MINI Roadster (2012 – 2015) Review

MINI Roadster (2012 – 2015) At A Glance


+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.

Insurance Groups are between 19–37
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

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. 

Real MPG average for a MINI Roadster (2012 – 2015)


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

28–63 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

What product will remove mould from a convertible roof?

"I have a MINI Roadster JCW. There's some green mould around the edge of the rear window and also where the roof meets the body at the rear. There are also some white dots on the cloth too. I've read about cleaning products to use, but they caution not to get the product on the bodywork of the car so I'm very cautious about using them. Have you any suggestions on getting mould off the cloth cover without damaging bodywork?"
A reader recommended Wet and Forget exterior moss, mould, lichen and algae remover - which has been very effective in removing the mould. Following, use Renovo products to clean, maintain and protect the roof.
Answered by Honest John

Why do MINI seem to depreciate at such a fast pace?

"The motoring press keeps saying how MINI hold their value. I have a 2014 MINI Roadster JCW which is now worth only a third of its new price after just 2 years. I also checked a neighbours 2015 MINI Clubman whose value is about £10,000. It's frightening me away from MINI. They're nice cars but their value seems to fall like a stone."
If you can reasonably do so, I would advise you to hang on to that 2014/64 MINI Roadster JCW because it is the top model of a comparatively rare issue and is likely to achieve classic status in years to come. Do not let it go at this time for a third of the price you paid for it. The original MINI Clubman bombed in the market at first, then started doing a lot better and now has a following. There simply isn't another cute little station wagon. As usual the problem is paying too much in the first place for cars that can often be obtained at a 10% - 20% discount. You then take the biggest annual hit after 1 year, 2 years or 3 years; then, after that, the annual depreciation slows down and, if the car is the 'right model' its value can start creeping back up again.
Answered by Honest John

Which of our cars should we sell and what do we replace them with?

"We have a 2013 Honda CR-V EX (31,000 miles), a 2012 MINI Cooper (25,000 miles) and a 2014 MINI Roadster JCW (7500 miles). All in good condition. We want to reduce the cars from 3 to 2 and still need to transport 2 dogs. Wife needs a car but not huge and husband requires something a bit sporty. So far I'm looking to buy either a Honda HR-V and keep the Roadster or a Mini Clubman either "S" or "JCW" and keep the Cooper. Which two of our cars would you lose?"
I'd be inclined to keep the MINI Roadster JCW because that's the only one likely to acquire classic status. The Honda HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC on Michelin Cross Climate tyres is excellent and economical with an astonishing amount of room inside for the footprint (like a Jazz). So that's my answer.
Answered by Honest John

Will it be a classic?

"We bought a Mini Roadster JCW 6 months ago. Great car and much fun to drive. Heard that it has been withdrawn from the range now. Will it become a classic and hold its value well?"
In 10 years time it will be rare, but will only be valuable if kept in perfect condition with as few miles as possible. Doesn't make sense to tuck it away and not use it at all because the return after 10 years won't be enough.
Answered by Honest John
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