MINI Convertible (2004 – 2008) Review

MINI Convertible (2004 – 2008) At A Glance


+Good looking and highly desirable. Cooper S version is fast.

-Horrible chrome plastic covers on roll bars. Rock hard ride on 17-inch wheels. Glass rear windows can shatter.

On average it achieves 90% of the official MPG figure

The Convertible version of the MINI arrived in 2004, some three years after the launch of the hatchback. It was the final piece in the MINI jigsaw and one that proved to be both highly successful and profitable for its maker. Although it looks like a simple roof chop, there are many engineering changes in order to beef up the car's structure enough to maintain the original car's excellent dynamics.

Styling elements that set apart the Convertible are the retro looking external boot hinges and the chrome-look roll-over hoops. Unlike the original new-generation MINI, the Convertible was developed from start to end by BMW and the end result is a car that's roof is a superbly-engineered two-stage arrangement that gives the option to be run in full open-top mode or partially retracted.

The Convertible was powered by the Tritec 1.6-litre engine in naturally-aspirated Cooper form, or Supercharged Cooper S. As it ran alongside both the original new MINI and its replacement, the original Convertible was facelifted to coincide with the newer car's introduction, with a revised range of colours and upgraded interior and equipment levels. Strong image and residuals are a positive, but a relative lack of quality compared with the later Convertible is a downside.

MINI Cooper S Convertible R52 2005 Road Test

Real MPG average for a MINI Convertible (2004 – 2008)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

27–41 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

MINI Convertible - is it better to trade in or sell privately?

"I'm thinking of selling or trading my 2008 MINI Convertible with 13,000 miles and a full service history. Would I get better price by trading or private sale?"
Private sale and now it's summer time it is the right time to sell an attractive convertible like a MINI. You might get £6000-£6500 for it.
Answered by Honest John

MINI Cooper won't start?

"After leaving my MINI for a year or so while working away I came to try to start it today. I changed the battery for a new one, checked the levels and so on. She opened up no problem turned on and turned over but would not start. After a few goes there was a loud crack (electrical) from the passenger side. Now it all lights up with the ignition but will not turn over. I have checked the fuses all OK, is there a starter relay that could have blown If so where is it?"
Well firstly re check fuses F38( 10 amp) and F39 (5 amp) . Then check the immobilizer control module. Then check the starter solenoid and then the main feed to the starter itself. Not quite sure what the loud crack was but would suggest you check each electrical component in the engine bay both visually and also by smell (as sometimes you can smell if a component has burnt out)
Answered by Alan Ross

What compensation should I get for a dealer paperwork error?

"I purchased a pre-registered MINI Cooper Convertible with the Mini 8 year/80.000mile service package included and with the appropriate documentation. The car received two services free of charge in the TLC 5yr deal. The third service came in the first year of the 3yr Xl package for which we were charged. When this was queried with BMW/Mini we were told the dealer (Mini franchised main agent) had made a mistake and issued the wrong documentation - the vehicle did not have the 3yr extended warranty despite my having the genuine documentation to prove otherwise - after protracted correspondence including two letters to the Managing Director BMW/Mini are only prepared to offer a 'free brake fluid change' as reparation. Surely they should honour the documentation in my possession!?"
The dealer who sold you the car is liable, not BMW. You can sue that dealer for the value of the service package you did not get. Tell him he owed you the value of three services. He can either pay this to you, or provide the services or be sued for it via
Answered by Honest John

Discoloured fabric and faulty airbag light in my MINI convertible - who can repair these?

"I have two problems with my 2006 MINI convertible. Firstly, it has developed white mould spots on the inside of the roof over the winter. The fabric on the outside is also quite faded and there is some green discoloration at the boot area. The second concern is that the airbag warning light is permanently on, due to my granddaughter pushing the passenger seat forward in order to get to the rear seat."
A company called Renovo does products to fix the convertible roof: For the airbag, contact
Answered by Honest John
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