Seldom do hatchbacks look as good as the MINI Cooper Convertible, put the roof down and all the attention is yours, writes Indian automobile website MotorBeam.
There are very few hatchbacks in this world which can one up the MINI Cooper in terms of looks. In the convertible avatar, looks only go a notch higher.
With the roof down, the Cooper S Convertible looks BEAUTIFUL. There can’t be a single person around the car who wouldn’t notice it. Driving around town, the attention this hatchback manages to grab exceeds what some flashy sports cars costing more than twice the money can.
The front end looks very aggressive with the new design language which gives it an edgy bumper design and gorgeous looking headlamps.
On to the side, the rather large door occupies most of the side profile. Bigger alloys would further improve the looks at the cost of practicality. At the rear, things are very similar to the Cooper S with the huge tail lights demanding attention.
The roof when folded down covers quite a bit of space above the boot lid and doesn’t look particularly nice. It also hinders the rear visibility making the inside rear view mirror almost useless.
Since it doesn’t come with rear parking camera as standard, parking it in tight spaces can be quite a task with the roof down. The fabric roof when up blends in well and doesn’t look too out of place. The Union Jack on the roof is an option, a rather expensive one, like most other nice to have goodies.
Step inside the MINI and you will immediately notice the retro appeal in the design. The dashboard houses the music system in the centre instead of the speedometer like the older MINI’s.
The instrument cluster is now housed in the conventional position and we prefer it this way. The seats offer good support and do not let you unsettle while pushing hard into corners.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine borrowed from BMW is a brilliant unit and gives the hatchback excellent performance. 189 horses in a car which weighs just under 1400 kgs is a recipe for fun.
Ample torque is available low down in the rev range which lets one drive peacefully in city traffic. Move on to open roads and the MINI won’t disappoint you there either. Put your foot down and it will shame many bigger cars thanks to its excellent power-to-weight ratio.
The exhaust is very sweet sounding and one might forget that the sound is coming out of a 4-cylinder engine.
The barks on downshifts and lift off are very addictive and made me use the paddles very often. The paddle shifters are a delight to use and let you eek out every single drop of performance from the car.
The increased weight and size over the previous generations is offset by the increase in power and thus the performance isn't affected.
The suspension is set-up well and gives the Cooper S Convertible excellent cornering ability. However, the ride is pretty stiff and many bumps are felt by the occupants.
The steering feel is very good and it gives good feedback too. At high speeds, it weighs up decently, and performs nicely for an electric unit.
The MINI Cooper S Convertible gives the needed thrill, attention, practicality and all this while not being prohibitively expensive.
But not expensive only till the point the person doesn’t end up ticking too many options as the optional equipment is frightfully expensive and can take the hatchback to the wrong side of Rs 50 lakh in no time. But, all is forgotten as soon as you get behind the wheel and start driving.