I always like to have a post-launch follow-up and thus enjoyed a week piloting the new MINI Convertible around, again, I report pretty much only positives on this one.
Boasting a hefty 141kW/280Nm, the Cooper S is much more enjoyable to drive than the 100kW/220Nm base-model.
And it’s not about making the car faster, what makes it more enjoyable is the greater ease at which it is to simply drive the car in the suburbs.
Having that extra grunt allows you to remain in third gear, where normally you would be down to second.
That means you aren’t making extra gear changes at every roundabout!
The extra power and torque enables for easy hill climbs too, as well as darting across intersections and overtaking.
The MINI Cooper S Convertible never really feels lacking for anything extra.
And if you’re spoiling yourself with a special car like this, well, isn’t that what it’s all about?
True, the extra power and torque comes at a cost - fuel consumption. While not horrendous compared to many other sporty models, I found the MINI used 8.7L/100km in city/suburban driving.
That probably won’t send you broke, but it might be a bit more than a vehicle of this size might be expected to use.
There are two other things I need to mention to you before you make your MINI Convertible purchase.
Firstly, the ride is pretty firm and sporty, yep - great handling! But the standard 45 Series tyres on the 17″ alloys don’t give you much protection from speed bumps, potholes and cracks.
Also, great to see Digital Radio comes as standard, however the amount of reception dropouts that I experienced in the MINI was really disappointing.
I have used DAB+ in many other cars and essentially had no drop-outs, so not sure why the MINI was so poor in this regard.
Aside from those complaints, again, this is a well-built, really likable and fun little car.
The electric roof opens and closes smoothly and the feel throughout is almost completely one of quality.
Starting at $45,400 and with a serious list of extra features available, it does come at a price.
But for sheer fun can a MINI Convertible really be matched?
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 MINI Convertible
Engine:2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol producing 141kW/280Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic or six-speed manual
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Price: Cooper S from $45,400