The ultimate car in its segment to offer this much personality in a small package.
How many cars are so undeniably iconic, that it matters not if you’re an avid automotive enthusiast or a plain Jane with zero car knowledge, to be recognizable? I personally believe that there are very few marques out there that are as recognizable as Mini. Something tells me that if we were to fill a room with multiple new cars, removed every single identifying badge, then presented the vehicles to a random selection of individuals – every single person would identify the Mini without hesitation. These days, Mini has expanded their family with the Clubman (reviewed here) and the Countryman, with the original three-door Cooper leading the pack in popularity.
Alongside the standard Cooper, buyers can opt for a topless version of the car. The 2017 Mini Cooper Convertible presents an exciting alternative for buyers looking to enjoy a little more Vitamin D during the warmer months, without sacrificing any noticeable performance. Granted, if you’re the type who enjoys trunk-space, forewarning, this car may not be for you – hold onto that thought for a little bit. Keep in mind, more sun means more money. Whereas the standard hardtop Cooper has a starting price of $29,490, the convertible will increase that price by $6,500.00, making its base price $27,990. Mini also offers a wide selection of personalization options that can vastly increase the purchase price if you’re feeling well heeled.
The other question in mind – is the convertible really worth spending that extra cash? Again, hold onto that thought. When looking at buying a Mini, the first thing that comes to mind is that you’re looking to find a fun little car that is just as enjoyable around a bend as it is putting around the city. Truth be told, no matter who you are, driving a Mini Cooper for the first time will always bring some kind of grin to your face. Now whether you enjoy it for a long period of time or not is dependent on your personality, but it is irrefutably a fun car to get behind the wheel of.
The regular Cooper, as opposed to the Cooper S (reviewed here), comes equipped with a 1.5L inline three-cylinder turbocharged engine that puts out 134 horsepower. When optioned with a the six-speed automatic transmission, the car does come with a sport mode that adjusts throttle response and shift points accordingly. There is also a manual shift mode that will offer more engagement between driver and vehicle. However, the optional sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters is only made available on the Cooper S, and JCW cars.
The exterior of the new 2017 Cooper Convertible is in tune with the third-generation Mini, introduced for 2014. As mentioned before, Mini offers a vast collection of styling options which allow you to really create your own unique Mini vision. Everything from wheels, paints, mirrors, center caps, is available! Our tester was finished in what Mini has dubbed Caribbean Aqua Metallic. At $590, it may not be everyone’s first choice considering the nine alternative metallic paint options. It certainly is a flamboyant tint, though it does offer a unique appeal to what is a unique car. For $500, Mini will even grace your black soft-top with a tone-on-tone Union Jack, proudly celebrating Mini’s English roots.
While the exterior boasted a colour evoking waters from the Caribbean shoreline, the interior complimented the exterior tone quite well. The light Satellite Grey Lounge leather seats, with matching door panels and dashboard colour line, in wonderful contrast with black leather accents all blend together quite nicely. The black accents in question come as standard, whereas the Satellite Grey Lounge leather totals a whopping $2,000, and that does not include the matching trimmings. All in, the interior leather and colour selections on our tester came to a staggering $2,400 extra.
The hides available in this car are impressively expensive, but it’s the novelty tech that takes centre stage to tickle the passengers’ curiosity. For starters, before even stepping into the cabin, on a dark evening the driver may notice a projected Mini logo on the ground next to the driver’s door. This is thanks to the LED door projector ($125), though it’s a nice touch. Once inside, to the passengers have the option of choosing one of many ambient lighting colour options depending on the mood. Little details like these really depict how much Mini wants to evoke creativity and individualism from their clients.
Remember when we started talking about trunk space? It should be a known fact that when purchasing any convertible, trunk space will be rather limited – in the Mini, this is no exception. Whereas the hardtop offers plenty of room as a hatchback, the convertible offers a much smaller cargo area suitable for three or four gym bags. Now to make loading easier, Mini has equipped the cargo area with “Easy Load” system, which comprises of two arms that unhook the soft top from its secured locks, allowing for the soft top to be lifted out of the way, thus making it easier to toss a few more items into the boot.
The question still arises… Is the convertible worth spending the extra bit of cash? After considering what the Mini stands for – being a fun car filled with personality and an almost compulsive need to express individuality – yes, it is worth it. It’s also important to note that though at base value, the convertible is more expensive than the hardtop, but with the amount of customizability and personalization, it’s very simple to make a hardtop more expensive than a convertible. It’s also quite possible to make a standard Cooper more expensive than a Cooper S.
At the end of the day, the 2017 Mini Cooper Convertible offers a multitude of options available from the factory, and really is the ultimate car in its segment to offer this much personality in a small package. It performs well on a straight highway just as it does in city corners. My advice to prospective buyers is to have a look and see what you can create. Just keep in mind that every option comes with at a price – it all comes down to personal preference.