2012 Mini Cooper Convertible
Starting price: $25,650
Top: Automatic soft-top convertible
MPG: 27 city, 35 highway, 30 combined
The sweet drop-top is a nice touch, but this 1.6-liter, 121-horsepower little dynamo didn't get its fun reputation just by sitting there and looking pretty.
The Mini convertible comes loaded with its Mini Connected entertainment center featuring a 6.5-inch high-definition display, Apple-designed Bluetooth interface and app for smartphone and iTunes connectivity and optional GPS. While's it's also hooked up with Sirius satellite radio, Pandora and HD radio, the most indulgent item built into the dash is an Openometer whose sole purpose is to count the number of minutes or hours your convertible top is down during your trip.
The Mini's wide stance, stability control and surprising speediness for a car its size make it an "absolute joy" for Kelley Blue Book's team, but distractions such as the open top, broad color palette, surrounding airbags and cockpit-style dashboard are what make up for the paltry six cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk.
"This is a Mini, so don't expect loads of cargo room," Edmunds.com's Clarke says. "If you're fine with that, what you get is a quick little drop-top that offers razor-sharp handling and excellent fuel economy."