Mini One Convertible review (2010 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

15 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mini One Convertible review (2010 onwards) – MSN Cars UK
Mini One

Mini One

Convertible review (2010 onwards)

First impressions

MINI has revised and broadened the Convertible range, just in time for summer 2010. Petrol versions have cleaner and punchier 1.6-litre engines, while there’s a new 1.6-litre 98hp entry-level version too: the MINI One Convertible. With a bold sub-£15k list price, it’s the cheapest drop top MINI yet.

At first glance, and with one proviso, it doesn’t look or feel like it. MINI integrity runs deep and the solid thud of the doors encloses you within a very well built and classy interior. The One has the same characterful design and layout of all MINIs, rounded off by the huge round speedo.

There is a must-have, though; alloy wheels. That’s because, as standard, steel wheels are fitted, which come with cheap-looking plastic wheel trims. Really, it means the sub-£15k open MINI is no such thing.

Unless, that is, you’re a good enough haggler to get them for free.

Styling wise, it’s the same as all MINI Convertibles, so has an electric fabric folding roof that makes for a dark cabin with it up, but gives a really open-deck feel when lowered. Frameless doors and a distant, upright windscreen add to this; the MINI Convertible lets loads of sunshine in!

MINI previously only offered the Convertible as a Cooper or Cooper S variant. This is because the old 1.4-litre One would have struggled with the heavier body. But now all MINIs have switched to punchier 1.6-litre engines, MINI reckons the One’s 98hp motor has enough urge to work in it.

Does it?

Well, for the undemanding, yes. There’s not really a huge amount of urgency low down in the revs – you have to get 2,500rpm showing for moderate vigour. There’s also not much reward in revving it to over 5,000rpm.

0-62mph takes 11.3 seconds, further proving it’s not a rocket. However, it really is entirely adequate.

In town, it lugs pretty well at lower revs, too. You won’t accelerate hard up hills, but the One Convertible is not overwhelmed by them, either. An expensive-feeling, sweet-shifting 6-speed gearbox helps you keep it on the boil as well.

However, like all BMWs, this is very stiff when selecting reverse.

The engine is smooth and even sounds mildly rorty. It has BMW-style Valvetronic technology so responds crisply and is efficient if you ease off the gas. It is, however, rather noisy at higher revs.

As it doesn’t do a lot over 5,000rpm anyway, you’re better off changing up and accepting a Cooper will be faster.

Ride and handling

Mini One

Convertible MINIs

Up front, it’s a treat. It feels high-quality, while the firm seats are comfortable and the racy driving position almost perfect. The 2-spoke plastic steering wheel feels a bit cheap, but it’s the only real clue you’re in the cheapest open MINI.

Even on this car, air con is standard.

It is a two-seater, though. Yes, it ‘looks’ like there are rear seats. But those in the back will have negligible room, and an appalling view out when the roof is up.

Best instead hand the back over to the £185-option wind deflector. This is remarkably successful at cutting wind bluster at speed, meaning roof-down motorway driving is completely viable.

Economy and safety

One reason for choosing the One is better fuel economy. A 6-speed gearbox cuts revs on a cruise, which means it’s capable of averaging 49.6mpg. That’s a great result for a petrol drop-top, and means it emits just 133g/km CO2.

Stop-start is, however, not fitted as standard.

The MINI One Convertible means more will be able to afford an open-top MINI. It is not the fastest car around, but is smooth and classy enough to be a great cruiser, although the distinctive roof is better down than up. Apart from lacking alloys, equipment is good and it’s very economical.

A sweet, honest price-leader that impressed.

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