MINI Convertible (2016) Review

MINI Convertible (2016) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
If you can live with the limited practicality, you’ll love the MINI Convertible. It’s the drop-top you can use in all weathers and all seasons.

+Huge fun to drive regardless of the engine or trim, space for four adults in the cabin, superb quality and a strong image.

-Limited practicality especially with the roof down, can get very expensive with some choice options, firm ride especially in the John Cooper Works.

New prices start from £20,980
Contract hire deals from £223.95 per month
Insurance Groups are between 16–33
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

As a topless version of one of the most fashionable cars on the planet, it’s hard to see where the MINI Convertible could go wrong. Although the market isn’t littered with small drop-tops, the MINI Convertible is the only pint-size roofless wonder you could ever need, with space for four adults, fantastic handling and a vast array of personalisation options. Crucially, it’s as good to drive with the roof up as it is with the roof down, which makes it a genuine alternative to the standard MINI Hatch. If you dare to go topless, the MINI has you covered.

Is the MINI Convertible one of the coolest cars on the road? Much depends on the weather at the time, but you can always crank up the heating if things are a little too cool (ba-dum-tish).

This is a car you buy with your heart more than your head. Emotional rather than rational. Desirability over practicality. Taking these factors into account helps to justify the Convertible’s premium price over the MINI Hatch, not to mention its reduced practicality.

What do you get for your money? MINI’s acclaimed ‘go-kart’ handling, for a start, along with a strong image, a quality interior and more personalisation options than you can shake a stick at. Going through the list of options and accessories is part of the MINI experience. It might be expensive, but it’s central to the car’s appeal.

There are three core trim levels: Classic, Sport and Exclusive. In addition to these there’s a hardcore John Cooper Works model, which is the MINI Convertible to choose if you enjoy chasing hot hatchbacks with the roof down. It’s expensive and rather uncomfortable over pitted surfaces, but it offers a driving experience quite unlike any other car.

Not that the MINI Convertible has any direct rivals. The Fiat 500C is too small and isn’t a proper convertible, even if it does rival the MINI in terms of brand appeal.

Beyond that you’re looking at the likes of the Audi A3 Cabriolet and BMW 2 Series Convertible, which are too mature and grown-up to compete with the MINI.

Aside from the John Cooper Works, there are two engines to choose from: a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol in the Cooper and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol in the Cooper S. We’d argue that the 1.5-litre engine offers the best blend of performance and economy, although some buyers will appreciate the refinement of the 2.0-litre.

It’s great to drive, regardless of whether the roof is up or down. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a keen driver, you’ll appreciate the sharp steering, the bags of grip and the absence of body-roll. Opt for supersize alloy wheels and the ride quality suffers, so stick with the 15-inch or 16-inch rims.

Perhaps predictably, the MINI Convertible isn’t as practical as its tin-top sibling. Although there’s room in the cabin for four adults (just), you’ll probably use the back seats for additional storage, because space in the boot is limited, especially with the roof down. Ditch your friends or learn to travel light.

Overall, the MINI Convertible is one of the most appealing small cars on sale in 2020. It looks great, boasts a quality cabin, and drives as well as the standard hatchback. Yes, it’s expensive, but there are some seriously tempting PCP deals on offer, so you can own a MINI Convertible for the price of a compact crossover.

Ask Honest John

Accident history of our new car wasn't disclosed. What are our rights?
"My wife bought a MINI Convertible from a main dealer just before the covid pandemic kicked off and when she bought it, we took it back the next day as we had spotted a small dent in the rear bumper. It looked like a very bad repair job by on the rear bumper, which doesn't sit right. The dealer said once its garages open again, they'll get it in the workshop to have a look. However, a friend of ours who works in a small garage pointed out that the car - at some point - has had a rear shunt as the wheel arch and paintwork below the boot opening is all split like a hairline fracture due to the impact it had. It's a2019 model, so wasn't cheap when we bought it. Are we within our rights to demand a new bumper is put on and painted instead of a repair job?"
The salesperson should have disclosed the vehicle's accident history at the time of sale. If they didn't, you'll be entitled to a full refund. However, if you are happy with the model of car, I would work with the dealer and ask for a replacement 19-plate MINI. For your legal rights, see: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-reject-a-car-your-consumer-rights
Answered by Dan Powell
What new car should I replace my Peugeot 206 CC with?
"I have a 15-year-old Peugeot 206 CC and want to replace it with a modern alternative, what should I look at?"
Consider a MINI Convertible. It's a fashionable choice with a premium interior. An Audi A3 Cabriolet is another good choice. Alternatively, a Mazda MX-5 is fun to drive and affordable, although not very practical.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the smallest car with a retractable roof?
"My wife has a much-loved MX5, complete with detachable hardtop. However, it is beginning to look as if we might need to replace it, as we are both in our 70's, I am now having difficulty getting out of it because it is so low down, and the annual fitting/removal of the hardtop is beginning to be a chore. Please could you advise what are the smallest non-diesel cars available with built-in retractable roofs?"
You could look at a Peugeot 108 Top. It's a small city car with a retractable soft-top roof. If you'd prefer something bigger, consider a MINI Convertible. Look here for more inspiration: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/topten/top-10-cheapest-convertibles/
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which is the best convertible car to buy?
"I have always wanted a convertible car and at 62 I would like to buy one. There seem to be problems with the mechanics on the roofs of some. Which one would you recommend?"
Car manufacturers went through a period of making electric folding hard-top roofs increasingly complicated, meaning they can get problematic when they get old. I'd be looking for something with a fabric roof. A Mazda MX-5 is a good choice with a very simple roof but only has two seats and limited boot space, so it may not be practical enough for your needs. You can get soft-top versions of the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108, which are very affordable little city cars, but they're not really 'proper' convertibles. An Audi A3 Cabriolet is a good mix of style and practicality, as is the MINI Convertible.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a MINI Convertible (2016) cost?


Contract hire from £223.95 per month