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MINI Roadster (2012–2015)

Last updated 5 February 2019

Looks more sporty and purposeful than the MINI Convertible. Enjoyable to drive. Offers plenty of customisation
Rear visibility isn't great when the roof is raised. Some of the materials are starting to show their age. Optional extras push up price.
Updated 14 September 2018

Report of engine failure at 21.991 miles of 2012 Mini Cooper 1.6 Roadster purchased new and maintained by BMW MINI dealer (5 stamps in book). Driving at 70MPH when the car started running a bit lumpy....

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With the Countryman and the sporty Coupe, MINI’s model range is ever expanding. While there is already a convertible model in the line-up, MINI has decided to add a more focussed two-seater Roadster. It’s not going to be much good if you have children, but where the rear seats used to be is a larger, more practical boot.

The Roadster is similar in style to the Coupe, but while that has a fixed metal roof the Roadster comes with a folding fabric one. It can be raised or lowered in eight seconds at speeds up to 20mph, so you really can do it at traffic lights. It doesn't affect the 240-litre luggage area, either. 

The canvas roof is lighter and less complex than a metal one, which means the Roadster is lightweight and has a low centre of gravity, so none of the enjoyable MINI handling is lost. 

The Roadster is fun to drive over country roads and offers good performance, with an entertaining exhaust note, precise steering, and head-turning looks. It’s offered with a selection of petrol engines ranging from 122PS in the Cooper to 211PS in the John Cooper Works. There’s also a 143PS diesel.

Much like the rest of the MINI range there are hundreds of customisation options, covering everything from the caps on the mirrors to little lights behind the door handles, as well as plenty of colours, stripes and various different alloy wheel designs – the list is very long indeed.

Prices start at £17,845 for the entry level Cooper, rising to £24,860 for the high performance John Cooper Works (JCW) model, but buyers should budget a little more for customisation and extras. 


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