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Mini Cooper Cabriolet 1.6 Review: Roof? What roof?

Looking for a cabriolet with flair and added driving fun? The updated Mini Cooper Cabriolet could just be it - after all, which other cabriolet in such proportion can offer countless smiles per hour?
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
14 Feb 2009
What we like:
pros
Typical Teutonic build quality. Progressive engine.  An appetite for corners.
What we dislike:
cons
Boot space is next to non-existent. Ditto for the rear seat space - putting adults in the back is punishment.

The Cabrio retains Mini’s fun-to-drive factor, and enjoys being driven fast and hard into corners. Even more fun when the roof’s folded away – you see, when the roof is folded away into the back of the car, the mechanism and roof adds more weight to the rear part of the car. So, when you swing the steering wheel in opposite locks, well, you instantly get a tail-happy lil’ car.

Driven normally with the roof up, the Cabrio handles just as well as the Cooper. It’s undeniably stiff, true, but is very planted to the road. Good feel at the helm? Check. A cinch to manoeuvre around town? Check. Firm brakes? Check. As you can see, even with the additional 108kg it has to lug around, the go-kart like agility pretty much remains. However, badly paved and pothole-ridden roads (yes, they still do exist here) can throw the Cabrio about like an active puppy.

The improvement in the roof’s build quality is very obvious. When I drove the Mark 1 Cabrio some years ago, I recalled a rattling sound coming from the roof’s mechanism. With this new one, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of rattle or scuttle, and that is commendable. At least the fussy owner won’t have to worry about any quality issue anymore.

At $127,800, the Cabrio is not a cheap proposition. In fact, I don’t foresee the Cabrio being a common sight on our roads, as not many people will want to splurge that much for a car that size.

BUT on a much brighter side, potential Cabrio owners can boast the exclusivity their purchase brings, as the sight of a topless Mini punting around is still a sight to behold. After all, a Mini is already cool – a Mini with a foldable roof is even cooler.

So if you can afford it, go ahead and sign on that dotted line for one of this. If that’s not enough, well, there is the S version…

Credits: Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim

Mini
Mini Cooper Cabriolet 1.6
Cars in this article
MINI Cooper Cabriolet 1.6 (A) 2009
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MINI Cooper Cabriolet 1.6 (A) 2009

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