2008 MINI Cooper Convertible Photo
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Quick Take
The 2008 MINI Cooper Convertible brings top-down fun to the already entertaining MINI hatchback. Read more »
8.8 out of 10
Browse MINI Cooper Convertible inventory in your area.

SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS’s editors researched a wide range of road tests of the 2008 MINI Cooper Convertible to write this definitive review.’s resident experts also drove the Mazda Tribute to help you decide which reviews to trust where opinions differ, and to add more impressions and details and provide you with the best information.


  • Styling, inside and out
  • Nimble handling
  • Nifty convertible top
  • High hipness factor


  • Gets expensive fast
  • Harsh ride in S version

The 2008 MINI Cooper Convertible does the unimaginable: It takes the effortless fun of the MINI Cooper hatchback and one-ups it with a roof that lowers or opens like a sunroof. The basic MINI silhouette is left mostly undisturbed--a good thing--but the convertible roof does slope a little at the rear, adding to the retro style. Inside, the classic new MINI dash with its large central speedometer and column-mounted tachometer are as funky as ever.

(Note: The 2008 MINI Cooper hatchback is an entirely new vehicle and is covered separately, while the Convertible continues on the older chassis.)
The base engine in the 2008 MINI Cooper Convertible continues to be a surprisingly frisky 115-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. It's mated to a choice of a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission, the latter of which sucks all the zest out of the Cooper. There's also a supercharged MINI Cooper S Convertible, which puts out 168 hp. MINI claims a 0-60-mph run of 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 138 mph for this version. A six-speed manual is the only gearbox available for the S, which also produces more aural horsepower than the base engine. The Getrag six-speed clicks off the changes with a short shifter throw and great tactile feel, and the exhaust barks. Fuel economy is 19/29 mpg for the Cooper S Convertible. The MINI's ride can be harsh, particularly with the large wheels on the S Convertible, but steering is wonderfully direct, and the brakes are strong.

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