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.
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2018 MINI Convertible Overview
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).
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.
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.