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Top 3 BEST New Road-Trip Cars of 2020 Counted Down!


number 2

2021 Mini Cooper Convertible

~ “A Top-Down Weekend Get-Away for Two” ~
2021 Mini Cooper Convertible driving top down (front 3/4 view) - Caribbean Aqua

BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

If you’re planning a “mini” weekend excursion for two (or four in a pinch), few cars are as quirky and free-feeling as the 2021 Mini Cooper Convertible.


When thinking of retro-inspired quirky compacts, three cars probably immediately come to mind: the Fiat 500, the Volkswagen Beetle, and the Mini Cooper. Surprisingly, only the latter has survived past the 2019 model year… It’s a dying segment, unfortunately. But, luckily, MINI is keeping it alive with their oh-so-iconic mini flair!

As far as occupancy goes, the 2021 Mini Cooper Convertible seats up to only 4-passengers, unlike its non-convertible twin which seats up to 5. But, at least your rear passengers will benefit from adjustable headrests (which isn’t too common among compact cars).

Oh! And in about 18 seconds, the headroom suddenly becomes virtually limitless thanks to the power-retractable soft top. Just flip the toggle on the ceiling (or click the button via your key fob), and you’re all set!

2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Caribbean Aqua - Soft Top Open and Close - GIF Animation

BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020
MINI // Animated by Marcus Walker

Literally… THE SKY IS THE LIMIT with the Cooper Convertible!

~ Estimated Vehicle Pricing ~
$28,400 – $51,000


Powertrain / Fuel Efficiency / Range

For 2021, the Mini Cooper Convertible has two engines to pick from. Those engine options are:

  • 1.5-Liter 3-Cylinder Turbo Engine ➞ 134-hp
  • 2.0-Liter 4-Cylinder Turbo Engine ➞ 189-hp

Driving enthusiasts who enjoy shifting their own gears will be happy to hear that a slick 7-speed automated-manual (DCT) and a precise 6-speed true-manual gearbox will be available on both engine options mentioned above.

Keep in mind that only front-wheel drive is available for 2021 convertible models. Nevertheless, as you expect from MINI, the Cooper Convertible is spry, nimble, and very much go-kart-like! After all, the Mini Cooper Convertible is riding on a short wheelbase and has a rather lightweight to lug around (approx. 3,000 lbs).

Fuel economy for the 2021 Mini Cooper Convertible varies depending on specific configurations. For your convenience, reference the fuel economy table below:

EngineTransmissionMPG*
1.5 Turbo
(3-Cylinder)
7-Speed
DCT
28 / 36 / 31
1.5 Turbo
(3-Cylinder)
6-Speed
Manual
26 / 37 / 30
2.0 Turbo
(4-Cylinder)
7-Speed
DCT
26 / 34 / 29
2.0 Turbo
(4-Cylinder)
6-Speed
Manual
23 / 32 / 26
*Based on EPA estimates (city/hwy/combined)

Also, MINI notes that the 2021 Cooper Convertible has an 11.6-gallon fuel tank capacity.

QUICK MARCUS MATH: In theory, after some quick number crunching, the most fuel-efficient configuration for 2021 Cooper Convertible should be able to achieve slightly over 400 miles of range on one full tank of gas (in the most ideal driving conditions).


Cargo Versatility

When it comes to cargo space, let’s just say the Mini Cooper Convertible lives up to its “MINI” name… Pun absolutely intended! Check out the cubic volumes below:

  • Soft-Top Lowered ➞ 5.7-cubic feet
  • Soft-Top Raised ➞ 7.6-cubic feet
2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Trunk Space - Seats Folding and Suitcase - GIF Animation


BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020
MINI // Animated by Marcus Walker

Before you start cringing at the sub-double-digit numbers, it is important to note that this was once extremely competitive with the now-defunct Volkswagen Beetle Convertible and now-extinct Fiat 500 Cabriolet

Discontinued competitors at a glance:

  • 2019 Fiat 500 Cabriolet (Behind 2nd Row) 5.4-cubic feet
  • 2019 VW Beetle Convertible (Behind 2nd Row) 7.1-cubic feet

As you can see, both of those discontinued retro-inspired quirky compact convertibles also had cargo capacities well below 10-cubic feet.

Is trunk space a BIG deal-breaker for you when road trippin’?

Comment down below!


Safety

2021 Mini Cooper Convertible at beach - Half of rear (vertical/portrait image) - Caribbean Aqua Blue


BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

As far as safety tech goes, MINI packs the 2021 Cooper Convertible with commendable safety technologies as long as you’re willing to pay. MINI, by no means, is behind when it comes to advanced safety tech; they just don’t offer that much as standard equipment (which is honestly typical for most British/German brands). Nonetheless, notable safety enhancement features include:

  • Standard Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Optional Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Optional MINI Park AssistYes! It totally parks itself!

Although the 2021 model has not yet been tested by the IIHS, the 2019 model was tested, and it received a Top Safety Pick for 2018.


Multi-Media Connectivity & In-Car Entertainment

2021 Mini Cooper Convertible - Circular infotainment system - Android Auto?


BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

When it comes to the infotainment system, MINI embeds it in a quirky, yet visually-appealing circular dashboard layout. As far as screen sizes go, your STANDARD screen is 6.5-inches (which is quite small by today’s standards)… But, if you’re willing to splurge, MINI offers a more acceptably-sized 8.8-inch interface in higher-end trim levels.

As can be expected from a British/German brand like MINI, entry-level models won’t get you much in terms of interior tech goodies. But, if you’re willing to check a few option boxes, you’ll be relatively pleased by the array of OPTIONAL multimedia goodies available. Some of these OPTIONAL goodies include:

  • Apple CarPlay
  • Sirius XM radio
  • Wireless Smartphone Charging
  • Built-in MINI Navigation

Unfortunately, Android Auto is still not available. No matter how much extra money you’re willing to throw towards your new MINI, it won’t be available… Sadly.

But, with that to the side, can we just admire how mesmerizing this view is! Just imagine sitting in this MINI while facing crashing ocean waves? I can seriously smell the sweet air and salty sea. Talk about, “Paradise on wheels!”

2021 Mini Cooper Convertible white ivory interior, Aqua Caribbean blue exterior -  facing beach


BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

Luckily, MINI has you covered in the audio department!

Harman-Kardon-Audio-System-2021-Mini Cooper Convertible
Rear Seat Harman Kardon Speakers

Music aficionados will greatly appreciate the optional 12-speaker High-Definition Harmon Kardon Premium Audio System. Yes! 12 SPEAKERS! That’s a whole lot of speakers for any type of car, let alone a compact two-door car!

And hey! If you’re all about expressing your personality, nothing can match cruising down your favorite beach coastline (top-down in a MINI), and blaring the song below. FEELIN’ BLESSED, NEVER STRESSED!

Surfaces - Sunday's Best - Song Album Cover

Ideal Road Trip Playlist

(Song #3 out of 5)

Sunday’s Best ~ Surfaces

Continue reading to discover our other song selections.

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  • Tchainzzz says:

    I’m really impressed with how well this article is written and how it got me thinking about going on a road trip even though it hasn’t crossed my mind in the past. But I definitely like the hybrid because the less you gotta worry about the car, being the gas or the people in it… the trip becomes 100x more enjoyable

    • Thanks so much, man! Glad you enjoyed it. I honestly was never really considering road tripping either, but when Dawn presented me with this sweet collab idea, it got me thinking!

      Indeed! Hybrids are definitely superior when it comes to maximizing how far you can travel without having to refuel. Which, in turn, surely makes your trip more enjoyable! Thanks for your insight and support. I have some really cool ideas cooking up in the kitchen. So definitely stay tuned! 🙂

      Also, keep up your music career, bro. Can’t wait for the next single!!!

  • Ghady Rahi says:

    Interesting read. Good job.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Ghady! I’m so happy you enjoyed this write-up. Can’t wait for your next video to drop this Friday!!! Hopefully, we can collab again in the future. That would be super sick! 🙂

  • Lucinda Walker says:

    Great job a lot of good information on road trip.

    • Much appreciated. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this article. I tried my best to jam pack it with tons of useful information. More content is on its way!

  • Jeremiah says:

    This was a very helpful and insightful blog. I’ve really wanted to take a road trip for my birthday so this helped a lot.

    • Jeremiah, I really appreciate your support! Glad you found it to be helpful and insightful. That sounds like so much fun! Birthday road-trip!!! Yayyy!

      My dream is to have an RV road trip (with me driving) when I turn 21. That would be so awesome! Can’t wait. Just a couple more years… Haha! Thanks again for your encouragement, man!

  • Marcus Walker

    Marcus Walker

    Founder & Editor-In-Chief of DriveAndBeDriven LLC.
    >