Can the Mini Cooper S Convertible be your daily droptop?
Mini wants to be more grown up, more businesslike.
It also wants to keep the fun.
The new Clubman is a perfect example of this.
A straight up, nicely finished interior and fun dynamics make a great package.
The front, but it's a million feet long, is another thing, though.
Mini can't get away from its roots that easily.
It's still about fun, after all, and why shouldn't it be?
So here's the latest addition to the family, the Mini convertible.
I'm not gonna lie.
I've never really liked cars that start off as hardtops and are turned into convertibles.
They always Look a bit weird.
Especially the ragtops.
They just don't look quite right.
You lose something from the design.
As such, it doesn't really appeal.
And then of course, there's the gibes.
Especially when you drive a car like this.
They tend to imply that your profession is somewhat different from what it is.
But it tends to be cruel and very unjustified.
However, the car that is based on the Mini Hatch is really, really good.
So I've got high hopes.
To look at, it's a Mini without a roof.
It's got the same snouty nose, the same Tonka toyish proportions.
And it looks as though it was designed exclusively with a compass.
The interior is, unsurprisingly, all mini hatch considering that's what it's based on.
And that means that I'm pretty sure the design team was banned from using rulers when they were drawing it because there's not a single straight line in here.
It's all curves and swoops and cool materials and big tactile buttons that are fun and chunky to press.
It's just It's a really lovely thing.
The Mini Hatch is a fantastic car.
The Cooper S and JCW are fast and a good steer.
Their two liter turbo force producing a fairly.g ample power but give the cars great character.
The way Mini's engineers set them up just work.
You can bung them into a corner and enjoy yourself.
They are ant and ant, fun.
Enginewise, the convertible gets the same as the hatch.
So the Cooper gets the three cylinder turbo charged job, and the Cooper S, which we're in Get the two liter, 189 [UNKNOWN] horsepower turbo charged [UNKNOWN].
Nought to 60 takes a not slow 7.2 seconds, and its top speed is north of 140 miles an hour, so it is not exactly slow, is it?
The roof, however, is.
It takes 18 seconds to do its going up and locking in thing, which, well I'll put it like this, if there was a heavy rain fall, And your laptop was on the passenger seat, you might lose your laptop.
Now, cars like this aren't usually practical.
Where there used to be a boot, there's now space for a roof.
But Mini says you can fit 160 litres of stuff with the roof down and over 200 with it up.
I honestly have no idea how they measure that so I'm assuming that's 80 two liter bottles of Coke.
What I want to know about this thing is can we use it as a daily driver?
We've got the performance specs, we've got the space, we've gone through all of that, but is this the kind of thing I could see myself getting into and going yeah.
I'll take the Mini out today because I'll level with you I'm a Mini person.
I had one of the first gen Mini hatches for right years.
The guys at Mini know how to put together a fantastic car.
I said when I reviewed the hatch, the Mini was brilliant.
It a car that eager to please, even before you turn a wheel.
And when you do turn the wheel it is brilliant, brilliant fun.
Now the steering in smart mode beautifully weighted.
It's really lovely.
You get great feedback through it.
[UNKNOWN] response is plenty eager as well so you can fire yourself away.
There's no delay as there were in some older cars, namely mine [UNKNOWN].
Also in sport mode, it's got the auto blitz.
So when you go for a down shift, say, from four to third, it'll blip the circle for you, which is kind of nice.
It means if you don't know how to heel and toe, you don't have to.
And you can still get proper quick down shift.
The gearbox itself, I find it a bit light.
I find it a bit too easy.
It's a complaint that hasn't been a fair one because it's the kind of car that everyone should be able to drive well, it had to be set to easy mode for everybody.
The noise the [UNKNOWN] produces.
They have been flip-flopping between when do you think the [UNKNOWN] or if it's a bit Cuz when we're driving down roads like this, you give it a little squirt in seconds, [SOUND]
and it sounds great.
When you're driving along say, a motorway or a normal country road at normal speeds, it just sounds a bit boring.
I look in the rear view mirror and there's just roof.
I can see roof, and then anything above it.
So there's something small behind me, I just can't see it.
And with the roof up, there's no rear windows to the sides.
So, you've got massive blind spots.
That's not ideal.
However, the driving experience of this car is what makes it.
Because you know the gear box might be a bit too easy, but when you're on the right road and you're having fun, you're linking the turns beautifully.
The also blitz is working for you, all your heeling and toeing.
You've got the noise on point It's fantastic fun.
You get to smell the environment, you can see what's going on outside, you can hear things a little better.
It's moments like that which is why people are gonna buy these things.
It's a good car, save for the visibility and the perambulator eating lube.
But you know what, the last generation mini drop top was the best selling convertible in the UK which is scarily a massive market for open top motors despite, you know, all the rain.
This one feels strong and solid.
There's no rattles or creaks so with the roof down, the windows do wobble a bit with speed.
I said at the beginning that I wasn't a big fan of hardtops turned into convertibles.
And while this is a great car, it's a Mini through and through.
So it's fun, it's [UNKNOWN], it's very smooth, it's very light.
It's an eager car to please.
I'm still not a fan, I just can't get over the look of it.
This is the kind of car you buy to fit your life, not change your life for.
There's space, it's comfy, and it's good-looking.
It is an easy date, so there's my question answered.
I imagine the kind of people who want one of these for every day do enjoy the phrase lifestyle, and all the montage opportunities that go with it.