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Mini Convertible
8/10

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Mini Convertible Cooper S

Driven February 2009

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Time to be blunt: the Mini Convertible is possibly the best of the breed. OK, so the breed is a bit marginal if you're talking hatch-based cuteness that has some semblance of driver appeal - but the revised version of the Cooper S has a great many talents all wrapped up in the kind of bizarrely fluffy image that usually peers out from convivially placed Wellington boots.

The sprint takes seven and a bit, the top speed is the thick end of 130mph and even though the version II Convertible is still some 100kg heavier than its coupe brother, it still steers, stops and goes with the kind of terrier-like verve that we've all come to know and love. 

Good bits? We like the fact that the roof stows more neatly (at speeds up to about 15mph) and that the rollover bars are sleeker - you now have a use for the rear-view mirror when the roof is down.

The ‘open top timer' is a friendly but useless piece of gadgety tat that tells you how long you have the roof down (I kid you not). Otherwise it's the last of the Mini variants to switch to the MkII platform - so no more clamshell front, and turbo rather than supercharger on the 1.6-litre four-cylinder.

The boot is acceptable for shopping, as long as you don't like big dinners and don't expect to be transporting too many portly friends in the back seats, But you knew that. At nearly £20k, it ain't cheap, but it's got pretty much everything you'll need. We like. A lot.

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