If you buy a convertible, chances are it will weigh more than it’s solid-roofed sibling. That’s the story here, with a weight gain over the three-door hatchback of 90kg. There’s always the issue of structural rigidity and again, that is evidently a minor issue here.
But it’s less of an issue compared with the previous convertible, so the handling and ride are fairly sorted on most roads. But a rough surface will still make you aware of a minor shake in the scuttle. Otherwise things are pretty good for both handling and ride, with excellent damping and minimal lean through turns.
The engine is the same 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. It has plenty of torque so can pull from low revs, yet seems to quite like being revved out. It stays smooth whatever you’re doing, and works well with the manual gearbox.
You won’t get much engine noise in the cabin, although there is an amount of road noise at higher speeds. The well-insulated fabric roof can be electrically dropped in 18sec or you can have it halfway. Fully retracted, and with the windows up, you’re in a very pleasant environment without the chance of getting bugs in your teeth. The optional wind deflector at £235 seems a useful addition to the calm.
It’s a bit of a tight squeeze in the cabin for four big adults, but the front seats have plenty of space. And the boot is bigger than it was, which it needed to be. Now it is 215 litres with the roof up, which isn’t exactly generous but at least it’s an improvement.
The switchgear is the same as in the Hatchback, so it looks good and funky and works well enough, although it does feel a touch light for some heavy fingers. Quality is good for this sector, certainly better than in say a Fiat 500C.
If you’re looking for a convertible this summer that’s fun, then this fits the bill nicely. Fun, stylish, well made, it ticks the boxes and is noticeably better than its predecessor in key areas. It also offers good value for money even if something like the Fiat 500C is actually cheaper. Let your hair down.
Mini Cooper Convertible
Engine size: 1.5-litre turbo
Price from: £18,475
Torque: 162lb ft
0-62mph: 8.8 seconds
Top speed: 129mph
Fuel economy: 57.6mpg