2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible

Rating7.9

Ranked #6 in Convertible

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Starting MSRP 

$38,400

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Key Spec of 2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible
fuel economy

-

fuel type

premium unleaded

horsepower

-

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 24, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

If you look at the automotive market currently, there is an ever-increasing demand for crossover SUVs. However, one car that has managed to keep its head out of the water despite what came is the Mini Cooper. The subcompact convertible is offered as a premium product that is targeted at a very niche set of buyers. The new Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible is the high-performance variant of everyone’s favorite hatchback.

2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible Latest Updates

  • Mar' 9, 2022 : MINI Celebrates International Women's Day With New Pat Moss Edition Read More »
  • Mar' 1, 2022 : 2023 MINI Cooper 2-Door, 4-Door and Convertible Pricing and Changes Revealed Read More »
  • Feb' 23, 2022 : Mini John Cooper Works Clubman Untold Edition Starts At $41,650 And Will Come In March'22 Read More »

ProsConsWhat's New

Extremely rewarding to drive

Ride quality is a bit harsh

Minor changes to optional equipment

Decent personalization options

Pricing is a little high

Relatively classy on the inside

Not too roomy on the inside

Over All Rating

7.9

Out of 10

Pricing and Features8.00
Engine and Performance8.30
Fuel Economy9.90
Interior7.00
Exterior8.00
Safety8.90
Competition8.00
Final Verdict7.90
Notable Rankings

Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$38,400 onwards

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Dual-Zone automatic climate control
  • Head-Up display
  • Heated seats
  • Keyless entry and start


Colors and Styles

2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible in Solaris Orange Metallic color
Solaris Orange Metallic

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

Carrying over relatively unchanged for the 2021 model year, prices for the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible start at $38,900. It is quite a heavy price tag but finds a large number of buyers flocking to it. It represents the best of performance from the British brand and competes against the Ford Mustang convertible, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and the BMW 2 Series convertible. Let’s see how the car performs in regards to the segment in this in-depth review.


Features

The John Cooper Works edition is the highest performing variant of the Mini Cooper. This trim is the most expensive one in the convertible line-up and comes loaded with features such as sport suspension, unique sports seats, LED headlights, cornering lights, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and so on. It is also available as a hatchback and is reviewed separately. The only trim that offers higher performance than this one is the JCW GP which is available as a special edition model.

Model

JCW Convertible

MSRP (FWD)

$38,900

Key Features

Sport suspension

 

Keyless Entry

 

Keyless Start

 

Unique sport seats

 

HD Radio, Bluetooth Connection

 

LED headlights with cornering lights

 

Run-flat tires

 

Three driving modes

 

Adaptive cruise control

 

8.8-inch touchscreen with navigation

Which trim should you buy?

When deciding which trim to buy, it is quite easy to name one because the JCW is not subdivided into any other trim level. This is because it is the sporty variant even though its sporting credentials are a little inferior to its hatchback sibling. Like we have mentioned before, it is a very well-loaded trim but in terms of options Mini offers you a lot as well including larger wheels, heated seats, keyless entry and start, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded Harman Kardon stereo, head-up display, and so on. We believe that the 8.8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay is a must-have and truly enhances the strengths of the car.

Engine and Performance
8.3/10

When it comes to the performance of the John Cooper Works convertible, you are honestly surprised at how capable the car is. There is a 2 L turbocharged four-cylinder engine available in classic Mini fashion. This means that the car is front-wheel-drive by default and there are no other options in terms of the powertrain. It produces a power output of 228 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque.

The transmission is an eight-speed automatic gearbox by default and no manual transmission is offered with a convertible. Its acceleration is quite brisk because the engine is very peppy. This results in a 0 to 60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 16.2 seconds. There is also a sense of urgency in the power delivery that makes it a true blast to drive.

Models

2021 Mini Convertible JCW

2021 Ford Mustang Convertible

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible

MSRP

$39,250

$32,170

$33,045

$41,100

Engine

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.3L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

8 Speed Automatic

6-Speed manual

6-Speed Manual

8-Speed automatic

Power

228 hp@5000rpm

310hp @4,400rpm

181hp @ 7,000rpm

248hp @5,200rpm

Torque

236 lb-ft@1,250rpm

350 lb.-ft @1,600rpm

151 lb.-ft @4,000rpm

258 lb.-ft @1,450rpm

0-60 MPH

6.5 secs

5.0 secs

6.0 secs

5.3 secs

Quarter Mile

16.2 secs

12.2 secs

14.7 secs

12.7 secs

Top Speed

149 MPH

155 MPH

143 MPH

NA

One can see that among the competitors, the bar for performance is set by the Ford Mustang convertible. It offers a 310 hp engine and acceleration figure of five seconds to 60 mph for much less in terms of price. It is a significantly better-performing car in every single aspect. The BMW 2 Series is also a more capable car in terms of performance but comes at a slight premium when you compare it with the Mini. The Mazda only is a bit better performance in terms of acceleration but is a much more capable car due to its rear-wheel-drive system.

How well does the 2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible handle?

When it comes to handling, the Mini Cooper still lives up to its handling characteristic reputation which is often described as ‘go-kart-like’. We have mentioned how the JCW badge of this car is more than just an aesthetic upgrade as it totally changes the way this car performs. The car has very small overhangs which makes it very nimble and agile. It also has an electronic locking front differential which does a lot to help and exit from corners without drama.

However, it has a ride quality that can get a bit choppy for some people. This might not be very appealing but is necessary for maintaining the tight suspension setup this car has. The silence inside the cabin is decent and it would say that Mini has managed to keep the NVH levels down. With the roof down, it is truly pleasurable to hear. The steering is also very precise.

2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible Braking Performance

There is one big advantage that the subcompact segment has over just about every other segment and that lies in the braking setup. These cars do not have brakes that are incredibly large or strong but they do the job well. The Mini has very confident brakes from Brembo and makes the car come to a halt from 60 mph in 107 feet which is excellent. It also has 11.6-inch rotors up front and 10.2-inch rotors in the rear which is pretty much the smallest in the class.

Models

2021 Mini Convertible JCW

2021 Ford Mustang Convertible

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible

Brake Front(in)

11.6 in

12.6 in

11 in

12.3 in

Brake Rear(in)

10.2 in

12.6 in

11 in

11.4 in

Curb Weight(lbs)

2895 lbs

3706 lbs

2453 lbs

3386 lbs

60-0 MPH (ft.)

107 ft

NA

110 ft

113 ft

As we have observed in terms of performance, the Mini manages to come out on top because it is such a light car. The Mazda also has very impressive braking performance, coming to a stop from 60 mph in just 110 feet. The Mazda is the lightest in the segment weighing in at just 2253 pounds. The cars from Ford and BMW also happen to have nearly the same performance in terms of braking. The Mustang has the biggest brakes in the segment but is also quite heavy at 3706 pounds.

Fuel Economy
9.9/10

Another big advantage of the subcompact segment is that they offer excellent fuel efficiency due to the tiny engines. The case of the Mini is similar as it offers 28 MPG in the city, 36 MPG on the highway, and 31 MPG combined which is an unheard-of figure in the performance segment. These are excellent figures and are good enough for a range of 394 miles on the highway even with the tiny fuel tank of just 11.6 gallons.

Models

2021 Mini Convertible JCW

2021 Ford Mustang Convertible

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible

MPG (city)

28

20

26

24

MPG (highway)

36

28

35

34

MPG (combined)

31

23

30

27

Fuel Capacity

11.6 gallons

15.5 gallons

11.9 gallons

13.7 gallons

Range (city/highway/combined)

302/394/360 miles

343/462/357 miles

309/417/357 miles

329/438/369 miles

The Mini JCW has the best performance in terms of fuel efficiency and its excellent figures are only seconded by the Mazda MX-5. Although the Ford Mustang has a very large fuel tank of 15.5 gallons, it fails to deliver the same kind of fuel efficiency as these competitors. We are thoroughly impressed with the Mazda and the Mini because they have a very high range without even having a large tank. The BMW performs decently in this department.

Interior
7.0/10

When it comes to the interior, the Mini has the kind of quality that one will only find in its stablemate, the BMW. One can see that the material quality is extremely good and the fit and finish are excellent. But it has not managed to provide a very spacious cabin or cargo capacity. Ingress and egress can be a bit hard for tall individuals. The design is iconic and the layout is classy. There is a uniqueness that one cannot deny.

The seats are also excellent and supportive and the fabric is quite nice. However, this is very much understandable considering how high Mini has priced this car. However, one disadvantage is that it offers very bad cargo capacity, even for something that is this small and is a convertible. There is seating for four adults and having any more people would make it feel very cramped.

Models

2021 Mini Convertible JCW

2021 Ford Mustang Convertible

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible

Seating Capacity

4

4

2

4

Front Row (head/shoulder/leg) (in.)

39.8/51/41.4

37.6/56.3/45.1

36.8/52.2/43.1

40.1/54.4/41.5

Rear Row (head/shoulder/leg ) (in.)

39/39.7/30.9

35.7/44.7/29.2

NA

36.5/53.4/33.0

Cargo Space (cu-ft)

7.6

11.4

4.5

11.8

The cabin of all cars in this category are quite cramped but the Ford Mustang offers very generous space in the front row. The Mazda does not even have a rear seat and this could be a problem for some people. The BMW also has much better cargo capacity than any car in this class while the Mazda has very low cargo capacity. Overall, the cars are very nearly on par but it is undeniable that except for the BMW, none of these are entirely practical in terms of their interiors. Some standard features include:

  • Tilt & telescopic multi-function leather steering wheel
  • 6-way manual-folding front seats
  • Leatherette & leather upholstery
  • Ambient lighting
  • Metallic-tone interior accents
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Push-button start
  • Power soft-top

What’s there to keep you entertained?

When it comes to infotainment options, the car has a few things that let it down. Mini equips it with a very basic infotainment system from the company which is not a love you even the best of smartphone connectivity. The standard infotainment screen is a 6.5-inch touchscreen while an 8.8-inch touchscreen is available as an option. A base sound system is a six-speaker unit that will need upgrading as well. We felt that the Harman Kardon sound system which comes as an option and the navigation system is worthy of an upgrade. It is also quite sad that one has to go to the options list to even get Apple CarPlay. Overall, it can use a lot of upgrades here. Some features of the infotainment system include: 

  • 6.5 & 8.8-inch infotainment display
  • Optional Apple CarPlay
  • 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Satellite radio
  • Two additional USB ports
Exterior
8.0/10

The Mini Cooper JCW convertible is stunning without a doubt. It is not exactly the purest design from the brand’s line-up as it has always been a brand that has specialized in hatchbacks. It certainly looks more upmarket compared to the other models in its category. Its design has equal elements of retro and modern elements. The design also keeps a lot of playful impacts which suits the character of the car.

Models

2021 Mini Convertible JCW

2021 Ford Mustang Convertible

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible

2021 BMW 2 Series Convertible

Curb Weight

2895 lbs.

3706 lbs.

2453 lbs.

3386 lbs.

Length

151.1”

188.5”

154.1”

174.7”

Width

68”

75.4”

68.3”

69.8”

Height

55.7”

54.9”

49.0”

55.8”

Ground Clearance

4.5”

5.3”

5.3”

5.5”

Wheelbase

98.2”

107.2”

90.9”

105.9”

The Mustang is the largest car in the segment but it only offers similar amounts of interior and cargo space as the BMW. This is definitely a very nice thing on the part of the German brand. Even though the Miata is the lightest car in the category, it is the Mini that is the smallest. The Mini also offers the least ground clearance. Mazda’s very short wheelbase makes it very fun to drive and agile. Some standout features include:

  • LED headlamps
  • LED DRLs & taillights
  • Power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Chrome exhaust tips
  • Black fender lip moldings
  • Black grille with chrome surrounds
  • Black headlamp bezels
  • Black window trim
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
Safety
8.9/10

When it comes to safety, the Mini brand has always given due consideration. The Mini Cooper hardtop is rated with the four-star safety rating from NHTSA but the organization has not tested the convertible version yet. IIHS has also given good ratings to the hardtop version that it has not tested the convertible yet. It comes with most of the advanced safety features available in the market today as standard features and hence is a very safe car. Some of the standout safety features include: 

  • Front & Rear Parking Sensors
  • Parallel parking Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Rearview Camera
Competition
8.0/10

2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible Vs. 2021 Ford Mustang Convertible

As we have observed, the Mustang convertible is a better car than the Mini in terms of nearly every single aspect performance metric. But however, cars like the Mini cannot be evaluated in terms of their numbers. It offers a very unique driving experience and that is what most customers are after. It also offers much better fuel efficiency and this is a very easy car to drive inside tight cities. The Mustang is much cheaper than the Mini but skimps out on interior materials and so on.

2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible vs. 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible 

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the closest thing to the mini in terms of spirit. However, it is the Mazda MX-5 that is often touted as the most fun to drive car because of its rear-wheel-drive configuration, affordable price, 50-50 weight balance, and lightweight. The interior space offered in the Mazda is equally horrible as the Mini while both of them offer good amounts of fuel efficiency. In the end, it is down to which type of fun driving you like.

2021 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible Vs. 2021 BMW 2-Series Convertible

The BMW 2 Series convertible is a corporate sibling of the Mini even though they do not share many parts. It offers good interior space and is more practical in every single aspect. It is also a little bit more expensive while being a little less fuel-efficient. The BMW has always had excellent build quality as well and the rivals don’t exactly match up in terms of this aspect. Overall, the mini is more fun while the BMW is much more practical.

Final Verdict
7.9/10

The new Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible is a nice subcompact convertible that presents a lot of reasons for one to choose it over its competitors. The problem is that it appeals to a very niche crowd who understands the driving dynamics of a front-wheel-drive hot hatchback and is prepared to pay a premium to get that. It is supremely fun to drive, has some of the best interiors you can find at this price, and is a truly iconic product. However, it has quite a lot of compromises in terms of practicality and would not be the ideal car for a family. There are a wide variety of reasons to pick it but it has to be in the hands of someone who will enjoy it.

Features

vehicle bio
base price

$38400

body style

2dr Convertible

engine type
displacement

122 cu in

transmission

8-Speed Automatic

dimensions
length

152.5 in

wheelbase

98.2 in

width

68 in

curb weight

3120 lbs

Height

55.7 in

Ground Clearance

4.5 lbs

capacity
passenger volume

76.3 cu ft

cargo volume

7.6 cu ft

passenger capacity

4 Seats

warranty
basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.


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