Driving Review (Launch Report): Mini Cooper Convertible

taking just 18 seconds to complete the whole process!

We drove the new Mini Cooper Convertible along a scenic route through Villiersdorp and around the coast past Gordon’s Bay. See what we had to say!

So what does the Mini Cooper Convertible have that the three door hatch doesn’t? Apart from the folding canvas roof, not all that much. However the folding roof is pretty cool! You can even use it while driving under 30km/h!

There are two engines that one can choose from, the 3-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and the 4-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine. The first with a power output of 100 kW and torque of 220 Nm and the second with 141 kW and 300 Nm. For such a small car, the output makes the Mini Cooper Convertible quite nippy!

The Mini Cooper Convertible comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission and has a six-speed Steptronic auto as a slightly more expensive option. A further option on the Cooper S is the six-speed Steptronic sport that offers shorter shift times and comes with paddle shifters and a launch control function for the robot racer brigade.

The Mini Cooper Convertible isn’t quite as fast as the hatch, which is to be expected. It comes in at 126 kg heavier, due to the extra support needed to strengthen the chassis. This is the downside to chopping off the roof and putting in a foldable one.

The roof is quite impressive though. It’s fully automatic and electrically powered, taking just 18 seconds to complete the whole process. It also has, like previous generations, a sliding roof function that essentially gives you a sunroof feature of up to 40cm long. You can use this at any speed. The fabric of the roof is black as standard but you can opt for one with a black and grey Union Jack motif designed into the roof. It does cost extra though.

One thing that they’ve tried to improve is the boot space. The new Mini Cooper Convertible claims that it has 25% more boot space than the previous generation. With a total of 215 litre with the roof up and 160 litres while the roof is down.

While I did enjoy driving the new Mini Cooper Convertible, it’s safe to say that the target demographic is certainly the ladies. I don’t think there’s any confusion in that regard, we know it and they know it. However, it is the only convertible in the premium hatch segment – so who knows, maybe some guys might be looking for that!

Quick Specs

Mini Cooper Convertible 

Price: R368k (man), R384k (auto)

Engine: 1,5-litre, 3-cyl, turbopetrol

Power: 100 kW at 4 400 r/min

Torque: 220 N.m at 1 250 r/min

0-100 km/h: 8,7 sec (man), 8,8 sec (auto)

Top Speed: 208 km/h (206 km/h auto)

Fuel Consumption: 5,1L/100 km (5,3 auto)

CO2: 118 g/km (123 auto)

Mini Cooper S Convertible

Price: R433k (man) R451k (auto)  –

Engine: 2,0-litre, 4-cyl turbopetrol – 141 kW at 5 000 – 6 500 r/min

Torque: 280 N.m at 1 250 – 4 000 r/min –

0-100 km/h: 7,1 sec (man), 7,2 (auto) –

Top Speed: 230 km/h (228 km/h auto) –

Fuel Consumption: 6,1L/100 km (5,8 auto) –

CO2: 142 g/km (134 auto)

Transmission: 6 speed manual or optional 6-speed Steptronic

Maintenance Plan: 5 year / 100 000 km