What's the used Mini Convertible sports like?
Annoyingly, four-seat convertibles tend to be large and, quite often, rather expensive. Even if you consider buying a used one, they tend to come from premium brands and therefore hold their value well. Fortunately, there’s always the Mini Convertible. It may not be the most spacious car around, but it is big fun and can be yours for surprisingly little money.
Engine choices mostly mirror those of the regular Mini hatchback, but because the Convertible weighs 30kg more due to the additional chassis strengthening needed to make up for the lack of a permanent roof, don’t expect quite the same level of perky performance. The 98bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine available from mid-2010 is good enough, just as long as you don’t mind revving it hard. The 118bhp 1.6-litre unit in the Cooper is the one that should suit most drivers, though, because it's fast enough to be fun while still being fairly frugal.
If that's not enough, try the Cooper S, with its 175bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre engine. And if you really want to move, the John Cooper Works version has an impressive 208bhp. If fuel economy is important, there's a 108bhp 1.6-litre diesel available from Cooper spec and above. In 2011, the Cooper SD was introduced with a 143bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, and this makes for a very relaxing but high-performance Mini. An automatic gearbox was also available; this is well matched to the car's performance and fairly smooth. The manual is still more satisfying to use, though.
Accommodation in the front of the Convertible is rather good, and the driving position has lots of adjustment to ensure even the tallest of drivers can make themselves at home. The same can’t be said of those in the back, but then the Mini hatchback isn’t that great in this regard either. Boot space is also an issue, because the folding roof mechanism encroaches into the luggage compartment when the hood is down and access to the load area is through a tiny slot. The roof impedes your rearward visibility when folded down, too.
The Convertible didn't come well equipped as standard. Entry-level One examples got a CD player, electric windows and mirrors and remote central locking, while the Cooper got alloy wheels and a sportier-looking interior. Air conditioning was optional on both.
Customers were mostly encouraged to specify option packs when the car was new, so it's worth highlighting some of the more popular choices here. Salt is something to look for on the One, because it adds front foglights, a trip computer and extra storage compartments. On Cooper models, there was Pepper, Chili or a combination of both. Pepper added a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated mirrors and windscreen washer jets (also Bluetooth and climate control on later models), while Chili included a three-spoke steering wheel, sports seats, sports suspension and larger alloy wheels.
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