Great styling; sporty driving dynamics; enjoyable powerplants; surprisingly practical with the rear seats folded down
Gets pricey with options; looks a lot like last year's model; sport suspension means stiff ride
With a full redesign last year, the Cooper offers only minor changes for 2015. Updates include newly standard automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers and newly optional roof rails.
We really like the Mini Cooper, and we think last year's updates only give us more reason to appreciate the small hatchback. If we were choosing, we would go with the 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 you need -- for $30,000 or less. Find a Mini Cooper for sale
This year's Mini Cooper is offered in two trim levels: a base model, the Cooper, and a sportier version, the Cooper S. A high-performance John Cooper Works model is currently unavailable, though we expect Mini to add it to the Cooper's lineup sometime soon.
The Cooper ($21,300) has a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. It also boasts 15-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, power accessories, a USB plug for music, air conditioning and HD Radio. The Cooper also offers driver-selectable driving modes thanks to a new-for-2015 adjustable suspension.
Step up to the Cooper S ($25,000), and you'll get the more powerful 2.0-liter engine, along with larger wheels, sport seats and fog lights.
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 Harman Kardon sound system, automatic windshield wipers and a park-assist system. 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|
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.
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.
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, the GTI offers a turbocharged engine and a choice between a slick-shifting manual or a dual-clutch automatic transmission. It's also available with four doors for added practicality.