2020 MINI ConvertibleShould you buy? Find out below..
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Americans were introduced to the MINI from British television shows and spy movies of the 1960s. The size of the vehicle that was so popular in England both shocked and amused U.S. drivers. Eventually, that turned into enthusiasm for the vehicle, and they clamored to have ones of their own.
Eventually, MINI decided the demand was large enough to begin manufacturing them for a U.S. audience. So, in 2002, both the standard Cooper and the Hardtop were introduced to the American market. Its popularity has led to additional models being added to their slate.
In 2016, the convertible version of the legacy 2-door model was introduced to the American public. Now that the 2020 MINI Convertible has come out, does it carry on the tradition this subcompact started over a half-century ago?
What's New in 2020?
Not much has changed in the 2020 MINI Convertible since its inception. The upper-end model now comes with an eight-gear automatic transmission as standard. This also comes with paddle shifters to switch between standard driving and sport or ECO modes.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 MINI Convertible – The Pros
1. It's Fun Driving a Legacy Vehicle
Yes, the U.S. has had its version of the MINI only since 2002. However, once someone steps into its interior, they feel a sense of legacy that goes back to the vehicle's inception in 1959. However, that's not the only reason to drive a 2020 MINI Convertible.
It's also the vehicle's performance on the road, particularly when the top is down and it has to withstand environmental forces. Thanks to its low stature, the MINI Convertible can handle these types of situations without sacrificing performance.
2. Quick Conversion to Convertible Mode
Bigger convertibles take longer to retract and store their cloth roofs, thus delaying the enjoyment drivers crave. It only takes the 2020 MINI Convertible 18 seconds to complete the task. Drivers that don't want to completely get rid of the top cover can convert it into a sunroof instead to keep the sun out but let the breeze in.
3. Easy and Nimble Handling
There are no problems handling the 2020 MINI Convertible. Though some have called its performance go-kart handling, it's much better than a series of strings connected to a pie pan. Here, the steering is firmer, yet it allows the driver to be flexible if there's traffic or other hindrances up ahead of them. Furthermore it's able to squeeze through spaces that larger vehicles wouldn't be able to make.
4. Performance via Various Engine Types
The standard engine in the 2020 MINI Convertible 2-door lineup is a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder model. It provides 134 horsepower and a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour. Consumers have a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Though this may not seem like a lot of power, consumers have to remember the MINI convertible is a smaller, lighter vehicle. Thus, what's 134 horsepower here might be converted to 200 or more for a larger vehicle.
The other two styles in the lineup, the Cooper S and the John Cooper Works, both have 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines. These provide 189 and 228 horsepower, respectively. With its powertrain, the John Cooper can go from 0 to 60 in approximately six seconds.
4. Good Starting Price for a Convertible
One of the best things about the 2020 MINI Convertible is its low MSRP for the base styles. For instance, the standard Cooper is $28,400 while the John Cooper starts at $38,4000. On top of this are a variety of options within the three trims offered -- the Classic, Signature, and Iconic
Consumers need to review everything about the trim packages as they can be lengthy. The options for the John Cooper alone contains 17 body colors, eight wheel types, and close to two dozen interior options.
5. Surprising Roominess
A running joke on the decades-old Doctor Who involves strangers entering the TARDIS. It looks like a phone box on the outside, however, they all exclaim it's much bigger on the inside.
It's the same with the 2020 MINI Convertible. Able to comfortably fit four occupants, the head and leg room in the first row matches that of bigger sedans and compact SUVs. Leg room is approximately 41 inches while head room is slightly less. In addition, the 51 inches of shoulder room helps make the interior feel less cramped.
6. Superb Fuel Efficiency
Even in top-down mode, the 2020 MINI Convertible gets an impressive 36 miles per gallon on the highway. This is good news, because its gas tank has a 11.6-gallon capacity. Still, that means a trip of over 400 miles without a fill-up.
7. Iconic British Interior Styling
An all-black interior. An illuminated control panel and center stack that resembles one seen in films about James Bond or Austin Powers. A steering wheel with built-in audio and cruise controls to avoid taking eyes off the road. This is one version of iconic British styling consumers get in a 2020 MINI Convertible.
In fact, the center stack controls may look familiar with the 6.5 touchscreen embedded in the middle circle. Finally, decades after seeing a similar setup in 007 movies, the technology is a reality. Minus the controls for oil slicks and headlight missiles, that is.
8. Available Driving Aids
The base trim of the 2020 MINI Convertible comes with safety aids like a rear-view camera and active driving assist, to help the driver avoid other cars, people, or objects. The higher the consumer goes in trims the more driver assist features that come standard. In addition, these items can be purchased as upgrades on the lower-end trims.
9. Apple CarPlay Compatibility
The Iconic trim of the 2020 MINI Convertible gives the driver the ability to connect to Apple CarPlay. Once integrated, it permits the smartphone's icons to be displayed on the infotainment unit. In turn, drivers have access to navigation, reviews, and streaming services.
10. IIHS Safety Award for Collision Protection
In 2018, the IIHS, short for Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, gave the MINI family its Top Safety Pick award. Two years later, the award still sticks. The IIHS presented the MINI Hardtop and Convertible with Good ratings for crash protection across the board.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 MINI Convertible – The Cons
1. Cramped Back Row
Though the front row in the MINI Convertible has a good deal of leg room, back row occupants do not. In fact, there are four less inches of space when the front seats are completely forward. Should a front row occupant move their seat back, the amount of space is cut.
2. Doesn't Take Rough Surfaces Well
Despite MacPherson front struts and multi-link rear suspension, the MINI Convertible is too low to the ground to absorb impacts quick enough.
3. Lack of Connectivity at Lower Trims
While Apple CarPlay compatibility in the Iconic trim is a welcome addition, not having it in the lower trims takes away from the drivers capabilities. In addition, the lack of Android Auto integration across all trims is disappointing.
4. Few Safety Aids as Standards
Where other European-designed vehicles feature numerous driver assist aids as standards, the 2020 MINI Convertible misses out. These should be mandatory in a subcompact like the MINI. There's less material to be damaged before the passenger compartment is reached.
5. Trim Options Can Get Pricey
Sport packages, a different exterior color, or a high-end wheel alloy, can rack up the base cost of the MINI Convertible. If not careful, the choices can make a base trim as expensive as the Iconic.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
Yes, there are competitors to the MINI. Regardless if it's a hardtop or convertible, the company still needs to work to stay ahead of the others.
Take the Ford Fiesta. The American brand has a quiet cabin and great handling, and a lower price point. On the other hand, the MINI wins out in interior styling and the option of an automatic or manual transmission.
When matched-up against the Kia Rio, the MINI does well with its convertible option and on-road dynamics. Where it's beaten by the Rio is in its multimedia options and price point.
Overall, the 2020 MINI Convertible won't please all consumers. It's not a muscle car, it lacks passenger and cargo space, and it can be stiff in many driving situations. Yet, if styling and performance mean more to the consumer than these items, they'll want to give the MINI convertible a chance to win their hearts.
At the minimum, a test drive is required to comprehend the engine's power under a lightweight chassis. In addition, it helps them see how nimble handling is as the vehicle accelerates, particularly under a manual transmission.In other words, the MINI Convertible should be taken seriously as a vehicle option if the customer wants an efficient and low-cost vehicle that's also fun to drive.
• Why buy a 2019 MINI Convertible? w/ pros vs cons