2018 MINI Convertible
- Three different engines blend speed, thrill and fuel efficiency
- Excellent handling makes it quick and fun in turns and curves
- Interior looks classy and upscale
- Available add-ons offer high degree of personalization
- Ride quality can be stiff and rough, especially with larger tires
- More expensive than most rivals
- Cargo capacity is very limited
Which Convertible does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating7.4 / 10
As its name suggests, the 2018 Mini Convertible is the drop-top version of the two-door Mini Hardtop. It has the same fun-to-drive nature as the Hardtop, but its power-operated soft top gives you the option of warming up to the sun's rays.
As with all other Minis, the Convertible's base price is just a jumping-off point to a list of seemingly endless options. Check enough boxes and the price escalates with shocking quickness. But the Mini's extensive paint, interior and performance combinations are also what set it apart, giving owners a degree of personalization unlike any others. Want 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, and taillights with an inset Union Jack design? Done.
But at its core, the Mini Convertible is an exceptionally fun car to drive, whether it's powered by the base three-cylinder engine, the 189-horsepower midlevel engine, or the highly caffeinated 228-hp turbo four-cylinder in the John Cooper Works trim. The Mini always feels playful and engaging, its tires firmly embedded in the asphalt. The trade-off is a firm, and at times harsh ride, especially with larger wheels.
And so while no other small convertible can match the Mini's level of customization, there are others worth considering, notably the Fiat 124 Spider, Mazda MX-5 Miata and even the Volkswagen Beetle convertible. But even among this group, the Mini Convertible's charm and likability stand out. It's that good.
2018 MINI Convertible configurations
The 2018 Mini Convertible is a compact convertible that seats four and is available in base (Cooper), Cooper S and high-performance John Cooper Works trims. The base Cooper trim serves as a great starting point for customization, but the attractive base price can escalate quickly as you tack on desirable options. The Cooper S adds larger wheels and more power and performance, while the John Cooper Works is the highest performer of the bunch, with a cranked-up turbo engine and a sport-tuned suspension.
The base Cooper starts with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine (134 horsepower, 162 pound-feet of torque) paired with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional.
Standard features include a power-operated fabric convertible roof (with sunrooflike function), 15-inch alloy wheels, an electronic limited-slip differential, automatic headlights and wipers, heated mirrors, push-button ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a cooled glovebox, cruise control, premium vinyl upholstery, and 50/50-split folding rear seatbacks. Technology highlights include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, smartphone app integration, a 6.5-inch display screen, and a six-speaker sound system with HD radio, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack.
The Cooper S adds a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (189 hp, 207 lb-ft of torque), a hood scoop, dual center-mounted exhaust tips, 16-inch wheels with run-flat tires (regular tires are optional), LED foglights and sport front seats.
The John Cooper Works trim ratchets up the performance index with a hotter turbo four-cylinder engine (228 hp, 236 lb-ft), 17-inch wheels, upgraded Brembo front brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, LED headlights, an aerodynamic body kit, a rear spoiler, a sport steering wheel, and special seats with cloth upholstery. The standard suspension is available as a no-cost option for the JCW.
There are many stand-alone options, but most are bundled into packages. The Premium package consists of keyless entry, heated front seats, satellite radio, auto-dimming mirrors, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The Sport package includes adjustable suspension dampers, a choice of 17- or 18-inch wheels, sport seats, and LED headlights and foglights. The Technology package bundles a self-parking system with front and rear parking sensors, a navigation system, a touchpad controller, and an 8.8-inch display screen. The Fully Loaded package combines all three packages. John Cooper Works interior and exterior packages are also available. As the package names suggest, they kit out the two lower trim levels with a choice of leather cabin materials and JCW performance parts.
Notable stand-alone options include adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and various combinations of cloth or leather upholstery. Even more personalization is available through a large selection of custom details such as hood stripes, mirror cap choices and special interior trim pieces.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 6-speed manual | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Mini Convertible has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Mini Convertible.
Noise & vibration7.5
Ease of use7.5
Getting in/getting out6.5
Child safety seat accommodation5.0
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Convertible safety features:
- Parking Assistant
- Finds an available parallel parking spot and guides the Mini into the space with minimal driver input.
- Front and Rear Park Distance Control
- Sounds an alert as the Mini approaches an object in front of or behind the vehicle.
- Active Driving Assistant
- Maintains a set distance between the Mini and the vehicle in front while the cruise control system is active.
There are a lot of reasons to like the Mini Convertible: It's good fun to drive, easy to park and cheap to run, and its cabin offers a near-luxury experience. Plus, the roof folds down, which makes any car more enjoyable. But what really sets the Mini Convertible apart are the options for customization. Whether you want leather seats, an adaptive suspension or sideview mirrors painted up like the British flag, Mini is happy to oblige. When it comes to having it your way, no other small convertible can match the Mini. The possible combinations number in the millions, and they are limited only by your budget.
Besides customization, there are a lot of reasons to recommend the Mini Convertible, chief among them the powertrain lineup. Engine choices include a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder that produces 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque and a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder tuned for 189 hp and 207 lb-ft in the Cooper S. In the John Cooper Works edition, the 2.0-liter engine packs 228 hp and 236 lb-ft. All provide plenty of power and all are reasonably fuel-efficient, with EPA ratings ranging from a high of 32 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway) for the manual-equipped base model down to 25 mpg combined for the manual-equipped John Cooper Works.
And the Mini offers plenty of grip to go with its zip. Some cars hug the road; the Mini feels as if it was glued there. Small and light, the Mini Convertible is a big-time smile generator in the curves and very easy to park in town. The Convertible is surprisingly quiet with the top down. The one caveat is that the ride can be very harsh, especially if you order your Mini Convertible with larger wheels or the sport-tuned suspension or both. The John Cooper Works model is particularly hard-riding, but the optional adaptive suspension helps a great deal.
The cabin is nicely finished, built with materials significantly better than what we're used to seeing in a subcompact car. The gauges are crisp, and we love the big 8-inch central display screen. The front seating is excellent. But this being a convertible, there are trade-offs: The back seat and the trunk are tiny. Visibility to the rear is restricted when the top is up.
Mini offers the Convertible in three trim levels. The Cooper is nicely outfitted and affordable, provided you go easy on the options. The Cooper S adds more power and a sportier demeanor. The John Cooper Works turns the Mini Convertible into a road-going racer. From there, you'll have a plethora of stand-alone options available to create the Mini of your dreams. And let Edmunds help find your perfect 2018 Mini Convertible.
2018 MINI Convertible Overview
The 2018 MINI Convertible is offered in the following submodels: Convertible John Cooper Works, Convertible. Available styles include Cooper S 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Cooper 2dr Convertible (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 6M), and John Cooper Works 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M).
What do people think of the 2018 MINI Convertible?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 MINI Convertible and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Convertible 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Convertible.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 MINI Convertible and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Convertible featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2018 MINI Convertibles are available in my area?
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Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2018 MINI Convertible?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out MINI lease specials