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Mini convertible and mini roadster purchase advice: Open family matter

Karl-Heinz Augustin
Mini convertible and mini roadster purchase advice
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A M ini is a mini, is the original among the original little ones. However, this does not prevent his fathers from developing a large family out of the mini family. This spring it also includes the Mini Roadster - although there is already a Mini Cabrio. Several open-air variants of one model are usually only available from Porsche with its classic 911.

The Mini also has no lack of sporty genes - an open two-seater only seems logical. Because the mini convertible officially has space for four occupants, but at best small children can sit in the narrow rear seat - the driver and front passenger have to move forward to ensure a minimum of foot space. And the luggage compartment (170 liters) hardly deserves its name. After all, the developers made an effort to enlarge the tiny cross-section of the downward-opening flap, through which a soda box hardly fits. After manually unlocking two clamping levers, the lower edge of the convertible top can be raised a few centimeters. Sounds complicated - and it is.

Mini Roadster with more accessible luggage compartment

With the Mini Roadster , it is much easier, the more accessible storage volume is not ample at 240 liters, but is still almost half larger. Skis fit into the car with a through-loading system, jackets or even bags can be stored on the wide shelf behind the seats. Reaching back from the driver's seat and pulling the convertible top is no problem as long as there is no wind deflector (190 euros) between the rigid roll bars. An electric drive for the convertible top on the Mini Roadster costs 790 euros, which does not save manual locking.

The windscreen of the two-seater, which is 24 millimeters lower, is 13 degrees more inclined. That sounds like little, but it has an influence on the driving experience with the top down that should not be underestimated. For pilots who are over 1.80 meters tall, the upper window frame becomes a disruptive feature, the A-pillar obstructs the view of cars coming from the right. Smaller drivers, however, feel in the Mini Roadster more secure and sheltered from the wind. A central switchfor the side windows as in the mini convertible would also be practical here.

Mini convertible with fully automatic convertible top as standard

In the mini convertible, the convertible top moves fully automatically as standard, remotely controlled if required. Clever: before the roof bars on the side of the A-pillar disengage, the convertible top slides backwards like a large folding sunroof - a popular intermediate step in everyday life. The mini convertible, on the other hand, develops all its charm when it is completely open. To do this, the soft top folds - a cover is not necessary - compactly behind the roll bar, which only pops out in an emergency. Thanks to the steeply towering, distant windscreen, the driver and front passenger not only look through it, but also effortlessly over it - and perceive the surroundings more intensely. On the other hand, the wind in the cockpit is even stronger, but it can be tamed with the windows raised and the wind deflector stretched over the rear seats (250 euros) - the rear is better suited as a luggage rack anyway.

So which one to take? Both offer a go-kart feeling without unnecessary hardship on bad roads, even though the mini convertible doesn't seem quite as rigid as the roadster. With a comparable motorized vehicle, the two-seater costs around 1,000 euros less. Nevertheless, entry into the mini convertible is cheaper, because the range of drives already starts with the 98 hp petrol engine. So there are definitely rational reasons for one as well as the other - but do they play a role in a Mini?

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