Hi guys, first post! I am not a MINI owner, but I've been eyeing one for years. I'm from the US (Mississippi to be exact), and I've found very, very little information from real people that own the Roadster.
My wife and I hopped over to a MINI dealer this weekend and test drove a base hard top and a base Roadster. My wife really liked the Roadster! We have no kids, so I like the fact it got rid of the tiny back seat and just gave a more respectable trunk / boot.
The reviews in the US, however worry me saying the soft top is thin and that wind / road noise is extremely loud at highway speeds (70mph / 115 kmph), in other words "loud enough to stifle a conversation."
Two purposes in buying a new car:
1. At least one road trip from east to west coast - in other words, how do the basic leatherette seats in the roadster hold up for long trips? I'm a small guy, 5'5" and 150 pounds.
2. I'd really like to hear about the roof, do you feel its too loud for long stretches at highway speeds?
Anyway, I'd like to hear the good and the bad, so I can decide if I'm going and ordering one soon! Thanks so much for the info in advance!
The boot is great. Holds much more than you think, and there's a passthrough to the cabin and a couple of under-floor compartments for small stuff you would leave in the car like flashlights and tools.
My wife has the black leatherette standard seats in her Cooper Clubman, and they aren't too bad. I'm 6'0", and was quite happy at the weekend doing four or five hours on the highway on two days running, so I think a smaller person like yourself would be more than comfy. The standard seats are short in the base cushion, but it doesn't bother me and I'm quite long-legged. I have the leather/cloth sports seats in mine, and I'm very happy with those. Maybe go for the standard cloth instead (it's a no-cost option as far as I know)?
It's louder than a two-layer top like my wife's old Beetle. It's also louder than a hardtop. I've done 500 miles at a stretch in 40-50 degree F weather with the heat on and could hear the spoken word stuff on the radio just fine, and could talk to my wife without problem. You won't be whispering sweet nothings to each other, but it's perfectly tolerable. Even with the hood down at decent highway-like speeds you can still hold a conversation.
Your cross-country road trip sounds like a great idea. If you do it in nice weather with the roof down, all of your worries about the reviews will melt away and you will have so much fun that you won't care. Even if you end up not liking it, it's in fairly short supply so your resale should be good!
Last edited by spiney; May 8th, 2012 at 01:43 PM.
Reason: Quote problems... :-(
Living in the UK obviously we obviously don't do trips quite that long (although I've done such trips in Australia, but not in a MINI). We managed to take our Roadster past the 1,200 run-in in pretty much two (long) weekends and I found it very comfortable on long runs. It'll never be a GT but with cruise control it can almost feel like one! We could converse no problem with the top up but obviously the object of the exercise is to get the top down whenever possible
I had the Convertible before and I don't actually notice much difference - they are both pleasant cabins to spend time in.
Oh man, that really is a more tricky one. I take it you aren't prepared to consider a used one that someones already taken a big $ hit on?
Personally - if I had to do without some of my options (and I know there are different packages over in the US) then unless you are a real petrol-head then I'd have to consider the base model. The handling and style is still there just not as quick. Make sure you do a a test drive in both will let you know what you are missing (unless you don't want to know).
There are quite a few must have options, Eg even in the Southern States then the effective heated seats will get you that extra time top down motoring... then for those long journeys MFSW/Cruise, an Alarm, obviously a Wind Deflector etc etc. All which are a lot more cost effective in packages. And that's before you get onto aesthetics and performance mods... there are so many!
Not much help here... sorry! Have a play with the configurator and do a test drive is my advise if you must have a new one.
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