2016 Mini Convertible initial drive: Six on a floor, 3 underneath a hood

Bigger Mini maximizes space, utility, yet suffers from varying rival set

The Mini Cooper and a brethren might be removing heavier, bigger and wider, yet their engines are removing smaller, during slightest in a bottom models. The 2016 Mini Convertible is a latest to get a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder for power. The manifest hurl bars are now left — they cocktail out when a movement happens — and load space and flexibility is softened with a automobile roof that unhinges like a snake’s mouth, charity a bigger opening to fist in some-more stuff.

Length grows 4.5 inches, breadth 1.7 inches and tallness .8 inch. The wheelbase is longer by about an in. and a lane is wider, too, heading to a luggage ability boost of 25 percent to 7.6 cubic feet. Passenger space is adult as well.

A single-joint front strut spindle keeps things planted in front while a multilink setup binds things down in back. The Mini Convertible gets speed-variable steering and Electronic Differential Lock Control as customary features. Dynamic Damper Control is optional, and adjusts with a opposite expostulate modes.

Like we said, a turbo 3 banger is a bottom engine and a one we tested. It creates 134 hp during 4,400 rpm and 162 lb-ft during 1,250 rpm. A six-speed primer is customary fare; a six-speed automobile with paddle shifters is optional. The Cooper Convertible S gets a upgraded four-cylinder turbo; it comes by with 189 hp and 201 lb-ft of torque.

Inside, there’s a 6.5-inch touchscreen where a speedometer used to be, USBs and aux inputs, dual-zone meridian control and integrated apps like Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher and more.

2016 Mini Cooper automobile trunk

The behind window/top separates from a behind of a Mini to concede some-more load inside.

What’s it like to drive?

It might warn some, yet a 3 banger is fun underneath a hood. It won’t blow a doors off any Camaros; it won’t blow a doors off anything, indeed — yet it creates a Cooper ideal for “slow automobile fast” pushing fun. The bottom Cooper Convertible hits rise torque during only 1,250 rpm, early adequate to spin a tires with a right purchase action, and it never feels slow. The small sewing appurtenance engine doesn’t make a lot of noise, and we didn’t even comprehend it was a three-cylinder until we investigated a specs.

Power comes on smooth, with only sniff of turbo whistle. Pull stays comparatively clever until about 6,000 rpm, when it seems to dump off a little.

Clutch pedal weight is nearby ideal with a good volume of open back. It catches low in a cadence too, that allows for super-fast changeable when you’re doing a slow-car-fast thing. The stop pedal has a few inches of transport before it bites hard, yet it lines adult with a gas pedal scrupulously for heel-toe shifting. And that’s as it should be. Mini is about enjoying a drive, and we can’t have a truly good expostulate yet well-timed, rev-matching downshifts.

All Minis now come with a company’s opposite pushing modes including sport, normal and eco. Each are accompanied by small notations in a lurch that contend “Let’s Motor” for normal mode, “Let’s Motor Hard!” for competition and “Let’s MINImalize” for eco. Cute, if that’s your thing. Like many cars, a modes adjust steering circle sensitivity, stifle position, delivery change points on involuntary cars and cessation rigidity on ones with a tractable dampers.

Our non-S Convertible is a bottom indication — no tractable dampers — and yet a roof a cessation is only unbending adequate to feel sporty, yet not differing on open roads. The S indication is stiffer and does crash a small tough if you’re accelerating over a bump, yet it won’t disencumber fillings.

2016 Mini Cooper Convertible tip open

The Mini can dump a tip during 18 mph.

Despite low-rolling-resistance tires, a Mini valid a pointy handler, even with a electromechanical energy steering setup. The front tires seemed to mangle giveaway first, yet a front spindle diff generally kept us going in a right direction. If we confirm to collect adult a bottom model, spec out improved tires.

Inside, a gauges pierce with a steering circle adjustment, that is good since a edge won’t retard a gauges no matter what position it’s in. The big, executive screen, that used to be a speedo, now is used as a categorical control for a party stuff. we like that better. The vast speedo was some-more of a gimmick, anyway; we want/need it to be in my margin of vision, during slightest on open streets. On a track, no one unequivocally cares.

The BMW iDrive-like executive controller is easy to use and my iPhone connected easily. The radio wasn’t wretched loud, yet shrill adequate that we could hear it over a wind. It was a small cold on exam day, yet with all 4 windows, adult we was still flattering snug.

The seats are too flat, both on a bottoms and backs, and they won’t reason we from shifting around in assertive corners — they are comfortable, though. Visibility is good with a tip down, not so good with it up, as per usual. we sat in a behind chair for a few mins with a tip down and during 5-foot, 10-inches we fit, yet only barely. And that was with a front chair in correct pushing position for me. Take that for what it’s worth. If a tip is up, we don’t see any approach we could get adults behind there.


2017 Mini Cooper Seven

Do we wish it?

The 2016 Mini Convertible starts during $26,800, including destination. The S indication adds $3,650 for a sum of $30,450. The John Cooper Works goes adult to $36,450.

The Mini Convertible doesn’t have a lot of apples to apples competitors right now. The front-wheel-drive Buick Cascada starts during about $34,000. You could pierce to rear- or all-wheel drive, in that box you’d have a BMW 2-Series ($38,650), Mazda Miata ($24,915) and Audi A3 Cabriolet ($36,600). Then, of course, a Mustang ($29,645) and Camaro convertibles ($33,695) come into play as well. So there are a lot of choices in a $30,000 range.

Even yet it has 4 seats, it’s tough to cruise this Mini anything some-more than a two-seater for Sunday fun runs to a beach with some gear. I’d contend a Miata is improved for that, though, and cheaper too. But, people do adore a quirky styling, and it does have some-more application than any Mini drop-top that came before.

If we do confirm to buy one, here’s a advice: Keep a three-cylinder, get summer tires, and engine to your heart’s content.

Jake Lingeman

Jake Lingeman

– Jake Lingeman is Road Test Editor during Autoweek, reviewing cars, stating on automobile news, automobile tech and a universe during large. Read some-more »

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