NEW FOR 2009:

– Redesigned convertible models
– Cooper Classic adds dynamic stability control and multifunction wheel with cruise control; Media Connect added as a stand-alone option
– Cooper and Cooper Clubman models add automatic climate control, multifunction steering wheel with cruise control, and Fine White silver trim; Fluid Silver trim discontinued
– Cooper S and Cooper S Clubman models add automatic climate control and auto-dimming rearview mirror
– Cooper and Clubman models add optional anthracite roof liner, Park Distance Control, and Sirius satellite radio tuner; stand-alone heated seats, Piano Black interior trim, automatic climate control, media connect and electric front window defroster deleted; modifications made to optional Convenience and Sport Packages; Chrome Package renamed Style Package

For 2009, the Mini Cooper and Cooper S convertibles are updated to match the other models, with a more powerful engine, an all-new body that’s stronger and lighter than its predecessor, larger headlamps, hidden rear trunk hinges, an "Always-Open" timer that measures how long the roof is left open, and a one-piece roll bar that pops up when required, replacing the previous fixed twin hoops. The previously-available CVT is replaced with a regular six-speed automatic transmission.

Cooper and Clubman models receive new standard and optional features, with reconfigured option packages that add some previously stand-alone items.

The Mini is available as a coupe, in Cooper Classic, Cooper and Cooper S trim lines; as the Clubman, with three passenger doors and twin rear cargo doors, in Cooper and Cooper S trim lines; and as the convertible, in Cooper and Cooper S trim. The coupe and Clubman are also available as high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) editions.

All use a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that’s turbocharged in the S and JCW models, with six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission.

Features on the Cooper Classic coupe include 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, heated mirrors, heated washer nozzles, hill assist, rear washer/wiper, tire pressure warning system, keyless entry, chrome grille, rear roof spoiler, illuminated and cooled glovebox, eight-way manually-adjustable "leatherette" seats, tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped multifunction sport steering wheel, cruise control, 50/50 split-folding rear seat, power windows, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input, pre-wiring for Sirius satellite radio, and trip computer.

The Cooper coupe adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, front and rear fog lights, and on-board computer.

The Cooper S coupe adds larger brake discs, bi-xenon headlamps with washers, hood-mounted air inlet, black grille, chrome fuel filler door, twin exhaust tips, auto-dimming rearview mirror, sport seats, and stainless steel foot rest.

Features on the Cooper convertible include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, heated washer jets, hill assist, keyless entry, black soft top, front and rear fog lights, Always Open Timer, eight-way manually-adjustable "leatherette" seats, illuminated and cooled glove box, cargo cover, multifunction tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped wheel, cruise control, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input, pre-wiring for Sirius satellite radio, trip computer, and on-board computer.

The Cooper S convertible adds 17-inch alloy wheels, larger brake discs, rear Park Distance Control, bi-xenon headlamps with washers, hood-mounted air inlet, black grille, chrome fuel filler door, twin exhaust tips, white turn signal lenses, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated sport seats, and stainless steel foot rest.

Features on the Cooper Clubman include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, hill assist, heated mirrors, heated washer nozzles, rear washer/wiper, tire pressure warning system, keyless entry, front and rear fog lights, eight-way manually adjustable "leatherette" seats, multifunction tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped sport wheel, illuminated and cooled glovebox, cargo cover, 50/50 split-folding rear seat, power windows, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input, pre-wiring for Sirius satellite radio, trip computer, and on-board computer.

The Cooper S Clubman adds larger brake discs, bi-xenon headlamps with washers, hood-mounted air inlet, black grille, chrome fuel filler door, twin exhaust tips, white turn signal lenses, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, sport seats, and stainless steel foot rest.

The JCW models are similar to the Cooper S and Cooper S Clubman, but add 17-inch alloy wheels, aerodynamic body kit, sport suspension, anthracite roof liner, manual air conditioning, and Piano Black interior trim. An automatic transmission is not available.

With the convertible finally sharing the driveline of its fixed-roof siblings, the Mini lineup moves completely into its new generation. It’s still as much fun to drive as ever, with razor-sharp handling, quick acceleration, unmistakable styling, and very comfortable front seats. The larger Clubman adds a bit more legroom to the otherwise cramped second row, along with a single rear door on the passenger side, as well as the split back door for cargo loading. The convertible also includes an "Always Open Timer", a fun gimmick that lets you measure how long the top has been open, to a maximum of one second shy of seven hours. The new pop-up roll bar also solves the rear visibility issue caused by the previous fixed twin hoops.

Connect with Autos.ca