The Mini has been a winner since BMW revived the brand in 2001. Attracting the nostalgic, the driving enthusiast, and the MPG-conscious alike, the Mini Cooper Convertible, introduced in 2005, uses its small size and light weight to maximize performance while conserving fuel.
The convertible top drops in 15 seconds and features a targa mode to get some sun with a little added protection from the elements.
The Mini Cooper Convertible is powered by three variants of 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine. The base model has a naturally aspirated version that puts out 118 horsepower and 114 pound feet of torque. The Cooper S gets a turbocharged version that generates 172 horsepower and 177 pound feet of torque, while the turbocharged powerplant of the John Cooper Works model is tuned to put out 208 horsepower and 192 pound feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels on all models through a 6-speed manual transmission. A 6-speed automatic is available on the base and S models.
Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
Our base model test vehicle featured bold interior inserts that matched the exterior paint scheme. Mini carries over its quirky, retro gauge cluster layout, with the tachometer in front of the driver and the speedometer in the center console.
All models get a 6-speaker sound system with AM/FM/CD player and speed sensitive volume adjustment. The optional navigation system adds real-time traffic info and is voice operated.
Standard safety features include 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution; corner brake control, dynamic stability control, front and rear crumple zones, active rollover bar, and front and side impact airbags.
Base MSRP for the 2010 Mini Cooper Convertible is $24,250. An S model will start at $27,150, while a John Cooper Works model will start at $34,000. The Mini Cooper Convertible is backed by a 4-year, 50,000-mile basic warranty.
The sporty 2010 Mini Cooper Convertible is high on the lists of those seeking a fuel-efficient small car...that's also lots of fun to drive.