2020 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet vs. 2020 MINI Cooper Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The MINI Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The C-Class Cabriolet has standard front and rear seat side-impact airbags and head airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The Cooper Convertible doesn't offer rear-seat side-impact airbags, only ones for front seat occupants.

The C-Class Cabriolet offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Cooper Convertible only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the C-Class Cabriolet’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Cabriolet and the Cooper Convertible have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet weighs 804 to 1157 pounds more than the MINI Cooper Convertible. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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There are almost 3 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the C-Class Cabriolet’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd.

Engine

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The C-Class Cabriolet’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 121 more horsepower (255 vs. 134) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 162) than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder. The C-Class Cabriolet’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 66 more horsepower (255 vs. 189) and 67 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 206) than the Cooper Convertible S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The C-Class Cabriolet’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 27 more horsepower (255 vs. 228) and 38 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 235) than the John Cooper Works Convertible’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The C-Class Cabriolet has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Convertible (17.4 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Cooper Convertible.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Cooper Convertible.

All wheel drive, available in the C-Class Cabriolet, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The MINI Cooper Convertible is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the C-Class Cabriolet’s brake rotors are larger than those standard on the Cooper Convertible:

C-Class

Cooper

Front Rotors

13 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.2 inches

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cooper Convertible are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Cabriolet stops shorter than the Cooper Convertible:

C-Class

Cooper

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the C-Class Cabriolet has larger tires than the Cooper Convertible (F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18 vs. 175/65R15). The C-Class Cabriolet’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18 vs. 205/40R18).

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard 225/45R18 front and 245/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 65 series tires. The AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s optional 245/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Cooper Convertible’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the C-Class Cabriolet has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible. The AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Convertible.

The C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Cooper Convertible, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The C-Class Cabriolet’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 13.6 inches longer than on the Cooper Convertible (111.8 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the C-Class Cabriolet is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.1% to 48.9%) than the Cooper Convertible’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the C-Class Cabriolet more stable handling and braking.

The C 300 Cabriolet handles at .94 G’s, while the Cooper Convertible pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet amounts to more than styling. The C-Class Cabriolet has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Cooper Convertible (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the C-Class Cabriolet get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the C-Class Cabriolet uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the C-Class Cabriolet a Subcompact car, while the Cooper Convertible is rated a Minicompact.

The C-Class Cabriolet has 5.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Convertible (81.3 vs. 76).

The C-Class Cabriolet has .6 inches more front legroom, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and 12 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Convertible.

Cargo Capacity

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The C-Class Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top down than the Cooper Convertible with its top down (7 vs. 5.7 cubic feet). The C-Class Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top up than the Cooper Convertible with its top up (8.8 vs. 7.6 cubic feet).

With its convertible body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class offers cargo security. The Cooper Convertible’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the C-Class Cabriolet is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cooper Convertible. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 17% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

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The C-Class Cabriolet has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the C-Class Cabriolet, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat (memory seat optional for the front passenger), steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a memory system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Cooper Convertible has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Convertible’s standard power windows.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the C-Class Cabriolet has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The Cooper Convertible’s top can only be opened by remote, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

Keyless-Go standard on the C-Class Cabriolet allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The MINI Cooper Convertible’s Start/Stop Switch doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

The Cooper Convertible’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The C-Class Cabriolet’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-Class Cabriolet has standard extendable sun visors. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the C-Class Cabriolet keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the C-Class Cabriolet’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The C-Class Cabriolet has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Cooper Convertible.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the C-Class Cabriolet has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer rear vents.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Cooper Convertible’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/28

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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