2016 MINI Cooper Convertible S Review
The MINI Cooper Convertible S comes with a huge novelty factor and exciting performance
I had a crush on her since a year when I first got up, close and personal with her at Aamby Valley. We got a chance to go out on quite a few dates throughout the span of the year and just a few days back we completed a year of our first meet anniversary. This time again we went on a date and the location was beautiful Goa. She went topless this time and I was awestruck. Yes, that’s how beautiful the 2016 MINI Cooper is and the newly-launched Convertible S is an extremely beautiful version of this iconic car which needs no introduction.
The MINI Convertible is a topless version of the Cooper and it looks as sporty as it gets. The S variant that we sampled here comes with a whole lot of sporty bits on the outside. The bumpers carry a very striking design and the honeycomb grille suits the car perfectly. The bonnet has a nice looking air scoop too. The side profile looks clean with the roof up and the car comes with a black-coloured canvas top. With the roof down, it looks really eye-catching. The rear looks similar to the Cooper S apart from the folded roof and the highlight of the rear are the dual exhausts placed at the centre of the bumper.
Moving to the interiors, almost everything is similar to other Cooper models but you do get a couple of changes. First up, the sunroof button has been done away with and it is replaced by another button which is used to fold and open the roof. The entire operation takes a few seconds and you need to drive at speeds below 30 km/hr for it to work. Also, the button needs to be kept pressed throughout the entire open/close operation. The dashboard layout is good and the seats feel very supportive and comfortable too. The IRVM is almost useless with the top down because all you can see is the folded roof!
The engine has a good amount of punch, exhaust note sounds sweet too
We got a chance to drive the 2016 MINI Convertible S on the streets of Goa and the 2.0-litre petrol engine is an absolute cracker. The turbocharged unit unleashes 192 HP of power and 280 Nm of torque and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine delivers power right from lower RPMs and even though some amount of turbo lag is evident, the car manages to sprint quickly. We couldn’t really drive the MINI at high speeds for really long distances, but short bursts of acceleration were absolute fun.
The car comes with Comfort, Mid and Sport modes and I personally drove in Comfort as well as Sport one by one. In Comfort mode, the steering feels light and the suspension also gets softened up and soaks undulations with much ease. Move the lever to Sport mode and you immediately notice the difference! The steering becomes a whole lot stiffer and the suspension also tightens up, thus allowing the MINI Convertible S to give you a proper go-kart feel. The gearbox is as smooth as it gets and it comes with a tiptronic mode. Our car also had paddle shifters installed which made the drive experience a little bit more fun!
After getting to drive the car on roads, we were taken to Verna Industrial Estate for some braking and slalom experiences. In the first attempt, we had to accelerate to 60 km/hr and stomp on the brakes and the car managed a stopping distance of 10-metres. Next, we had to accelerate to 120 km/hr and again step on the brakes as hard as we could. With double the speed, the braking distance got quadrupled and the car stopped in 40-metres.
The Sport mode allows you to chuck the Cooper Convertible just like a go-kart
The slalom test was fun too. We had to go through 8 cones without hitting any of them and try to get the best timing too. While I couldn’t get the best timing, I did have a lot of fun taking tight turns in the MINI. We also got to drive the MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works (JCW) and honestly, it is a far more fun to drive car than the Convertible. The John Cooper Works also gets a better sounding exhaust and quicker acceleration as the engine produces more power at 228 HP and 320 Nm. 0-100 km/hr comes up in 6.5 seconds while the top speed is 240 km/hr.
All in all, the MINI Cooper Convertible S is a fun car to have and the experience of topless motoring is unmatched. It comes with decent kit, enough seating space for two people while the back seat is properly cramped and it also has a 215-litres boot capacity which is decent for a convertible. The MINI comes with a lot of customisation options too and you can spec it according to your tastes. At a price of Rs. 34.90 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi), the 2016 MINI Convertible S makes for a good buy if you want a fun-to-drive car and want to enjoy the novelty of a convertible!