Feb 23, 2005
Reviewed By Jeff Sabatini
Price as Tested $28,170

Three-position top has neat “sunroof” setting; supercharged, 168-hp four-cylinder emits joyous burble on downshifts; handles just as well as the coupe, which is to say, better than nearly anything else on the road with four seats.


Stiff suspension and short wheelbase make for punishing ride when the pavement is rough; interior still over-designed and busy; trunk is a joke; roll-bar looks like a cheap aftermarket add-on and obstructs rear view almost completely.


Do not lump the convertible Cooper S in with sporting pretenders like the VW New Beetle and the ragtop PT Cruiser. This is a serious sportscar that just happens to be cute—not unlike the Mazda Miata, which it resembles in many ways. A convincing case can be made that the Cooper S convertible is BMW’s best open car, and there is certainly no small car on the market that is more fun to drive. The biggest caveat here is to be wary of Mini’s profligate options, which can easily drive the price over $30k.

Fun to Drive
5.0 rating
Fun to Look at
3.0 rating
Overall Experience
4.0 rating