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MINI One Convertible

Click to view picture gallery“The UK is the largest market in the
  world for the MINI Convertible.
  And now there
s even more choice,
  because a lower priced drop-top

  the MINI One Convertible
is now
  heading for the UK roads

TO DATE IT HAS ONLY BEEN POSSIBLE TO BUY a Cooper, Cooper S or John Cooper Works Convertible, so the introduction of a One Convertible provides a much lower entry point for fresh air fans.

Priced at a very attractive 14,985 (but in true MINI style there's a range of extra-cost option packs), this new model is expected to become the best selling MINI Convertible of them all.

Under the bonnet of the MINI One Convertible is a new 1.6-litre Valvetronic engine. This improved petrol engine and is now fitted to all First, One, Cooper and Cooper S models in the Hatch, Convertible and Clubman ranges and offers fully variable valve timing for a five per cent improvement in fuel consumption. An on-demand, map-controlled oil pump achieves a further 2.5 per cent saving and an improved, low-friction engine vacuum pump accounts for another one per cent. Finally, a map-regulated water pump working on a pulsed cycle (rather than simply on or off) saves another 1.2 per cent.

The resulting 98bhp and 113lb ft of torque is enough to accelerate from 0-62mph in 11.3 seconds and run on to a top speed of 112mph but despite this decent performance the Valvetronic 1.6 brings fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions to a new level in the convertible market — an official 49.6mpg in the combined cycle and 133g/km of CO2 emissions.

The open-top four-seater One Convertible features a fabric roof that opens and closes electro-hydraulically at the touch of a button at speeds of up to 20mph. Designed as a Convertible from the outset, the MINI Convertible offers a torsionally-stiff body that maintains the MINI 'kart' feeling. However, deep potholes will send shudders through the body especially if it is fitted with the optional run-flat tyres — so best to ignore these.

“There’s much to like
including the latest new
1.6-litre engine,
a relatively
well equipped spec and
high residual values.
And attractive
and iconic MINI soft-top
It may have a lower price but the MINI One Convertible offers relatively high standard equipment including air-conditioning and is equipped with all the sophisticated active safety features of the Cooper and Cooper S variants, including electro-mechanical steering, stability control, four airbags and the rollover bar behind the rear seats that pops up automatically in the event of a rollover incident.

The UK is the number one market in the world for MINI Convertible sales so the more affordable new MINI One Convertible will be a valuable tool in the British-made brand's armoury, especially as new car purchase prices are getting more and more competitive at a time when running costs are soaring as a result of ever-increasing fuel prices and higher road tax charges.

So what's not to like? Well, the ride is firm (and the optional run-flat tyres make it worse), there's very limited rear seat legroom and roof down mode limits rear vision. However, there's also much to like including the latest new 1.6-litre petrol engine, a relatively well equipped spec and high residual values. And, of course, attractive and iconic MINI soft-top motoring. Summer's finally arrived, so happy topless MINI motoring. — David Miles

MINI One Convertible
| 14,985
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: 11.3 seconds | Overall test MPG: 36.9mpg
Power: 98bhp | Torque: 113lb ft | CO2 133g/km