THE BLOG
10/31/2016 02:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Paws on Wheels Presents: 2017 Mini Cooper S Convertible

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Cartoon created by Charles James Fox

Buying a car is an important decision and one that tends to be based on the answers to a multitude of questions. How well does the car handle while driving off road? What type of city and highway mileage can I expect? What is the size and performance capabilities of the engine?

The answers to these questions can be found in a million and one car reviews today. They are the standard questions that car buyers are asking and therefore the ones you read about. These questions and answers pertain to the average car buyer who may be buying just for themselves or for part of the family. But what about your pets? Are they not also members of the family? Shouldn't their well-being play a part when composing your car buying matrix?

That's where we can help. Paws on Wheels is a new car review platform from the pet owner perspective. The partnership was formed between Bumper2Bumpertv, an established car review blog and TV channel with over twenty years of experience, and Petopia, an online web platform and resource guide for pet owners. As pet owners and pet enthusiasts, the founders of Paws on Wheels understand the challenges of buying a car suitable for you, your family, other passengers, pets, and luggage. We have established five categories that will help ease your decision and the information provided will answer those questions that you may not have initially considered. What size dog can fit into the back seat or cargo space? Will I be able to fit both my cat carrier and dog in the car together without being seated next to each other? Will I be able to tow my horse trailer?

Once these pet considerations are taken into account, the answers to your initial questions can also be answered through our forum. Each review includes a video or article that provides you with the complete overview of the car features, performance, design, and more! In this review, Paws on Wheels presents the 2017 Mini Cooper S Convertible - a sporty and fun coupe for you and your small pets.

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Click here to watch the complete review of the 2017 Mini Cooper S Convertible from Bumper2Bumpertv

1. DESIGN & PET ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES:
The convertible has sufficient legroom in the front, but hardly any in the rear. So it is only convenient to put an extra small pet carrier on the floor in the front, but not in the rear. The car still is low enough for small animals to climb in and out, however since there are only two doors, this makes it much more challenging when accessing the rear. Ventilation is plentiful with the roof up so that cabin temperatures remain steady, and of course dogs enjoy the feel of the wind in their face while riding with the roof down.
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2. PET CABIN CAPACITY:
Due to the design, the back seat only has enough space for up to two small size dogs to rest comfortably. However, there is not enough space to put a carrier on the floor, or for people and luggage to also fit alongside both dogs in the back seats. The cargo space is completely enclosed and ranges from 5.7 cubic feet with the roof down to 7.6 cubic feet with the roof up.
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3. HAIR/ STAIN REMOVAL, & SCRATCH RESISTANCE:
The S convertible we reviewed came with Chesterfield leather seat coverings which is a luxury, but also sensitive and unforgiving to dog and cat claws, not to mention harder to clean and expensive to repair.
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4. HANDLING & SAFETY FEATURES:
Even with front wheel drive this Mini handled and maneuvered extremely well, especially when driving on wet pavement. It's remarkably suited for urban areas, especially when it comes to parking, and is a sporty ride on the open road.
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5. PERFORMANCE & TOWING CAPABILITIES:
The Mini Cooper S has a 2.0L twin turbo engine; 189 HP; 207 lb-ft, and while it's a dream to drive, it's not enough to hitch and tow a trailer. The car performs well when it comes to fuel as its average performance is 29 mpg for city and highway driving combined.
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The perfect paws on wheels rating is 25 out of 25. Overall the 2017 Mini Cooper S Convertible received a score of 12/25 which results in a 3 Paw-Friendly rating.

  1. Firstly, the design of the Mini Cooper S Convertible was not made for people with pets. There is limited space all around (front, rear, and cargo) and the two door coupe doesn't make it easy for pets to access. This is why we deducted 3 Paws from the Design & Pet Accessibility Features category.
  2. Secondly, the cargo space is so limited that it doesn't provide much value to the average pet owner who's also transporting accessories like cages, beds, and bowls in addition to their luggage. This is why we deducted 4 Paws from the Pet Cabin Capacity category.
  3. Thirdly, the leather seat coverings are a nice addition to the overall ambiance, but not conducive to resisting pet scratches and stains. This is why we deducted 3 Paws from the Hair/ Stain Removal, & Scratch Resistance category.
  4. Fourthly, the convertible's handling abilities are profound and make the car fun to drive. But since this is a convertible and meant to be driven with the top down, this can be a safety hazard while animals are in the car which is why we deducted 1 Paw from the Handling & Safety Features category.
  5. Finally, this Mini Cooper is built for power with a 2L engine and 189 HP. And while the car's fuel capacity is considered above average, it is not compatible for towing which is why we deducted 2 Paws from the Performance & Towing Capabilities category.

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Final score of 12/25 results in a 3 Paw-Friendly rating

According to Bumper2Bumpertv, while the Mini Cooper S Convertible is not that much bigger than a go-kart on steroids, it could still be described as a lot of fun in a small package. Nevertheless this small package is exactly that, small, and only suited for small pets and short journeys. Click here to watch the complete review of the 2017 Mini Cooper S Convertible from Bumper2Bumpertv.