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MINI Electric Convertible review

The MINI Electric Convertible is expensive, has a short range, and will be built in very limited numbers… But it’s also infectiously fun

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Fun to drive
  • Open-air thrills
  • Premium-feeling interior

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Same short range as hatch
  • Cramped boot and rear seats

Car type

Range

Wallbox charge time

Rapid charge time

Electric

124 miles

4hrs 45mins (est, 0-100%, 7.4kW)

30mins (10-80%, 50kW)

You can buy electric cars in almost any shape or size. But one segment that has been left somewhat neglected is the convertible EV. Drop-tops tend to be heavier than their fixed-roof counterparts, and the challenge of adding several hundred kilos of weighty batteries on top of that has so far put paid to the idea of zero-emission cabrios.

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But that’s all set to change; MINI has already promised its two-door Convertible will live on through the next-generation model – and that an electric version will join the range in 2025. In the meantime, it’s making 999 EV examples of the existing MINI Convertible, 150 of which are coming to the UK, each priced at £52,500 – making the first ever plug-in MINI Convertible the most expensive MINI ever.

The MINI Electric Convertible uses the same running gear as its hard-top counterpart. This comprises a 181bhp electric motor to power the front wheels, as well as a 32.6kWh (28.9kWh usable) battery. 

Despite weighing around 140kg more than the regular hatchback, MINI says the Electric Convertible will still offer a range of 124 miles, which is roughly 15 miles shy of that of the regular MINI Electric – a good thing, given how that car has some of the shortest legs in its class.

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Unfortunately, the Electric Convertible retains the hatch’s disappointingly slow charging speeds; drivers can only charge their MINI Electric Convertible at a maximum rate of 50kW. Still, given it has such a small battery, it’s still possible to top-up the MINI from 10-80% in 30 minutes.

On the road, the MINI Convertible Electric drives exactly as you’d expect: just like the regular MINI Electric, but with all the pros and cons of having a fabric roof. On-paper performance is affected slightly by the additional weight (0-62mph takes 8.2 seconds – a second slower than the hard-top), but you’d never notice this in normal driving; the huge torque reserves all but completely mask the extra bulk.

You still get the usual MINI trademarks – darty handling and pin-sharp steering – plus driving around in the open air in complete silence does have its own degree of charm. However, the lack of body rigidity that’s often associated with convertible models does make itself known at times; vibrations can be felt through the steering rack and via the MINI’s already stiff suspension, both negatively affecting refinement somewhat.

But this is all neither here nor there as the MINI Convertible already tugs at the heartstrings, meaning the Electric variant with its extra exclusivity and Congestion Charge-cheating powertrain will undoubtedly prick the ears of chic city buyers. 

In the tight streets of London – or any busy city for that matter – the Electric Convertible’s several glaring issues seem to fade away and what you’re left with is a pocket-sized drop-top that’s incredibly easy to park and drive, and offers a bucket load of charm to boot. 

While we certainly suggest waiting for the newer – and likely much cheaper – next-generation MINI Cooper E Convertible, the current limited-run offering is a tempting choice for sun worshipers with cash burning a hole in their pockets.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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