Great styling; sporty driving dynamics; enjoyable powerplants; surprisingly practical
Gets pricey with options; looks a lot like last year's model; sport suspension means stiff ride
After a full redesign in 2014 and minor updates last year, the Cooper sees no major changes for the latest model year.
We really like the Mini Cooper, and we think recent updates only give us more reason to appreciate it. If we were choosing, it would be a 2-door or 4-door Cooper S with a few luxury options -- though we'd try to keep the price under $30,000. Going over that figure would be tempting, but we think it's easy to get all the Mini you need, and all the equipment, for $30,000 or less. Find a Mini Cooper Hardtop for sale
This year's Mini Cooper is offered in three trim levels: a base model dubbed Cooper, a sporty Cooper S and a high-performance John Cooper Works variant, which was added in the middle of the 2015 model year.
The Cooper ($21,500 for the 2-door; $22,500 for the 4-door) uses the car's 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. It also boasts 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, Bluetooth, power accessories, split-folding rear seats, a USB plug for music and HD Radio. The Cooper also offers driver-selectable driving modes thanks to an adjustable suspension system.
Step up to the Cooper S ($25,000 for the 2-door; $26,000 for the 4-door) and you'll get the more powerful 2.0-liter engine, along with larger wheels, sport seats and fog lights.
The sporty John Cooper Works ($31,600) is available only as a 2-door. It adds even more power, larger wheels, LED headlights, sport seats, a body kit, a sport steering wheel and upgraded front brakes.
You'll really be able to customize your Mini by taking advantage of the hatchback's options list. Available equipment is plentiful, and it includes features such as a backup camera, an automated parallel-parking system, leather upholstery, a navigation system, larger wheels, a huge panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, a Harmon Kardon sound system, automatic windshield wipers and park assist. You can also choose from a multitude of exterior colors and available interiors.
|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|
2016 FIAT 500 -- FIAT's subcompact 500 hatchback offers a lower base price than the Mini Cooper and similar head-turning looks. With the sporty Abarth model, it also boasts an enjoyable driving experience.
2016 Volkswagen Beetle -- The Beetle boasts unique styling, a wide range of engines and a larger interior than the Mini, but it doesn't offer the Mini's sports-car-like driving experience.
2016 Volkswagen GTI -- If an exciting driving experience is what you're looking for, you might want to consider the newly redesigned Volkswagen GTI. Based on the Golf, it offers a turbocharged engine and a choice between a slick-shifting manual or a dual-clutch automatic. It's also available with four doors for added practicality.
Used BMW 1 Series -- Although the Mini Cooper offers a lot of pizzazz for the money, it can't quite top a rear-wheel-drive car like the 1 Series from Mini's parent company, BMW. Although the 1 Series is recently out of production, a used model will be in the Mini's price range.