Car Reviews MINI Mini One Convertible The AA

13 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Car Reviews MINI Mini One Convertible The AA отключены
Mini One Electric Cars

Car safety

Likes

Same Mini style but more affordable Strong build quality Charismatic interior with customisable nature Point and shoot handling

Gripes

Rear seats too small for … use Openometer obscures air vent Ride feels firm over rougher surfaces Small boot and limited cabin storage

The Mini Convertible has been a key model in the expanding small car line-up since it’s introduction in 2004, but until now has only been available in Cooper, Cooper S and high-performance John Cooper Works variants. The introduction of the Mini One Convertible brings a new entry point for the range, complete with more economical, less powerful engine.

The Mini Convertible range was facelifted and updated in 2009, five years after its initial launch in 2004. 2010 has seen further revisions to the line-up, however, as Mini has taken the opportunity to introduce a new, entry-level, Mini One Convertible alongside a raft of technical changes across the Mini range.

The 1.4-litre engine which powered Mini One models across the board has been deleted from the line-up, meaning the Mini One Convertible makes its debut with a new 1.6-litre unit developing 98bhp. Offering less power and performance than the Cooper version of the same engine and the turbocharged 1.6-litre Cooper S unit, the Mini One Convertible offers better fuel economy and lower running costs.

The One Convertible also has less to boast about in terms of standard equipment, however, the exhaustive range of optional extras remains available for Mini customers who want to specify a well equipped vehicle without incurring the additional running costs of the more powerful models. As such, Mini expects the One Convertible to take over as the best-selling drop-top Mini model.

Of course, the Mini One convertible packs the same core features as the rest of the Mini Convertible range, most importantly the collapsible soft-top roof that can be lowered at speeds of up to 20mph or partially opened for a sunroof effect. Technically a four-seater, the Mini One convertibles boasts two small rear seats for very occasional use, too.

Our verdict on the MINI Mini One Convertible

Given that Mini expects the One Convertible to be the most popular soft-top model, it’s a surprise that it has taken this long to be introduced. The model loses little of the exciting driving experience with the power downgrade, the sharp handling and precise controls making it just as entertaining behind the wheel, if a little slower. The huge range of customisation options remains, too, meaning owners can still pick and choose equipment and trim to suit their needs and, of course, the open air aspects adds to the Mini’s inherent charms.

Costs

The lower entry level purchase price, improved engine efficiency and stop-start technology all help keep the Mini One Convertible’s running costs to a minimum. Insurance for the desirable model will be higher than many, less-flashy alternatives however, and the long list of tempting options can significantly boost purchase price.

Space and practicality

The boot remains no rival to a conventional small car, but is not restricted by folding the roof. The rear seats can fold, which is a useful bonus. Storage space in the cabin isn’t overly generous, though.

The cup holders are welcome but the door pockets are modest at best.

Controls and display

Comfort


Car security

Car safety

It’s good to see that all the basics are covered in the safety department. Twin front and side airbags are present across the range, and dynamic stability control is also standard fit, which can be turned off if you wish too fully exploit the potent handling. Rollover protection is also present to protect passengers with the roof down.

Driver appeal

Slightly down on power compared to the Cooper model and with a little over half the output of the Cooper S, the Mini One Convertible never-the-less makes the most of its output with the same charismatic, go-kart-like handling as the rest of the range. Power delivery form the new 1.6-litre unit is progressive and punchy, the gear-changes sporty and direct and the in-corner grip excellent. The steering is also delightfully sharp and responsive.

Family car appeal

First car appeal

Quality and image

The Mini has such a broad spectrum of appeal and such a range of customisation options that trim level has hardly any effect on the street cred of the model — serving rather as a barometer of engine performance. Drivers who do feel the need for the more powerful engine can feel just as satisfied with their Min One Convertible as owners of the higher trim level models. There have been reports of a few quality niggles over time, but nothing that hasn’t been quickly rectified.

Now well established and with hundreds built every day, quality has been improved.

Accessibility

Roof down motoring flatters the Mini Convertible in many ways. Access and egress is very easy despite the purposely low seating position. With the roof up you sometimes need to take more care — especially when exiting the car.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

As the entry level model, the Mini One Convertible gets the basic six-speaker, CD and radio set-up integrated into the stylised centre console. As always with the Mini range, a wide range of upgrades are available as cost options, but don’t expect a multi-function steering for the base price.

Roof up, the Mini One Convertible shows smart design

Colours and trim

A very Wide choice of trim designs and colour combinations are available, ensuring an almost unrivalled level of customisation possibilities. As elsewhere in the Mini Convertible range — bright colours work well. Cloth seating is standard but of a very high quality.

Unlike the Cooper and Cooper S models, the One Convertible comes with steel wheels unless otherwise specified and paid for.

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