It’s funny when people try comparing MINIs to other cars because it just doesn’t work. With Fiat’s failed attempt at funky, MINI truly stands alone. And with the backing of BMW, their cars are both premium and fun-to-drive. Personalization is the name of the game at MINI and building the one that’s just right for you is an exciting endeavor and something that’s tough to find elsewhere for under 6-figures. So here I have the Cooper S Convertible with the 189 horsepower turbo decked out in the highest Iconic trim level replete with silver bonnet stripes and the MINI Yours soft top for an as-tested price of $40,850…….with blue-ish looking Enigmatic Black paint, these 18” MINI Yours British Spoke 2-tone wheels, my personal favorite interior – Satellite Grey in Chesterfield Leather, and this new Touchscreen Navigation Plus with wireless Apple CarPlay…sorry Android users. This one also comes standard with a heated steering wheel in a new design, heated seats, power folding mirrors, a head-up display, a Harman/Kardon Premium Sound System and a wind deflector. The one possible rub against this Iconic model that favors the base Classic trim is that you can’t get this one with a stick shift – the 7-speed dual clutch transmission is standard. But it works particularly well with this 2.0-liter turbo, with crisp shifts, steering wheel paddles, 3 driving modes, an additional 3mpgs and a quicker 0-to-60mph time of 6.7 seconds. There are some fun sounds here too adding to the sporty persona. And with summer-use tires clutching the road, snappy steering and a buttoned down suspension this is quintessential MINI driving.
I’m a big fan of this current generation of MINIs thanks largely to BMW’s heavy influence and the Clubman’s combination of updated tech and premium attributes makes for a truly unique choice.
Following current trends, the Clubman now sports more grille, new LED fogs and headlamps that automatically adapt their brightness to the situation on the road, LED rear lights with the Union Jack design and a host of styling and equipment tweaks inside and out.
This is the top trim Iconic model including the $800 Driver Assistive Package which provides active cruise control, a pop up heads-up display, and parking assistant leading to an as-tested price of $40,600. And yes, there’s always a little sticker shock when I test a MINI but this Clubman feels very modern, personalized and boutique and items with those attributes are always going to command a premium.
MSRP as-tested: $40,600
Foreshadowing the future of MINI, the brand’s first fully-electric car is almost ready to hit dealerships. The 2020 Cooper SE is a MINI 2-door hardtop at its core with its drive technology from parent company BMW. Under the hood is an electric motor fed by a high-voltage lithium-ion battery positioned in the vehicle floor.
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