Need to get in touch? Give us a call.
Our helpful customer advisors are available to answer questions and give you the advice and information you need.
For all other enquiries please contact us from the contact Listers section.
By Jonathan Crouch
Added 26th February, 2016
, updated 5th February, 2021
This third generation MINI Cooper Convertible continues to look appealing. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
It's pretty hard to take exception to MINI's improved MK3 model Convertible. It delivers surprising space for passengers and luggage, a stylish roadway demeanour and a customisable fabric roof. This current version has been usefully updated in recent years with fresh technology, smart connectivity, standard-fit front and rear LED lights across the range, plus an advanced dual-clutch automatic gearbox. As before, buyers can pick three cylinder, four cylinder and JCW performance versions.
The styling of this revised MK3 model doesn't look all that different, but close inspection will reveal the addition of standard-fit LED front and rear lights, plus there's now extra scope for all-important personalisation. When the folded fabric roof is down, it forms a wrap-around collar around the back seats, rather than disappearing completely. It encroaches slightly into the boot area but despite this, the luggage capacity is these days a reasonably acceptable 215-litres with the roof closed and 160-litres with it folded down. The roof is customisable and retracts in 18 seconds.
We can all argue about whether this generation F56/F55-series Cooper S Hatch is as pretty a car as its predecessor, but there can be no doubt that it was a better all-rounder. It's more spacious, better built, features some fascinating technical features and seems to have been engineered to offer more driving fun on one hand and lower bills on the other.
Just make sure you get a car whose original owner specced it right, with extras like the Driving Modes system and the Variable damping. You might want to avoid examples fitted with larger wheels that bring a crashy ride and automatic gearboxes that detract from the connected feel.
Yes, you could pay the same kind of money and buy a more conventional supermini-based hot hatch. Perhaps the purer, more focused Fiesta ST. Or the more comfortable and relaxing Peugeot 208 GTI. This Cooper S though, arguably delivers an appealing compromise between the two - and feels much more special while it's doing it. It's a MINI to the max. And that's always a tempting thing.
If you need a practical car from MINI and find the Hatch 5-Door model too small and the Countryman SUV too quirky, then the Clubman may be for you a perfect fit. It certainly makes its BMW 2 Series Active Tourer donor car look a little bland. True, the 2.0-litre engines further up the range aren't quite as efficient as those you'll find in rivals but MINI is close enough to the pace in this regard for that not to matter very much. This revised version gets some minor styling changes and some useful extra options.
It all means that if you want something compact but practical and a bit different, then this Clubman will probably suit. Either way, potential owners have to be people unafraid to fly in the face of convention. If that's you, then a bigger MINI adventure beckons.
One journalist we read of described this Paceman as 'the perfect car for someone else' - and we kind of understand what he means. It wouldn't necessarily suit us, but we know a lot of other people who'd simply love it. MINI calls this a 'Sports Activity Vehicle', whatever that means: we'd simply call it a 'cute-ute', a crossover with a bit of sporting attitude. A larger MINI that can also let its hair down a bit.
According to its marketeers, this isn't a car defined by age or gender - which is probably right. It's as likely to be driven by an upwardly mobile thirty-something man as it is by a retiree or a lady who lunches. Yet another reason why this car is so difficult to pigeonhole. But then, that's probably part of its charm.
What we do know is that this Paceman, the MINI Countryman's younger, sportier coupe cousin, offers something refreshingly different, part Crossover, part hot hatch. And it's perfectly pitched to satisfy those who want a sporty MINI with extra space and style. Just as it was intended to.
Third time round, BMW's modern era MINI turned out to be a much more sophisticated thing. This three-door Hatch version is slightly more practical than its R56-series predecessor and feels considerably better built. It's far more efficient too, with the bulk of the range using a punchier range of eager three cylinder engines. And its more sophisticated underpinnings are better suited to longer journeys. In short, this car came of age in third generation form. But does it make sense as a used buy?
Simply click the range you’re interested in to see what reviews are available:
If you would like more information, please get in touch with your local MINI centre, who will be happy to help you:
Listers Boston (MINI) is open today until 6:30pm. It is next open tomorrow from 8:00am to 6:30pm.
Please note that we only display reviews for cars we currently have for sale on these pages.