Mini Cooper Convertible is all grown up, but still having fun – Toronto Star

2016 Mini Convertible

LOS ANGELES, Calif. —This is the town where the brand-new Mini gained its debut spine at the start of the millennium. It was raced right here through the L.A. subway system by Jason Statham and Charlize Theron in a zippy remake of The Italian Job.

It was so exciting at the time, yet nobody appears to remember that now.

The Mini has actually grown up, moving on through three various generations of BMW ownership. It’s located its fan base and matured past the Hollywood hype. It’s become much more powerful, along with three- and four-cylinder turbocharged engines that make 134 and 189 horsepower respectively, and even a Functions engine that’s helpful for a rather major 228 horsepower.

It’s located a little much more space for its passengers, considerably much more space for their luggage, and a stiffer, much better handling chassis to throw every little thing about much more confidently through the corners. We’ve seen all of this already in the brand-new generations of the three-door and five-door and Clubman, time-released in the last year or two.

When the sun's out and the top's down, it's difficult not to feel happy in the Mini Convertible.
When the sun’s out and the top’s down, it’s difficult not to feel happy in the Mini Convertible.  (Mark Richardson)  

A convertible is constantly a much more cheerful car, especially right here in Southern California where it never ever rains or snows and it can easily be carefree year-round. Engineers have actually been attempting to make the Mini cheerful — not cute, adore a Fiat 500 or a VW Beetle, yet simply happy — yet its latest iterations have actually that feeling of responsibility.

Change the Drive mode in any kind of Mini between Sport and Eco and the central display shows little believed bubbles coming from a photo of the car. “Let’s Motor Hard!” it’s apparently thinking, or “Let’s MINImalize” yet it’s all of a bit forced.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that it has actually a high-tech central display in the initial place, all of portion of the premium BMW approach that starts out along with a base fee of $27,990 in the brand-new Convertible Cooper and $32,240 in the brand-new Convertible Cooper S. You can easily comfortably include a minimum of $5,000 to the choices you’ll discover hard to resist.

The Convertible, however, matches those funky little believed bubbles. It’s simply a bit much more lighthearted. It’s retained the “openometer” from the previous generation that tracks your overall percentage of top-down usage. This year, it even has actually an app that warns you of an impending rain shower, in case you hope to place the roof spine up.

The warning never ever came here, of course. The sun beat down on me from a clear blue sky as I nipped about the tight and tony streets of Pasadena, then out onto the canyon roads above the city.

The Cooper S is powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre motor that is one cylinder larger than the Cooper motor. BMW uses a more highly-tuned version of the Mini engine to power its exotic i8 hybrid-electric sports car.
The Cooper S is powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre motor that is one cylinder larger compared to the Cooper motor. BMW uses a much more highly-tuned version of the Mini engine to energy its exotic i8 hybrid-electric sports car.  (Mark Richardson)  

The just vehicle gained available for our driving was the Cooper S. Despite the fact that the Cooper is no slouch, the S accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds.

There was nobody in the spine seat to criticize my driving, so I could be “ambitious” on the twisting canyon roads where the Mini was a delight to experience. In Sport mode along with the optional $500 Dynamic Damper Control, the front-wheel drive tires clawed at the road adore a terrier at a rabbit hole, and the vehicle tracked flat about the tightest and swiftest of curves.

There’s much more space all of about now. Even so, if there had been someone in the spine seat, the drive would certainly have actually been considerably different. place a person behind the driver’s seat and I’d have actually been scrunched forward along with my knees jammed in to the steering wheel. We’d all of have actually been miserable.

I drove the two the manual six-rate and the automatic six-rate and they the two Job rather well indeed. The short-shifting stick and clutch are wonderfully engaging, yet the automatic is a tenth of a second a lot faster in the 0-100 km/h sprint. It’ll cost you, though: the automatic transmission is $1,400 extra, and one more $250 on the Cooper S if you want paddle shifters, which you do.

There's not much space in the back seat for its two passengers, although leg room has increased about 4 cm from the previous generation.
There’s not considerably space in the spine seat for its two passengers, Despite the fact that leg room has actually increased concerning 4 cm from the previous generation.  (Mark Richardson)  

Fuel consumption isn’t also unsatisfactory for such a racy car, though its little engine requires Premium gas. Official Canadian combined figures for city and highway are 7.2 L/100 km for the manual Cooper and 7.7 for the automatic. For some reason, they’re reversed in the Cooper S, returning 8.7 L/100 km in the manual and 8.5 in the automatic.

Fuel consumption will certainly be the least of your worries in the Mini Convertible. It’s a great deal of enjoyable to drive, so you’ll be much more concerned along with the percentage of your openometer. And that knows? along with a little time behind the wheel, you could go searching for the Italian Job movie we’ve all of forgotten about. It’ll remind you we all of requirement a little escapism in our lives.

Mini Cooper/Cooper S Convertible

Base price:

Cooper — $27,990

Cooper S — $32,240


Cooper — 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder

Cooper S — 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder


Cooper — 134 hp/162 lb-ft.

Cooper S — 189 hp/207 lb-ft.

Fuel consumption:

Cooper manual — 8.2 city, 6.0 hwy.

Cooper S automatic — 9.7 city, 7.0 hwy.

What’s hot: enjoyable to drive and a premium feel

What’s not: Expensive and still cramped in the back

Score: 8/10



Mazda MX-5 — It has actually a various appeal, yet Mazda’s brand-new roadster offers the exact same enjoyable factor along with a top-down roof.

Volkswagen GTI: There’s no soft-top, yet the GTI likewise combines energy along with agility in a small and beneficial package.

Delivered day-to-day to your inbox.

Sign up