Excellent engines; impressive fuel economy; nimble handling; fits just about anywhere
Only two seats; even less cargo space than a regular Mini; can get pricey when loaded with options
The Mini Cooper Coupe is unchanged for the 2014 model year
We don't see the point of buying a Cooper Coupe without the turbocharged engine. This isn't a practical car, so you may as well go all out under the hood. Whether you want to step all the way up to the JCW model depends on your budget.
The Mini Cooper Coupe comes in three available trim levels. There's a base model, called simply the Coupe, a mid-level Cooper S Coupe and a high-performance John Cooper Works model.
Drivers who choose the base-level Coupe ($22,500) get 16-inch alloy wheels and basic power accessories such as windows, mirrors, locks and keyless entry. The Coupe also includes standard "leatherette" upholstery, along with iPod and USB connectivity. A 121-hp 1.6-liter engine is standard.
Upgrade to the Cooper S Coupe ($25,700) and you get a turbocharged version of the base model's engine, which is good for 181 hp. Other upgrades include fog lights, firmer sport suspension, sport seats and sport pedals.
Topping the range is the John Cooper Works ($32,400), which boosts power to 208 hp. It also features even firmer sport suspension, an aerodynamic bodykit, 17-in wheels and strong Brembo brakes.
While those prices may not seem so bad, the Cooper Coupe's biggest problem is that so many features are relegated to the options list. There's a Cold Weather Package with heated seats and heater mirrors; a Premium Package with keyless ignition, automatic headlights and automatic climate control; a Technology Package with the Mini Connected smartphone integration system, rear parking sensors and an upgraded sound system; and a Sport Package, which adds larger wheels, sport seats and sport-tuned traction control. Like most MINI models, the Cooper Coupe also offers a long list of color options. And an automatic transmission is $1,250 extra.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
FIAT 500 -- While we consider the base 500 a step down from the Mini, it's a lot cheaper. Meanwhile, the turbocharged 500 Abarth hatchback has a great engine and is almost as quick as a Cooper S Coupe for a little less money.
Mazda MX-5 Miata -- The rear-wheel-drive Miata is the quintessential affordable 2-seater, and it's now available with a retractable hardtop for a coupelike experience. We'd be hard pressed to pick a Cooper Coupe over a Miata for the same price.
Subaru BRZ -- The 2-seat, rear-wheel-drive BRZ sport coupe is certainly worth a try. It costs as much as a well-equipped Cooper S Coupe, but it's every bit a match for the Mini through the corners, with proper rear-drive dynamics besides. Ditto the Scion FR-S, the BRZ's mechanical twin.