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Drive of your life this week…

is the Mini Cooper S Roadster

What is it? The cutest two seater soft-top convertible on the roads today.

Who would want one? Either billy no mates being just a two seater or, more relevant, single ladies with no children or mums whose children have left home thus lost their role as a taxi service.

The exhilarating thrill: is despite being only a 1.6 litre petrol engine, this roadster rockets from 0 to 62 mph in a mere 7 seconds and claims a top speed of 141mph. Even better news is due to the fantastic MINIMALISM technology under the MINI Roadster’s bonnet that includes the Stop/Start system, Brake Energy Regeneration and Shift Point Display, fuel consumption is pretty impressive at 47.1 mpg on a combined cycle with further savings thanks to low CO2 emissions coming in at 139g/km meaning anyone driving this lovely car can do so without breaking the bank. However, this may blow into insignificance when the Sports button is discovered and once pressed will give a far more costly drive of your life.

Wow factors to make the neighbours go green: they will be lockjaw on this one with the stunning shape that is oh so MINI, the black cloth sunroof, 17 inch alloy wheels, gorgeous Bi-Xenon headlights, the rear active spoiler and of course the option to personalise the MINI with an assortment of stickers and colours. The only mare on this car is rear visibility is pretty bad when the roof is up so ideally this is a summer car only and possibly the hard top version for the winter.  

On the other hand… are the long expensive yet tempting optional extras the MINI roadster can have such as CHILI pack at 2K that includes loads of things like automatic air conditioning, 17 inch alloy wheels, Sport pack. The Media pack comes is at just over 1K. In fact, this test car had just over 6K’s worth of optional extras that pushed up the initial price tag.

Where would the sunglasses fit? Not in their own sunglasses holder that is surprising being a convertible, but use either of the dual front cup holders.

Will it take the shopping? Decisions, decisions! With the roof down, not that much but with the roof closed, yes loads. 240 litres in fact. However do not make the mistake I made by shopping till I dropped with the roof up, then the sun came out, but roof would not go down as too much shopping in the boot. Ah! Best check the weather report before going shopping.

Hide Secret Purchases…. in the slim door pockets, the elasticated pockets behind the front seats, the lockable glovebox or best, in the deep binnacle under the centre armrest.

Helping hands make light work thanks to light sensing automatic lights, rain sensing wipers, parking sensors, cruise control, remotes for the speed limiter and voice control telephone operation on the height adjustable steering wheel, front fog lights plus the Stop/Start button to help conserve fuel.

Creature Comforts to luxuriate in are heated seats, leather steering wheel, automatic air conditioning, electric windows, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, sat nav, radio/CD player all operated by those cute toggles.

Its most annoying feature: was the roof operation that is not fully electric and requires lots of arm muscle so add a ton of spinach to your weekly shopping list.

The greatest gadget: has to be the rear spoiler that comes up around speeds of 50mph but for real pose factor, can stay up permanently by pressing a button.

Avoiding the costly repair shop is down to Dynamic Stability Control that includes ABS, Cornering Brake Control, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution meaning it will be extremely hard for this car of go off piste whatever driving mistakes you may make. In case tyre pressures have not been checked on a recommended weekly basis, is a tyre pressure warning.

Keeping your precious cargo safe are four airbags with a passenger de-activator switch plus an anti roll bar.

Avoiding it being nicked is thanks to a Thatcham Category 1 alarm, immobiliser and remote central locking.

Star rating: 4/5 due to bad rear visibility and endless list of “must have” optional extras. 

Consider: the whole MINI Cooper Roadster range, as they are all extremely impressive.

Web link: www.mini.co.uk

Jackie Violet
Motoring Correspondent 

At a Glance
Test Model: MINI Cooper S Roadster

RRP: £20,905.00 escalating up to £26,900 with the extras listed above
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
0-62mph: 7 seconds
Top speed: 141 mph
Combined Fuel: 47.1 mpg
CO2 emissions: 139 g/km
Horsepower: 184 hp @ 135 rpm
Torque: 240 Nm @ 1600-5000 rpm 

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