TheCarConnection.com consulted what the most authoritative auto critics have written about the new MINI Cooper Convertible to produce this conclusive review of the new MINI Cooper Convertible and Cooper Convertible S. TheCarConnection.com editors also drove the Cooper Convertibles to interweave our expert opinion and help you make the right decision on a new car.
The 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible is based on the new-for-’08 Cooper hatchback bones (the 2008 convertible was based on the first-gen platform). We lauded the new generation last year for its even more delightful ride/handling mix, greater interior room, baked-in BMW solidity, sprightlier pair of engines, and (finally) the banishment of the CVT automatic that was at odds with the Cooper’s sporting nature. Given the changes, the MINI Cooper Convertible offers even fewer compromises and merits serious consideration for buyers looking for a tenacious runabout that offers surprising interior room (at least up front), pure driving joy nearly unmatched in the automotive realm, and a brilliant balance between sport and day-to-day livability. But in Convertible format, the MINI Cooper is really a two-person vehicle; we stick to our assertion that the backseat is a place for occasional riders in a good mood.
The 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible gets all the subtle styling upgrades made to the hatchback last year. The interior strikes a great balance between cute and functional, though the massive central speedometer is one form-over-function touch that sent our eyes to the digital speed readout in the tach every time. Stereo controls are well-integrated into the center stack, but a visual oddity is the lonely volume control knob below the rest of the audio controls.