If the 2011 MINI Cooper
feels too claustrophobic for you, or the 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman
just isn’t your style, then the 2011 MINI Cooper Convertible could just be the modern-day MINI for you.
Like the aforementioned Cooper and Clubman, the Convertible gets three different trim levels including the high-performance John Cooper Works spec, and at a starting price of less than 20 grand, we think the car is bargain for anyone wanting a European designed cabrio with plenty of steet-cred.
At this price range, anyone considering a Ford Mustang Convertible, Mazda Miata, New Beetle Convertible or the upcoming 2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio
should definitely check out the MINI as well.
Whichever 2011 MINI Cooper Convertible trim level you choose, you’ll be rewarded with a pint-sized runabout with a genuine go-kart feel. The car’s wheel-at-each-corner design makes it very chuckable around corners and when equipped with a turbo will be able to keep up with much more expensive models when the road gets twisty. The roof is a soft-top unit that automatically goes up or down.
As mentioned there are three different trim levels to choose from. The base gets you a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter engine with just 118 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. This option is fine for around town but when you want to overtake on the highway, for example, you really have to bury the right foot.
We strongly suggest going with one of the turbo models if you enjoy the odd spirited drive. The MINI Cooper S Convertible comes with a turbocharged version of the four-cylinder engine in the base model and develops a peak output of 172 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. This is a good option but if you really like to stand out from the pack, the John Cooper Works version is for you.
John Cooper Works is the performance brand for MINI and when applied to the MINI Cooper Convertible, you once again get a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine but this time with 208 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque on tap.
All models come with front-wheel drive only and while some do offer an automatic transmission, we suggest going with the standard manual as it not only offers you a lot more fun, it’s a bit cheaper too.
Available features across the range include navigation and premium audio, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and leather trim.
For a detailed look at the 2011 MINI Cooper Convertible’s styling, performance, quality and safety, check out TheCarConnection’s full review
of the virtually identical 2010 model.