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2013 MINI Convertible

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2013 MINI Convertible Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

More than a decade after re-launching in the United States under BMW, Mini's vehicles continue to make a big impact on the small-car landscape. More than just compact cars that fit anywhere, Minis offer some of the best smiles per gallon. Mini's stable of diminutive British vehicles is anything but small, expanding in both size and function with new editions such as the larger Countryman, Paceman and delivery-oriented Clubvan. Despite their growing numbers, all Minis remain based on the original Hardtop's architecture and use a fuel-efficient 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that comes in a variety of power outputs. Base Mini Coopers have a relatively low starting price, but these cars' premium build quality and highly customizable features are reflected in prices that rise quickly with trim levels.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a car that feels more like an adult-sized go-kart, you'll love the Mini. These tidy 4-passenger vehicles are also effortlessly stylish inside and out, and offer high fuel economy. The Clubvan deletes the rear seat and replaces it with a level floor and an aluminum mesh divider.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Even in the larger Clubman form, the 2013 Mini Cooper does not have an expansive interior. If you need to carry more than one passenger on a regular basis, you'll want to step up to a Mini Countryman. The new Clubvan is stylish, but it's not as functional as a Ford Transit Connect.

What's New for 2013

Bluetooth is now standard and satellite radio is made optional. John Cooper Works (JCW) models can now be had with an automatic transmission. Joining the lineup this year is the fastest Mini ever made – the he limited production John Cooper Works GP – and the Mini Clubvan featuring opaque side windows and an expanded cargo area.

Driving the Convertible

Driving Impressions Minis are nothing if not fun. With a rigid body structure and sporty suspension, Minis are attracted to twisty roads like metal to a magnet. For a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the...

Mini is immensely nimble in corners. Perhaps more impressive is how solid these cars are on the highway. For such a small vehicle, the Mini displays little to none of the nervousness that can plague other subcompacts at freeway speeds. The Convertible also deserves kudos for feeling remarkably planted. Even with the base engine, Mini Coopers are a blast to drive. We endorse Mini's excellent 6-speed manual transmission in all of the brand's models, but especially in the base form, as that engine with the automatic transmission makes the vehicle noticeably slower. With their turbocharged engines, stepping up to Cooper S and JCW editions does just the opposite, making these vehicles even more thrilling. The 2013 Mini Cooper JCW GP, meanwhile, is a delightful deviant with great acceleration and excellent braking and cornering ability. If driving requires a soundtrack, you'll be happy to know the Mini's audio system is a good one, even in standard form.

FOLDABLE REAR SEATS
Cargo space behind the rear seat of Minis is inherently meager. Flip down those seats, though, and interior space opens up commendably. Mini says its Hardtop, for example, can haul 15 bags of cement. Or, opt for the Clubvan and forgo the rear seats altogether.

FUEL ECONOMY/FUN FACTOR
The Mini is proof that you don't need a big, gas-guzzling engine under the hood to have massive amounts of driving satisfaction. The Mini may not win street races, but with up to 37 mpg, you'll experience a different type of joy when you pass your competition at the gas station.

2013 MINI Convertible Details
Interior

The Mini's stylish, retro exterior looks extend to the interior. High in the center dash is Mini's trademark speedometer, which has nearly the circumference of the steering wheel. Then there are all those tiny toggles and dials, the former of which are ensconced in what appear to be the world's smallest roll bars. The metal switches look and feel great, but can be awkward to use. The Mini's front seats are comfortable and relatively roomy. Worried that you won't fit up front? The automaker claims that even Sasquatch – or drivers up to 6-foot-7 – will fit behind the wheel. The Hardtop and Convertible's tiny rear seats, on the other hand, are best used for luggage. Legroom is marginally better in the Clubman, whose longer body also increases cargo room. Performance-oriented 2013 Mini GP models have only two seats.

Exterior
2013 MINI Convertible photo

Minis stand out with their low, squat profile. Hardtop versions stand further out with available contrasting-color roofs, while Convertibles use black fabric tops that when up create large interior blind spots. The convertible roof is automatic and has a nifty feature that enables it to remain partially open. The 2-door Hardtop has a rear hatch-style door that lifts high for easy access to the cargo hull. The Clubman/Clubvan has a small third door on the right-hand side that allows easier access to the rear passenger compartment. The Clubman/Clubvan is roughly nine inches longer than the Hardtop, and its cargo bay is accessed by two swing-out doors. S and JCW models feature an air-intake in the front hood and twin tailpipes in back.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Mini Hardtop, with a starting price of $20,400, comes with remote entry and trunk release, a climate-controlled glove box, 6-way front seats, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio system with auxiliary input, Bluetooth wireless communication, and 15-inch alloy wheels. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with an automatic optional. A "sport" button recalibrates throttle and steering response for a more aggressive feel. On the safety front, there are six airbags, 4-channel antilock brakes, and specialized systems to control traction and braking functions. Complimentary maintenance is included for three years or 36,000 miles, and roadside assistance is provided for four years/unlimited miles.

Optional Equipment

Start to configure a Mini, and its website will proudly tell you there are more than 10 million ways of doing so. Suffice to say, Minis are highly customizable cars in both aesthetics and creature comforts. For simplicity, many options can also be grouped together, which can save money vs. going a la carte. Among the more prominent options are an automatic transmission (unless you're one of the 500 to get a John Cooper Works GP, only available with a manual gearbox), the Mini Connected infotainment system with or without navigation, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, 10-speaker harman/kardon premium audio, and Dynamic Traction Control system with electronic differential lock.

Under the Hood

2013 Mini Cooper models use a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels and is connected to a 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission. Base models are naturally aspirated (not turbocharged) and make an adequate 121 horsepower. Cooper S and JCW models use a twin-scroll turbocharger and make 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively. And now there is the new top dog among Minis, the John Cooper Works GP, available only with manual transmission. This limited-edition model also uses the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, but it has been bumped to 211 horsepower and up to 207 lb-ft of torque when in "overboost." Mini says the 2013 GP can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 150 mph, making it the fleetest model in the lineup. Mini models are fuel efficient, but they do require premium gasoline.


2013 Mini Cooper
1.6-liter inline-4
121 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
114 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/37 mpg (manual, Hardtop), 28/36 mpg (automatic, Hardtop), 27/35 mpg (Convertible), 27/35 mpg (Cooper Clubman/Clubvan)

2013 Mini Cooper S
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
181 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 26/34 mpg (automatic)

2013 Mini John Cooper Works
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
192 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 26/34 mpg (automatic)

2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
211 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2013 MINI Convertible Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 360 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

An absolute pleasure to drive

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "HAndling, looks, efficiency, performance"

Cons: "Few good independent shops"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Every time I drive the Mini, although I own a Mercedes SLK and a BMW Roadster, it simply makes me smile. Major work is best done at dealership, but in 90K miles, brake pads, water pump (extended warranty), and thermostat is acceptable. Maintenance cost is comparable to other European cars. It has the black carbon sports seats, COMFI! It is not a Honda or Toyota nor it drives, looks, or feels like it! We also have a Honda, not cheap to maintain at the dealer, and honestly it is a boring car, you get what you pay for... The Mini is a base model 6 speed, with enough power, and a top speed of 130 MPH at 42 MPG. Smooth, smooth, smooth. Yes it costs a bit more, life is worth living, and it is a different feeling than a Prius! It's a nimble, quick, efficient mini BMW:-)"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love my Chili Red 2008 Mini Cooper coupe S

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Super fun to drive and has a great cool factor"

Cons: "reliability and cost of repair is a major issue"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I love driving my car! This car is the closest thing to a go cart you can drive on the road legally. What a blast. The downside is that it is very expensive to maintain and it has the durability of a 78 Monte Carlo. At 72,000 miles I have replaced the water pump and thermostat, $1800 at dealer, 1,400 at local shop. I did it myself but the parts cost $400+. Sparky bolts are $13 each and needed replacement at 70K. The sparky bolts are a very odd hex head design and had to hunt down a hex 14MM socket. I had to replace the valve cover gasket too, $40 for a gasket! If this car was not such a blast to drive I would not own it due to poor reliability. That said, I get a thrill every time I drive my baby."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

A great weekend car-nothing but fun to drive

By on Monday, July 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This took the place of my motorcycles after years of my wife not riding with me. I am 6', 250lbs and the space in the cabin is amazing. While I wouldn't take it for an extremely long trip; it is too much fun to drive on day and week-end trips. Overall quality has been great but we only put about 5K miles a year on it."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love it! Fun to drive, great on gas !

By on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great on gas,quality car."

Cons: "Needs a better arm rest for me"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Enjoyed every minute of driving it. Took it all over the country, pulled on a trailer behind my motorhome.It took me everywhere the motorhome would not fit. Plenty of room for two passengers. Back nor really designed for adults. Hatchback has lots of room, I hauled small pieces of furniture and many large items that my wife found shopping and couldn't go home without! Really enjoyed owning it. Mini service is quality, no real problems. Love my MINI!!!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

The Mini is the most fun to drive....

By on Friday, May 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "dependable,cute,economical,xlnt handling"

Cons: "mini dealers are way pricey...."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car for my wife. It has been dependable and the most fun of any car I have ever owned. My other car is a Lexus es and I prefer driving the Mini (when my wife lets me) The best part is that people can't tell if it is brand new since the body hasn't changed much over the years."

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Love My Mini!!

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive; Great looking; Good gas mileage."

Cons: "Phone call issue; No other cons!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Purchased a used 2010 Mini Cooper S Convertible from CarMax Duarte with under 20,000 miles. It has the premium, sports, and cold weather packages on it. The process was painless and fast. I have now had my Mini for just over a month and have been having fun with it. Its zippy, but is a rough ride - like a go-kart in a sense and when you hit certain part of the road, it can pull. But its fun and handles great on the road and curves. Love the lounge carbon black leather seats it came with. I know a lot of people don't like the gauges, but I think they're cute and what makes the style. If you're looking for a car with comfort, this isn't it because of its ride and its compact interior. My 2 kids sit comfortably in the back and so have I and my husband. Just not for long rides. It does have a noisy engine, so that takes getting used to, wondering if its normal or not. But I had mine inspected by the M Shop in Eagle Rock and they were fabulous - highly recommend them to all BMW and Mini owners. Overall, they said my car was in great shape. The only thing I was warned about was to keep track of the oil and check it monthly as these cars tend to lose oil quickly. I was also told there were always 3 main maintenance concerns for this vehicle, but not at this low mileage. So far I wouldn't trade it and am going to enjoy it. I went from a 2013 Ford Explorer to a Mini - big change, but don't miss it!! I'd been driving SUVs since 1999. If you're looking for sporty fun, this is it. The only issue I've encountered so far is that using the bluetooth is challenging when driving with the top down - people can't hear you, so you have to either talk after you put your top up or yell a lot! hahaha The other issue is the top squeals off and on when closing it - have tried getting that worked on, hope to get it fixed soon. Other than that - no complaints yet. But I will check in again in a few months or if anything changes!! For now - I'm going to have fun zipping around in my Mini!!"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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