Mini Cooper S Convertible Review, First Drive

By Ishan Raghava | on April 11, 2016

Is the Mini the most value-for-money car you can buy? Well, Ishan certainly thinks so. You’ll have to read on to understand his economics!

If you look at it practically, in our conditions, a car like the Mini convertible doesn’t really have a lot going for it. True, it’s still fairly compact – although even that can be debated if you compare it to the older generations of the car. But with its stiff suspension and high price tag, it remains a niche product at best. However, two things that the Mini offers in droves is driving appeal – it’s simply one of the most engaging cars in the world to drive – and a certain style and coolness factor. And there’s one thing that’s truly unique about Mini’s of all ages and shapes (barring the Countryman perhaps). Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to drive various generations of the car in various locations, and the only reaction that I’ve got from people has been that of a smile. Despite being a luxury product, somehow the Mini has a universal appeal that automatically brings a smile to the lips of people from all age groups.

Mini Cooper S Convertible Interior

So, if one does a mathematical calculation of the amount of attention a car receives, versus its price tag, the Mini is probably one of the most value-for-money cars that you can find in our market! And therein lies the basic appeal of the Mini. Sure it isn’t cheap, but it offers a combination of high-quality, driver engagement, coolness, and attention grabbing appeal that’s difficult to match. And this ratio gets even more skewed if one looks at the Mini Convertible. One, being a convertible, it gets even more attention than the other versions of the car, and, secondly, this is, after all, the most affordable convertible in our market. So, for a well-off person looking for a convertible as a third or a fourth car in the family, the Mini tends to make a lot of sense.

Mini Cooper S Convertible Climate Control

The great thing about this generation of the convertible is that it’s offered purely in the Cooper S trim in India – with its 2-litre turbocharged engine producing 189bhp and powering it from 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 228km/h. Our driving time with the car was rather limited in sunny Goa, but even in that time the driving appeal and engagement of the car were clearly evident. The chassis simply has immense grip and the fantastically direct and quick steering makes tackling curvy roads a fun experience. Add to this the engine’s immediate power delivery, paired with a slick shifting six-speed automatic gearbox, and it’s easy to see why this car appeals to so many people.

However, you do have to make some trade offs – because, as far as usability of the Mini goes, well, it leaves much to be desired. Interior space is limited, especially in the virtually non-existent rear seat, and the suspension is quite stiff for our conditions – which would make long journeys on our roads a difficult task. However, if you’re looking for a funky, high-quality convertible at a relatively affordable price, look no further than the new Mini Convertible. And, as an added bonus, it’s a hoot to drive!

Mini Cooper S Convertible Side Profile

  • Mini Cooper S Convertible

Engine: 1,998cc / 4-Cylinders / 16 Valves / Turbocharged

Fuel: Petrol

Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive

Power: 189bhp @ 5,000 - 6,000rpm

Torque: 280Nm @ 1,250 - 4,600rpm

Price: Rs. 34.90 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi)

Tags: Mini Mini Cooper S Convertible Mini Cooper

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