Best car

Mini Roadster: fast, fresh-air fun

Back to basics Mini that delivers thrilling performance and rollerskate handling, says expert car reviewer Andrew Frankel

Mini Roadster Cooper S

This model from £20,935

The new Roadster represents Mini at its back-to-basics best. Stripped of its rear seats and fitted with a steeply raked windscreen, this isn’t a convertible for those who want merely to look the part but to drive a car that performs like any other tin box.

The Roadster is a riotous assembly of wind and engine noise, hilarious performance – if funds stretch to the turbocharged Cooper S model – and old-fashioned rollerskate handling in which the flavour of the original Mini can still be tasted. You unlatch the roof from the windscreen, press a button, and five seconds later the fabric top has folded behind you, and you’re on your way. And who cares if you can’t see a thing in the mirror with the roof down? This is a car for going forward, not looking back.


  • Engine: 1598cc, 184bhp
  • Top speed: 141mph
  • 0-60mph acceleration: 7.0sec


  • Claimed economy: 47.1mpg
  • Insurance Group: 19 (1=low, 50=high)

RAC Drive Verdict

2 / 5
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5 / 5