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2021 MINI Convertible Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2021 MINI Convertible?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James MurdochNorman Ruckpaul

Are You Considering a 2021 MINI Convertible? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The MINI is a subcompact car known for its great steering and handling. It's also known for its iconic design with a distinct British appearance. If you want something unique with a little European flair, the MINI is an excellent choice. The new 2021 MINI Convertible adds the ability to put the top down for some open-air fun. There are many good reasons to get a new MINI Convertible as well as a few downsides to be aware of.

What's New for 2021?

MINI oddly stopped offering manual transmissions for a lot of the trim levels in recent years. Thankfully, you can now get a 6-speed manual transmission for the MINI Convertible once again. MINI Convertibles also get a special Sidewalk Edition with unique colors and wheel choices for 2021.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2021 MINI Convertible – The Pros

1. Good Performance

Good performance is one of the things that really sets the 2021 MINI Convertible apart from its competition. The MINI Convertible comes with one of two different powertains. There is a 1.5-liter, twin-turbo 3-cylinder that produces 134 horsepower with 162 pound-feet of torque. There is also a 2.0-liter, twin-turbo 4-cylinder that can produce 189 horsepower with 207 pound-feet of torque. This engine can get you from 0 to 60 miles-per-hour in just 6.7 seconds.

For the ultimate in performance, there's the John Cooper Works model of the MINI Convertible. This trim level uses the same 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine as other models. This version, however, is fine-tuned and the model features several high-performance parts and upgrades. This boosts the horsepower up to 228 and the torque up to 236 pound-feet.

2. Fun Driving Dynamics

Steering and handling is something that the MINI Convertible really excels at. This is why the little car is often used at racetracks and as a rally car. Drivers will enjoy zipping around the city or taking on winding back-roads in the MINI. Steering is tight and very responsive. This car feels nimble and surprisingly stable at high speeds.

3. Multiple Driving Modes

There are three different driving modes that can be selected on Cooper S and John Cooper Works models. These are called Sport, Green and Mid. These allow the vehicle to have optimal performance under different driving situations. The Sport Mode provides fast launches and different automatic-shifting dynamics. The Green Mode is for fuel efficiency. The Mid setting is something in between the other two options.

4. The Open-Air Driving Experience

Let's face it, one of the top reasons people will choose this car is simply because it's a convertible. There's nothing quite like zipping around in a car with the top down. This is especially true when the car handles great and offers good acceleration. The MINI Convertible looks sharp with the top up or down too.

5. A Distinct and Stylish Design

The original MINI cars were produced by the British Motor Corporation. They first rolled off of assembly lines way back in 1959. They went on to be something of a pop-culture icon in Great Britain. They were everywhere on the roads and in TV and movies. Today, the MINI is made by BMW. It still has a classic look that is instantly recognizable. If you're looking for an attractive car with some British style, nothing beats a MINI.

6. The Beautiful Interior

The interior of the MINI is just as attractive as the exterior. You can get premium-leather upholstery for the seats. No matter what material they're covered with, the stitching and craftsmanship is impeccable. The gauge cluster is something in between classic and modern. Everything is laid out in a pleasing way and all of the materials here are of a high quality. The classy British style is just as prevalent on the inside of the MINI.

7. An Excellent Infotainment System

The Mini Convertible may have an older, classic design, but the technology is as modern as it gets. The infotainment system is particularly nice. There is a large, HD touchscreen display with a full navigation system. Apple CarPlay allows you to easily connect your iPhone to the system. There are numerous ways to stream music through the excellent speakers. This includes Bluetooth technology. You can also add on wireless charging.

8. It's Reliable

While there's no way to have solid data on 2021 models at this point, the latest MINI Convertible isn't significantly different from the 2020 models. J.D. Power and Associates gave the 2020 MINI Convertible a perfect score of five out of five in its reliability category. MINI vehicles in general have a long-standing reputation for reliability and longevity.

9. A Lot of Customization Options

MINI gives buyers a ton of options to make your Convertible unique. There are eleven different exterior colors in all. You have standard classics like blacks, whites and grays. There are also some bold choices such as Chili Red and Caribbean Aqua. The MINI Convertible also offers a number of different alloy-wheel designs. The wheels come in different sizes as well. Last of all, the interior can be had in numerous different colors with various secondary colors.

10. There's a Good Amount of Safety Features

Safety is something that always needs to be considered before purchasing a new car. Fortunately, every trim level of the MINI Convertible offers plenty of standard safety features. There are front-impact, side-impact and knee airbags. Every model has anti-lock brakes and side-impact beams. Seatbelt pretensioners are standard. You also get Electronic Stability Control and Automatic Emergency Braking.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2021 MINI Convertible – The Cons

1. No Real Cargo Space

The lack of cargo space is one of the biggest downsides to owning this small vehicle. It doesn't even give you much room for groceries. If you have a large haul of goods, some of them will have to be placed in the rear seats or even up front in the passenger seat. The MINI Convertible only has around 5.7 cubic-feet of space in the back.

2. A Cramped Interior

The driver's seat and front-passenger seat will provide enough head and leg room for most adults. Unfortunately, the rear-seat area is pretty small. Most passengers will find it to be tight and cramped back there. Only smaller children will be able to ride comfortably for extended periods of time.

3. The Fuel Economy Could Be Better

A MINI Convertible with the 1.5-liter, turbocharged 3-cylinder engine has a combined fuel-economy rating of 30 miles-per-gallon. The bigger, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine should see around 26 miles-per-gallon. These numbers are far from terrible. There are, however, plenty of competing vehicles in this class that offer much better fuel efficiency.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2021 MINI Convertible vs 2021 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

The 2021 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is a beautiful little car. It's almost like the Italian counterpart to the MINI Convertible's British style. The Fiat has a similar starting price when compared with the MINI. The Fiat's base engine is more powerful than the base engine of the MINI. If you upgrade to the John Cooper Works model of the MINI, however, this gets you 228 horsepower. The Fiat only produces around 184 horses.

The Fiat is only a two-seater while the MINI can accommodate up to four people. There's more room for your groceries and other cargo in the MINI too, though both cars fare poorly in this category. Both vehicles offer nice, upscale interiors and plenty of convenience features. For the best driving experience, the MINI provides better handling and engine performance.

2021 MINI Convertible vs 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda's Miata, much like the MINI, has a serious fan base. Both are small, subcompact cars with good performance and fun driving dynamics. Both can be purchased in a convertible configuration. The two vehicles are similarly priced with the MINI generally coming in at just a bit more depending on the trim level. The MINI offers better expected reliability and a much better warranty in case anything should go wrong.

The MINI convertible has the most horsepower and torque between these two vehicles. Acceleration is noticeably quicker in the MINI. Steering and handling is once again better in the MINI too. The MINI has more room for passengers and groceries in the back. These two cars both have attractive interiors and plenty of nice features. Even at a slightly higher cost, the MINI Convertible is the better bargain between the two.


With its small size and unique styling, the 2021 MINI Convertible may not be for everyone. For those specifically in need of a subcompact car, there isn't anything else on the market that's quite like it. This is a fun car to drive and to own. The classic British design will turn a few heads wherever you go. The exceptional performance and handling will allow you to enjoy every journey.

Used 2021 MINI Convertible:
Previous MINI Convertible Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2020 MINI Convertible? w/ pros vs cons