Used Mini Roadster
The Mini has been a staple of British motoring for over half a century and although it may no longer be a thoroughbred car designed and built by a domestic manufacturer, it is a brand that has managed to weather many storms and remains very strong today.
The Mini Roadster is the latest model to be added to the ranks of the New Mini's range and after its first unveiling in 2012 it became quite a hot topic.
Mini has done convertible in the past, but the Roadster is a very different proposition from many of its predecessors.
It is based on the Mini Coupe which was revealed as a concept car in 2009 and went on sale in 2011, but of course this time the hardtop roof is ditched in favour of something soft and retractable.
While the Mini Roadster is not the most practical of cars, it definitely has personality and undeniable credibility, so if you're in the market for something fashionable that will really come into its own in the summer, it might be a worthwhile used purchase.
Bang for your buck
From the outside the used Mini Roadster for sale has a voluptuous and yet appropriately aggressive stance, with a style that's fairly recognisable when put alongside its stable mates, but tuned up to give it that special something.
One pertinent example of it bold styling is the spoiler at the rear, which is electronically operated and pops up when the car passes 50mph. It's the kind of thing you'd usually expect to find on a Porsche and although it might not make a huge amount of difference to the car's handling in real terms, it's definitely a nice feature to find.
This car is lighter and leaner than its full four seater equivalent and the interior is very modern and plus, with excellent detailing throughout.
Because this is a convertible, you do have to deal with increased noise generated by high speeds and the environment. In fact the roof is actually constructed using a single layer of material, which means rain will really hammer on it and give your eardrums a workout.
You can pick between petrol-powered Cooper and Cooper S variants for the Roadster, with the latter being particularly thrilling to drive thanks to its 182bhp output and 0-62mph time of around seven seconds.
There are also diesel versions of the Roadster available, which may not be as quick as the petrol iterations but do pack more pulling power and improved fuel economy.
What you'll pay
If you're buying a Mini Roadster from new you'll see prices starting at a little over £18,000, while the Cooper S editions cost closer to £21,000.
For second hand buyers the prices are only going to have depreciated by a small amount given the recent launch of this model. You'll find that it'll cost about £17,000 to get a fairly basic version, while the range-topping John Cooper Works Roadster is still floating at around £23,000.
What to check
These cars should all still be under warranty and may not even have passed their first service yet, so make sure that all the paperwork is in order.
BMW has made the Mini range reliable and modern, so you can expect great build quality and excellent levels of customer service.
The Mini Roadster shares plenty of parts with its siblings, so you'll pay a moderate amount for any replacements that are necessary. Running costs will be lower if you choose the diesel iterations and you shouldn't be put off because of the clunky reputation of this engine technology, because these powerplants have become impressively refined.
How it drives
The Mini Roadster's handling and general driving experience is definitely go-kart-esque, so it's a joy to fling into corners and race about with the top down, providing the weather holds up.
On the downside you'll find that it is perhaps a little tauter than is entirely necessary, which means the suspension and chassis will send all sorts of impacts through to you if a road surface isn't entirely even.
There's virtually no difference between the feel of the petrol or diesel Roadster, so you can really let your own preference guide you when choosing.