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Compromised in many ways, yet exceedingly brilliant in others, the MINI Cooper S Convertible is a refreshing break from the typical premium supermini offerings.

07 Sep 2021


$211,888. That's how much this MINI Cooper S Convertible is asking for (as of 6 August 2021).

Shop elsewhere and you'll easily be able to get a lot more sheet metal for your dollar, albeit with a little less power.

But the bad news doesn't end there, for at that price you'll be getting a miserly 160-litre boot, miserable leg and knee room for rear passengers, manually adjusting seats for those up front, and poor insulation from any road and wind noise with the soft top up.

If it's creature comforts you're looking for in your premium supermini, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Willing partner

There's a redesigned steering wheel here, and the two central air-conditioning vents now sit flush on the dashboard
But fold that soft top down (an 18-second, sub 30km/h affair), mesh the accelerator pedal, and I promise you, all these practical frivolities will soon fade right into the back of your mind.

Driven as so, the MINI Convertible is a sheer delight to pilot. You get 176bhp from a 2.0-litre if you opt for your car in this Cooper S guise, which is plenty.

But more important is the fact that there's 280Nm of torque on tap, available even from a lowly 1,350rpm, so acceleration stays effortless regardless of which gear you're currently in.

And with the roof down you'll be able to appreciate that engine's vocals just that little bit better as well. It's hardly a thing to shy away from aural drama: With plenty of exhaust burble on offer and a pleasing turbocharger blowoff when you lift off the go-faster pedal.

Shoulder, knee, and leg room is going to be tight for all relegated here
The ride is also MIIN typical busy and a touch on the firm side, but not crushingly so, which should enthrall any more eager driver.

Attention grabber

But even if you're not one, there's no need to fret, for the MINI Convertible still has so much to offer even when you're simply cruising around town.

That new mustachioed grille may not be to everyone's taste, but having spent one weekend with the car, I'm of little doubt that this convertible still has every bit of its predecessor's ability to capture the attention of all on the street.

Piano Black Exterior option (standard for Cooper S variants) finishes various exterior details including model lettering and exhaust tailpipes in black
And if it's the attention of onlookers that you're looking for you'll do well to spec your car in this new eye-catching Zesty Yellow paint finish.

It provides a stark contrast against the new gloss black head light surrounds, as well as the black door handles, side scuttles, and fuel cap. And those 18-inch Pulse Spoke rims also no doubt help with the whole affair.

Pleasant looker

Talking about contrast, the car's 8.8-inch infotainment system has also been updated with new graphics. It's easy and intuitive to use, and sports a bluish-turquoise background that is a pleasing hue to admire after you've had your fill of the paintwork.

Fresh air, performance, and adorable looks are all yours with the MINI Cooper S Convertible
Also new in the cabin is a nappa leather wrapped sports multifunction steering wheel - which is a delight to hold - and through which you'll also be peeking at the multifunctional digital instrument display, which has already been seen elsewhere in the MINI range but is also new for the convertible.

Glare resistance from the cluster's matt surface is passable, which is more than can be said of some of the cabin's less finer areas, unfortunately.

Extra demanding

Beyond the aforementioned points, you'll also want to note that the seatbelts can be a bit of a stretch away for shorter passengers seated up front, shoulder room is poor for those at the rear of any reasonable size, and the black roof can become quite the heat soak on sunny days.

So should you pay that steep price for one? Well, let's just put it this way: I won't be straining my neck trying to get a second look at any other supermini.

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Car Information

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MINI Cooper S Convertible 2.0 (A)
Rate it

Price

: $221,888

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve TwinPower Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1998cc

Horsepower

:

131kW (176 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

280 Nm / 4200 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DCT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.9sec

Top Speed

:

230km/h

Fuel consumption

:

15.2km/L

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