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STYLING | 9 out of 10
MINI design team, forty-some strong, has done excellent work
Convertible roof can be fully opened in just 15 sec. at speeds of up to 20 mph
Road & Track
Standard Openometer that tracks how much time you've driven with the top down
MINI's 2009 convertible lineup is the first based on the second-generation MINI platform, but despite the styling differences, this 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible is still instantly recognizable as purely MINI.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, the 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible is a two-door convertible that, despite recent size increases, is still one of the smallest vehicles available for sale in the United States. The MINI Cooper S Convertible and its naturally aspirated base model brother hide their diminutive size well, however, thanks to styling that ConsumerGuide says "[brims] with character." The 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible lineup is "available in mild, medium and caliente flavors, officially designated as the Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works edition" models, according to Autoblog reviewers. The styling across the lineup is virtually identical, however, and all three models boast a convertible top that Road & Track says "can be fully opened in just 15 sec. at speeds of up to 20 mph."
In keeping with the all-new theme for this 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible, a couple of exterior changes materialize. Autoblog points out that "the nose is a bit higher and rounder, but still utterly familiar and instantly recognizable as a MINI." Motor Trend also reports that the MINI Cooper S Convertible's "silhouette seems longer and sleeker, although no change to its length has been made." Rather, the roofline has been lowered and the side windows enlarged, which gives the 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible the slightly more aerodynamic look. One feature that carries over from the previous generation of MINI Convertibles is the sunroof function of the convertible top. Autoblog reviewers find that if you "press the switch above the mirror...the portion of the roof above the front seats slides back," leaving the rear roof in place but opening up the cabin directly above the front occupants.
Interior styling on the MINI 2009 Convertible lineup can vary wildly according to personal preference, as Automobile Magazine reports "more than a dozen interior trim choices," including "two- or three-spoke steering wheels." Some reviewers surveyed by TheCarConnection.com continue to be turned off by MINI's never-ending quest for retro styling; for example, Motor Trend mentions the "questionable ergonomics" of the interior. The most dominant characteristics of the MINI Cooper S Convertible's interior, like that of the rest of the convertible lineup, is the "center-mounted speedometer" that Cars.com reviewers report is the same as the one found in the hardtop model (first-gen convertibles had their own unique speedometers).
New for 2009 is a gauge unique to the convertible that MINI has christened the Openometer, a device that Cars.com says will track "how much time you've driven with the top down." While the gauge doesn't serve any really useful purpose, it does fit right in with the rest of the 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible's unorthodox styling.
The 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible is different, to be sure, but despite some questionable interior ergonomic decisions, the whole package works to great effect.