2016 Mini Cooper Convertible Review

2016 MINI Cooper Convertible Road Test and Review.

Delivering fun in spades the latest iteration of the MINI Convertible is as much of a hoot as ever. And it’s better than ever too.

Point it anywhere at seemingly any speed and it goes there as if it’s nailed to the road. It’s the trademark MINI experience, but with all the added the fun of getting your bits out.

It comes at a price though. Take a drive through a tunnel beside a big truck. The gnashing noises of a diesel engine producing 1200Nm sitting beside your head at 80km/h makes you all too aware of your mortality.

Everywhere else it’s a joy. Cruise down the Esplanade with an ice-cream on a beach day and there are few better places to be.

And the way the Mini goes about its business is a class act.

With nothing more than a fabric roof, the MINI Cooper Convertible is staggeringly rigid.

Take a tight left hand entry into a carpark with a crossover on a steep hill, the left back wheel will ascend into the air, but you won’t hear a squeak or groan from the MINI.

Retaining its taught stance with no hint of flex, it’s an impressive engineering feat.

The engine powering the entry model MINI Cooper Convertible is the same one that comes in the base model MINI One hardtop (priced at $26,650). It takes an extra $11,250 to lose the roof, without options.

Yes it’s the entry level engine, but it’s also one of the most delightful displays of how three 0.5 litre cylinders can work together.

Bolt on a turbo and the result is 100kW and 220Nm delivered in a fashion that’s creamy all the way to the redline.

It’s buttery thrum is nothing short of addictive and it propels the MINI to 100km/h in an impressive 8.7 seconds.

The standard six-speed manual is notchy with an engaging throw, the steering is as direct as you’ll find anywhere. The ride isn’t plush but won’t cause you any visits to the chiropractor.

The interior Wurlitzer Jukebox like experience is there, just like all the other MINI’s…screaming red at you in sync with the parking sensors, or bouncing along in blues, greens and purples as you crank the volume on the particularly good sound system.

Standard kit is generous. 16” light alloy wheels, climate control, Bluetooth with audio streaming, keyless start, MINI Visual Boost media interface with 6.5” monitor and rear camera with sensors.

Like all Mini’s you can personalise to your heart’s content…it all depends on how deep your pockets are.

The test car came fitted with:

  • Super solid paint - $400
  • 17” Cosmos spoke alloy wheels - $1,150
  • White bonnet stripes - $200
  • Piano black highlights throughout the interior - $250
  • Chrome line exterior - $200
  • Colour line - glowing red - $250
  • Wind deflector $400
  • MINI navigation system - $1,100
  • Run flat tyres - $260

All those options combined bump the base price of $37,900 up to $42,110 before on roads…and there’s plenty more options to choose from.

If you’ve got your heart set on a convertible you’d be hard pressed to find a better example than the MINI Cooper Convertible.

There are offerings from Holden and Renault that are worth a look, but both are bigger and more expensive, and neither have the premium car feeling delivered by the Mini.

If it’s just the MINI you are in love with, and who could blame you, bypass the convertible and head straight to the base model MINI Cooper.

It’s quieter on the inside, warmer in winter and a bucket-load cheaper, all while dishing out that utterly loveable and unmistakable MINI experience.

NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible

Engine: 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo developing 100kW and 220Nm

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual

Safety: Not tested

Warranty: Three years

Origin: Netherlands

Price: from $37,900

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About Chris Miller 606 Articles
Chris is a writer, co-host of the Behind the Wheel podcast and a self declared car tragic . He is a radio broadcaster by trade and reports traffic for 774 ABC Melbourne, FOX FM and Smooth FM. He also presents a national traffic report on ABC News Radio.

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