Very fun to drive; classic Mini styling; long list of customization options and features
High pricing; lethargic base model; poor visibility with the top on
The Mini Cooper Roadster receives only minor changes for 2015, including newly standard rain-sensing wipers and automatic climate control.
With its distinctive styling and impressive handling, the Cooper Roadster is an excellent choice, but high-level models can be expensive, especially with options. We recommend a midlevel Cooper S Roadster to maximize thrills, and we recommend going easy on the options to minimize cost. Find a Mini Cooper Roadster for sale
The Mini Cooper Roadster comes in three available trim levels. There's a base model, called simply the Roadster, a midlevel Cooper S Roadster and a high-performance John Cooper Works model.
Drivers who choose the base-level Cooper Roadster ($27,000) get 16-inch alloy wheels, a power convertible top, and basic power accessories such as windows, mirrors, locks and keyless entry -- along with newly standard automatic climate control and rain-sensing wipers. The Roadster also includes standard leatherette upholstery, along with iPod and USB connectivity. The Cooper Roadster uses a 121-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine.
Upgrade to the Cooper S Roadster ($30,000), and you get a turbocharged version of the base model's engine, good for 181 hp. Other upgrades include fog lights, a firmer sport suspension, sport seats and sport pedals.
Topping the range is the John Cooper Works ($37,100), which boosts power to 208 horses. It features an even firmer sport suspension, an aerodynamic body kit, 17-in wheels and strong Brembo brakes.
While those prices may not seem so bad, the Cooper Roadster's biggest problem is that so many features are relegated to the options list. There's a Cold Weather package with heated seats and heated mirrors; a Premium Package with keyless ignition and automatic headlights; a Technology package with the Mini Connected smartphone integration system, rear parking sensors and an upgraded sound system; and a Sport package, which adds larger wheels, sport seats and sport-tuned traction control. Like most Mini models, the Roadster also offers a long list of color options. An automatic transmission is $1,250 extra.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
FIAT 500 Abarth Cabrio -- It's not a true convertible, thanks to frame rails that stay in place even when the top is down, but the Abarth Cabrio offers similar thrills to the Roadster, plus two rear seats. It's also cheaper, offering Cooper S Roadster power for base-level Cooper Roadster money.
Mercedes SLK-Class Roadster -- OK, so the SLK250's base price is more than $43,000 before options, but a well-equipped John Cooper Works Roadster is in the same league. The SLK offers more room, roughly the same power and the cachet of the Mercedes brand name.
MINI Cooper Convertible -- That's right: One of the Cooper Roadster's biggest rivals is in the same showroom. The Cooper Convertible boasts four seats, along with similar performance, pricing and interior quality.