MINI was once a brand that sold just a single, simple model: the Cooper. The modern MINI, though, is a thoroughly diverse operation. Though the basic theme remains – MINI builds compact and cute urban runabouts – they’ll make you something with two, three, or five doors; with diesel or petrol power; a roof or no roof; slow or fast. And it’s at that fast end of the spectrum where we think MINIs are at their most joyful – and the 2017 MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, equipped with a fast-dropping soft top, a powerful 170kW turbo engine and an awesome exhaust note, is the most fun MINI you can buy today.
That’s because the JCW convertible is close to the perfect MINI mix. You get the things that make every MINI loveable: the instantly recognisable shape, the go-kart steering and the sharp dimensions that make it so easy to drive in the city.
Then, MINI’s John Cooper Works skunkworks add in another layer of verve – the stuff that makes the JCW editions feel like proper performance cars. The 170kW, 320Nm turbo four is genuinely punchy; the crackling, popping exhaust note beats many sports cars four times the price; and with extra stiffness, a JCW MINI attacks corners with real viciousness.
Sure, a hardtop MINI is stiffer still, and without a convertible’s weight penalty, the handling remains a degree better, but when it comes to simple, go-kart-like driving – the entire MINI mission – the wind-in-your-hair thrills of a convertible top are hard to beat. The MINI JCW convertible is just so easy to love – and at just under $55,000 with either manual or auto, and with no real need to touch the options list – it’s pretty good value, too.
Key specs (as tested)
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Budget Direct Insurance arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd ACN 003 617 909(AGS) AFSL 241 411, for and on behalf of the insurer, Auto & General Insurance Company Limited(ABN 42 111 586 353, AFSL 285 571).Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise you if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to buy insurance. Terms and conditions apply.
Indicative quote based on assumptions including postcode , 40 year old male with no offences, licence suspensions or claims in the last 5 years, a NCD Rating 1 and no younger drivers listed. White car, driven up to 10,000kms a year, unfinanced, with no modifications, factory options and/or non-standard accessories, private use only and garaged at night.
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