First Drive: 2016 Mini Convertible
– West Bloomfield, Michigan
Small, affordable convertibles have always made sense for urbanites who still want a dose of Vitamin D in their commute. They’re just as easy to park and live with as any other city car, but provide all the fun of top-down motoring that sun-worshippers adore. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s an all-new Mini Convertible to follow the traditional Hardtop hatch that arrived in 2014.
It takes only a few minutes behind the wheel to determine that the 2016 Mini Convertible is still a cute warm-weather toy. Yet the Mini brand is no longer just about funky small cars – it wants to build real, sensible cars for adults (see: the new Clubman and Countryman). As a result, the new Mini Convertible has grown up, both in terms of size and refinement, and packs more equipment than ever before. Fortunately, that newfound maturity hasn’t come at the expense of the car’s fun-to-drive nature.
The new Convertible is instantly recognizable as a Mini. From the giant headlights and rounded nose, to the rounded-rectangle taillights, it unmistakably resembles every past version of the British icon, albeit now appearing to have finally gone through a growth spurt. Longer and wider than before, with tauter lines on every panel, it’s the most mature droptop Mini design yet. The car looks smart with the roof up or down, and a blacked-out windshield surround is a nice touch on any convertible.
Newfound maturity hasn’t come at the expense of the car’s fun-to-drive nature....