• 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible

2018 facelift adds drivetrain upgrades and new features

Affordable convertibles have been dropping like flies in recent years, including the Volkswagen Eos, Chrysler 200 Convertible and Nissan Murano CC. But, drop-top lovers need not worry, as there are plenty of exciting convertibles still on the market. One of them is the Mini Cooper Convertible, which received a redesign for 2016 and a mid-cycle update for the 2018 model year.

The Cooper Convertible is based on the Hardtop model, so there aren’t any surprises in terms of exterior styling, interior design or powertrain. Much like its predecessor, the current Mini Cooper Convertible comes with numerous customization options, which give it a playful personality that surpasses that of the Fiat 500. The new drop-top arrived in dealerships with the option of three engines in Europe and two in the U.S., but a couple of diesel engines were also made available. For 2018, the compact gained significant updates inside and out and a few revisions plus new transmissions under the hood.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Cooper Convertible.

  • 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    134 @ 4400
  • Torque @ RPM:
    162 @ 1250
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    128 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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Even after a major redesign for 2014, it still takes a trained eye to spot the differences between the three generations of the current Mini Cooper. Whether that’s an advantage or a flaw is a matter of personal opinion, but this new design is far more engaging than the previous models with a more expressive front end and less of a slab-sided appearance. For the 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible, the biggest year-over-year change might be the more rounded rear end. This look not only takes some of the awkwardness out of the soft top when it is folded, but it also creates more room for luggage in the trunk.

*** For the 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible, the biggest year-over-year change might be the more rounded rear end ***

The Mini Convertible can be had in a choice of 11 exterior colors that include the new Caribbean Aqua, which is inspired from the palette of the classic Mini. Melting Silver, which was recently introduced on the new Mini Clubman, is also available for the cabriolet.

Design changes aside, the third-gen Mini Convertible is also significantly bigger than its predecessor. The drop-top is 151.1 inches long and 68 inches wide, while its wheelbase measures 98.2 inches. Compared to the previous model, it’s 4.5 inches longer and 1.7 inch wider, while the wheelbase is 1.1 inch longer. The front and rear tracks are also wider. The height of the Mini is the only figure that remained unchanged at 55.7 inches.

Granted, a bigger Mini Convertible means improved practicality, enhanced legroom and shoulder room, and a larger trunk, but it also means that the new Mini is no longer the small economy car that Sir Alec Issigonis envision in the 1950s. Just for reference, the original mini was 40 inches shorter and 13 inches narrower.

2018 Mid-Cycle Update

*** The headlamps and taillights can now be had with LED technology ***

Although the shape and size of the Cooper Convertible remain unchanged, there are a few noticeable updates to talk about. Up front, the compact gained revised headlamps. In the standard halogen headlights, Mini added a black panel for a stronger accents with the light bulbs and the chrome. Meanwhile, the optional LED headlamps have a new design of the light sources with daytime running lights and the turn indicators generated by a ring which surrounds the entire contour of the headlamp. Finally, the compact gets adaptive LED headlamps as an option. These automatically adjust their brightness to the situation on the road.

Around back, the new taillights have a Union Jack design. The flag motif is nicely integrated in the structure of the light functions. The turn indicators are horizontally arranged, the brake lights are vertically aligned, while the taillight represents the diagonal lines of the British flag. All light sources forming the Union Jack graphic use LED technology for a more harmonious effect.

*** A redesigned logo and new wheel options round off the updates ***

The logo was also redesigned, or reduced to the essentials according to Mini. It now features a two-dimensional flat design that’s supposed to reflect key brand values such as "driving fun, distinctive design, premium quality, and emotional appeal."

Other additions include new alloys wheels and a "Mini" logo projection from the exterior mirror on the driver’s side. The Convertible is also available in three new exterior colors, including Emerald Grey Metallic, Starlight Blue Metallic, and Solaris Orange Metallic. The Piano Black Exterior adds black trim for the headlamps, taillights, and radiator grille. This option replaces chrome with high-gloss black.

Exterior Dimensions

Mini Cooper Mini Cooper S
Length 151.1 Inches 151.9 Inches
Width 68 Inches 68 Inches
Height 55.7 Inches 55.7 Inches
Wheelbase 98.2 Inches 98.2 Inches
Front track 59.1 Inches 58.5 Inches
Rear track 59.1 Inches 58.5 Inches

Interior

2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Interior
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Interior
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Interior
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With the exception of a more cramped rear seating area, the Mini Cooper Convertible’s interior carries over mostly unchanged from the third-generation Hardtop. The big advantage will be the size difference this new convertible will have over its predecessor. The extra 1.1 inch of wheelbase provides a little extra wiggle room for the rear-seat occupants.

*** The new soft-top features multi-way settings, including a sunroof option that enables the roof to open midway for just the right amount of sun ***

The new soft-top features multi-way settings, including a sunroof option that enables the roof to open midway for just the right amount of sun. The "Always Open Timer" will provide drivers with the ability to calculate the number of hours they’ve driven with the top down. It’s not the most useful feature you can get in a drop-top, but I guess some customers will appreciate it.

Like the coupe, the Convertible will come standard with the Mini Connected infotainment system and a 6.5-inch display. A bigger 8.8-inch screen is available on the options list and it includes navigation and a rain warning app that warns drivers of impending storms.

In the customization department, the redesigned interior benefits from number of premium seating options, including a new Malt Brown leather upholstery with diamond-stitching reminiscent of classic English Chesterfield sofas. The brand also offers the new Mini Yours soft-top featuring an embroidered Union Jack flag with herringbone patterned detailing.

2018 Mid-Cycle Update

*** The facelift adds more leather options ***

The facelift adds a few new features inside the cabin as well. One highlight is the extended range of leather trim for the seats, dashboard, and door panels. Mini also upgraded all the other materials inside the cabin. The multifunction steering wheel was revised, as was the 6.5-inch touchscreen that now includes USB and Bluetooth as standard. The navigation system and the wireless charging port are optional.

Another addition is the Mini Yours Customised program, which enables the customer to create a unique interior. The Yours Interior Style Piano Black is now available with illumination and various elements, like the door panels and center console, finished in Piano Black. The program adds retrofit production with designs that can be created by customers themselves, including side scuttles, deorative strips, door sill finishers, and LED door projectors.

*** The Mini Yours Customised program enables you to create your own features ***

Mini Yours Customised products can be selected, designed and ordered through a specially created online shop at www.yours-customised.mini. Here you can choose between various colors, patterns, surface structures and icons, as well as add texts and your personal style to the design. The individualized products are manufactured using innovative production techniques such as various 3D printing methods and laser engraving, so quality is top notch no matter how small or detailed the feature you create is.

Drivetrain

2014 Mini Cooper High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 532475

The new Mini Convertible will cross the pond to the U.S. with two gasoline engines. The entry-level unit is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder rated at 134 turbocharged horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. When mated to the six-speed manual, the base Cooper Convertible will hit 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. With the six-speed Steptronic automatic, the benchmark drops to 8.2 ticks. Due to the extra weight, the drop-top is 0.9 second slower than the coupe. Top speed sits at 128 mph.

*** Due to the extra weight, the drop-top is 0.9 second slower than the coupe ***

Should you go for the Cooper S model, the cabriolet will have a 2.0-liter four-pot under the hood. The four-banger cranks out 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of twist and pushes the Convertible from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds with the manual and 6.7 ticks with the convertible. That’s three tenths of a second slower than the Hardtop model. Top speed for this model is 142 mph.

In Europe, the Cooper Convertible will also get a diesel engine in the form of 1.5-liter three-pot making 116 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. This unit won’t be offered in the U.S. at first, but it could come Stateside in 2017.

Just like the hatchback version, the Convertible uses BMW’s new front-wheel-drive platform, dubbed the UKL. This new platform features lightweight technologies from BMW’s i series, and offers electronically adjustable dampers, so drivers can dial in the suspension for their particular driving style.

2018 Mid-Cycle Update

*** All engines have been upgraded, with the base 1.5-liter three-cylinder now using revised turbochargers ***

The facelift brings updates under the hood too. All engines have been upgraded, with the base 1.5-liter three-cylinder now using revised turbochargers, electronics, intake, cooling, and exhaust system. The engines weight was also reduced by using carbon-fiber-reinforced (CFRP) plastic covers. The CFRP is made from recycled carbon-fiber leftovers from the production of BMW i3 and i8 cars, which is really cool. Pressure for the direct injection was increased from 200 to 350 bar.

The unit powering the One First and One trims generates the same 134 horsepower, but while the first one cranks out 118 pound-feet, a seven-pound-foot increase over the outgoing model, the new version generates 140 pound-feet. Both engines are supposed to deliver enhanced fuel economy, but EPA figures aren’t yet available. The diesel 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter engines also benefit from increased direct injection pressure.

*** Mini now offers a seven-speed Steptronic gearbox with double clutch ***

The six-speed manual transmission carries over unchanged, but Mini now offers a seven-speed Steptronic gearbox with double clutch. Available for all models but the One First, it has fast gearshifts for sporty acceleration and operated using a newly designed electronic gear selector lever. It also includes a coasting function in the modes "Mid" and "Green" as well as the company’s latest auto start/stop function.

The diesel models get the eight-speed Steptronic gearbox as standard. Mini claims that this transmission is unique in the small car segment and allows the output of the most powerful diesel engine to be transferred to the front wheels in a "particularly sporty and harmonious manner." This gearbox is also operated by means of an electronic gear selector lever, while an 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission with shift paddles is available as an option.

Drivetrain Specifications

Mini Cooper Mini Cooper S
Engine Type Inline 3-cylinder with TwinPower Turbo technology, turbocharged and direct injected Inline 4-cylinder with TwinPower Turbo technology, turbocharged and direct injected
Displacement 1.499 cm³ 1,998 cm³
Engine power 134 HP @ 4,400 RPM 189 HP @ 5,000 RPM
Engine torque 162 LB-FT @ 1,250 RPM 207 LB-FT @ 1,250 RPM
0-60 mph 8.2 seconds (automatic)/8.3 seconds (manual) 6.7 seconds (automatic)/6.8 seconds (manual)
Top speed 128 MPH 142 MPH

Safety

2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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The Mini Cooper Convertible comes with many standard safety features, including frontal, side, and knee airbags for both the driver and the front passenger. Other features include ABS, Cornering Brake Control, EBD, self-drying brakes, tire pressure monitoring system, and a crash sensor that automatically turns on hazard lights, interior lights, and unlocks doors.

Prices

2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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The Mini Cooper Convertible starts from $26,700 for the 2017 model year. There’s no pricing information for the updated, 2018-model-year version, but it should cost a bit more than the outgoing model.

Competitors

Fiat 500C

2016 Fiat 500 High Resolution Exterior
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The new Fiat 500 is one of the best sold small cars in the U.S., despite being a relatively young model. Its success is unsurprising, as it boasts a unique look, is compact and fun to drive, and it’s relatively cheap. Just like with its coupe brother, the 500C is powered by a 1.4-liter engine that delivers a total of 101 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 97 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The Fiat 500C is priced from $16,490.

Read our driven review of the Fiat 500C (https://www.topspeed.com/cars/fiat/2017-fiat-500cdriven-ar177868.html)

Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 1.8T - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Volkswagen Beetle is a fringe competitor at best, as it is slightly larger than both the 500C and the Cooper Convertible. The Beetle is offered with a choice of two engines. The 1.8T and Classic trims feature a 170 horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder, while the range-topping R-Line model uses a 210 horsepower, 2.0-liter four-banger. Prices start from $25,440 for the base model.

Read our full review of the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible.

Conclusion

2016 Mini Cooper Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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After the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Mini Cooper Convertible is by far one of the most exciting convertibles on the market for the money — especially in the more performance-oriented models. Although its bigger dimensions might be a turn off to Mini purists, younger drivers are likely to appreciate its new size and the increased legroom and cargo space that come with it.

  • Leave it
    • Soft top still bunches up awkwardly when retracted
    • New design is still hard to differentiate from previous-gen Coopers
    • A bit expensive

Spy Shots

May 13, 2015 - Spy photos MINI Cooper S Convertible Driving Open Top

2016 Mini Cooper Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mini Cooper Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

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