2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible – Road Test and Review
The calendar may say it is fall, but with blue skies and temperatures in the 80s F (high 20s C), it was still summer as far as I was concerned and the perfect time to motor around town with a droptop Mini Cooper S.
There was no rain in the forecast, but we needn’t have fretted. The latest Mini Convertible will alert the driver of impending precipitation with sufficient time to pull over and raise the top (if parked with the top down, the alert would come via the Mini app to my phone).
One of the things I’ve always liked about the Mini convertible is that – unlike any other droptop I could think of – it effectively has a sunroof because the front portion of the top retracts in a similar manner. It takes 18 seconds to either fully raise or lower the top and this can be done while driving at speeds of up to 18 mph (29 km/h).
All Minis are cute and the Convertible is no exception. With the top up, it closely resembles its fixed-top sibling and hardly looks like a convertible but, with the top down, it attains an elegance that reminds me of a smaller version of open tourers of the 1930s.
The top – stacked up behind the rear seats when open – does cut into rear visibility (it cuts out the lower third of a correctly adjusted rear-view mirror), making the rear-view camera – a $500 option – mandatory.
The interior is rather posh, especially when compared to previous generation Minis, replete with high-quality vinyl and soft touch materials. The front seats were quite comfortable and easily adjustable to an optimal driving position while the rear seats were, shall we say, keeping a stiff upper lip, good for storage. I was able to fit my 20” roll aboard in the boot but that was about all that would fit.