A small displacement engine doesn't necessarily sap the fun from a car. You can still rev the engine high and get at the peak horsepower and torque, heights often never reached on cars with powerful engines. But mate a small displacement engine to an automatic transmission, and you are in a world called boring. That's one of the lessons we took away from the 2009 Mini Cooper Convertible we had in recently.
We don't have much control over which options are included with the review cars we get, and this Cooper Convertible seemed designed for people who just want to put the top down and go nowhere slowly. Worse for our purposes, it didn't have Bluetooth or iPod options. But it's still a Mini, so we managed to find a number of redeeming characteristics about it. Although some of that redemption lies in options it could have had.