, navigation with real-time traffic, and automatic parking assistance, the Sport Package ($1,750) that adds bigger wheels, LED headlights, sport seats, and adjustable dampers, and the Premium Package ($1,800) that incorporates elements like heated front seats, a wind deflector, and auto-dimming/power-folding side-mirrors.

There is also the $4,750 Fully Loaded Package, which combines features of the Technology, Sport, and Premium packs and finally, the John Cooper Works Exterior and Interior packages ($2,650 combined, although available individually) that give a sportier look with an aerodynamic bodykit, restyled 17-inch wheels, and a new steering wheel. The JCW packages, however, are not for the top-level JCW trim as it gets these cosmetic modifications as standard.

Most everything from these packages can be purchased individually as well. Also, there are enough standalone styling features, from paint to upholstery to trim to wheels, to bankrupt most Mini Convertible shoppers.

All three versions of the Mini Convertible get a fabric soft-top, which operates at speeds up to 18 miles per hour and retracts in 18 seconds.

Cooper

The Cooper Convertible starts at $27,550 (including $850 destination charges) and is fitted with 15-inch wheels, leatherette upholstery, a sport steering wheel, a 6.5-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, and interior ambient lighting. The automatic gearbox costs $1,250 extra.

Owing to its compact engine, the Cooper Convertible is the most fuel efficient variant in the line-up, returning 28 miles per gallon in city, 37 highway and 32 mpg combined when opted with the manual gearbox and 27 miles per gallon city, 36 highway and 30 mpg combined for the automatic.

Cooper S

The Cooper S Convertible will cost you at least $31,250 and for that figure you get all the features of the Cooper trim plus 16-inch wheels, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, sport seats, and push-button engine start function. The automatic gearbox maintains a $1,250 premium, while you can get the paddle-shifters by splurging another $1,500.

The run to 60 miles per hour takes 6.8 seconds for the manual gearbox, and 6.7 seconds for the automatic. Fuel economy is 23/32/26 mpg for the manual model and 25/33/28 mpg for the automatic model.

John Cooper Works

The John Cooper Works Convertible retails at $37,450 and has LED headlamps, 17-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension (not to be confused with adjustable dampers, which are also available for an extra $500) and the JCW bodykit as standard. Automatic gearbox with paddle-shifters are a $1,500 option. Thanks to added power, the JCW Convertible reaches 60 in 6.4 seconds when coupled with the manual transmission and 6.3 seconds when paired to the automatic 'box.

As it has more standard features than the lower variants, the JCW Convertible offers only the Technology and Premium packs alongside the usual wealth of customization options.

CarsDirect Tip

The Mini Convertible is an attractive approach to the open-roof lifestyle, even though it can be a bit a expensive if you start ticking the boxes on the option list. While the base Cooper is perfectly happy in around-town cruising, the Mini Convertible simply works better as a convertible with the peppier engines in the Cooper and Cooper S.

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