MF Garage: Packing a MINI Roadster


So you’re curious about the MINI Roadster but a little concerned about the apparent lack of space? We were until we got to drive the car at the launch event last January and we got a glimpse at the trunk. And then the space behind the rear seats. When pressed for luggage duty at the Portugal launch, we were genuinely surprised at how versatile the car was. But it’s one thing to experience it once with a few bags of luggage; it’s another to make it your daily driver. This past weekend we started that process with a road-trip to ALMS at Road America. But the real first test was packing for our entry into the 24 Hours of LeMons the day after (at the same track). And as many of you likely know, racing requires stuff. Stuff that needed to somehow fit into our little JCW.

Let’s talk about packing. First up was the trunk. It’s a straight-forward exercise in packing as the shape is rectangular and easy to figure out. Sort of like a real world Tetris with plenty of do-overs. Once done the trunk had swallowed four grocery bags, a duffle, shoes, a box of tools and racing apparel, a large cooler (full of Bell’s if you’re curious) and some lederhosen (don’t ask). All told much more than you’d expect fit in small open top car.

Upfront we started with two laptop bags and a camera bag behind the seats. Then as you can see, some lights and a helmet (all safely strapped in). All pretty easily done with no drama. In fact you could probably fit two overnight bags plus a camera back back there without issues.

So consider the first test passed. But it won’t be the last. We’ve got plenty ahead of this little car.

  • b-

    Great information!

    A related question, are you as careful/protective with this car as you would be with your own car? Like interior scratches and such? Most who read Motoringfile are people who really baby their cars and I am sure you do with your own vehicles as well.

    • Gabriel Bridger

      Absolutely! You can’t turn off the insanity of being an enthusiast no latter if you own the car or now :)

      • b-

        Well that is good to know, for the next driver.

  • r_k_w
    and some lederhosen (don’t ask)

    We won’t ask. We just want pics.

    • Mark Smith

      Are you referring to his spelling of Helmet as “Helmut?” I thought that was pretty funny actually. I wonder if the mispellings are sometimes inside humor or to keep me on my toes when reading MF? All in all always a joy to read regardless.

  • birddog2

    Have had our Roadster for five months and I’m still impressed by the space in the boot. More than our previous Hardtop w/seats up or the convertible. The space behind the seats is a bonus, even with the seats back, is great for camera, purse, jacketrs, etc.

  • Nathan Fong

    Pack up stuff in to a small trunk makes you realize what you really need on a trip. I still have my 2000 Z3 2.8L Roadster and I cannot count the number of trips I have taken with myself and my wife. You find all the nook and cranies packed with something. :)

  • Lemelou

    So would anyone with a conventional marital status find this car to lack boot space, but not booty space?

  • Dr Obnxs

    No matter what, this isn’t going to hold everything….. We’ve done lots of travel with our MINIs, and there are a couple break points for hauling stuff. We did two weeks across country with two adults and two kids (including carseats!) in a Clubman, but one had to be very careful about how one put the suitcases in. It was quite the 3-D puzzle. But it worked well. Carting stuff for FES to AMVIV, we filled two MINIs (02 MCS 08 Clubman) with the same family, but I needed a small trailer as well to hold the stuff for the both the booth and the track day…. All the stuff would have gone into our MDX just fine…. I’ve also, owned a couple other rag-tops, and yes, one always finds ways to get more into them than one thinks is possible, but let’s get real: there is a limit to what you can do.

  • DrivingMyMINI

    Cool review! I drove a Roadster for a weekend a few weeks ago…LOVED IT. After living with it for 48 hours, I wasn’t at all concerned about the boot space. I was able to fit my gym bag and my trader joe’s bags. As for moving things that are bigger…that’s what home delivery is for!!