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MSRP: $21,900 - 36,900

2019 MINI Cooper Review

The 2019 Mini Cooper has a distinctive, premium interior, potent engines, and spirited handling. These attributes, along with an exceptional predicted reliability rating, help the Cooper rank near the top of the subcompact car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Stylish cabin
  • Potent engine options
  • Cramped back seats
  • Small trunk

Is the Mini Cooper a Good Car?

The Mini Cooper is a great vehicle for people seeking athletic handling and brisk acceleration from a subcompact car. Its excellent road grip, firm suspension, sturdy brakes, and responsive steering help this vehicle move with an air of zippiness usually reserved for larger hatchbacks. The cabin is loaded with premium materials, and it has a stellar predicted reliability rating. Rear-seat passengers will feel cramped, however, and cargo space is well below average for the class. While sporty, this car’s ride quality can also be firm.

Should I Buy the Mini Cooper?

Lively performance and signature Mini styling are the main reasons to buy this vehicle. It has brisk acceleration and nimble handling. While it may feel a little jumpy in stop-and-go traffic, it’s well-suited for motoring around curved roads. Additionally, Mini offers dozens of customization options for this car. However, cargo and rear-seat space are tight.

Other Mini vehicles, such as the Clubman and Countryman, offer more cargo and back-seat room. Both also have high-quality interiors and are pricier than the already pricey Cooper. There are more affordable options in the class, like the Kia Rio and Honda Fit, that some shoppers may want to consider.

Compare the Mini Hardtop, Clubman, and Countryman »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mini Cooper?

The 2019 Mini Cooper belongs to a generation that launched for the 2014 model year. For 2019, Mini makes Apple CarPlay and wireless device charging available, neither of which were available in older models. If those features aren’t important to you, you might want to consider an older model, which will likely be less expensive. The 2018 Mini gained a standard rearview camera and rear parking sensors, and the 2017 model received a standard infotainment system. The Mini convertible was redesigned for the 2016 model year, and the Hardtop four-door was introduced as an all-new vehicle for 2015.

To further research other models in this generation, read our reviews of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Mini Cooper. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mini Cooper »

We Did the Research for You: 42 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Mini Cooper in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and cargo space dimensions with professional evaluations from 42 automotive sources. This Mini Cooper review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which spans the 2014 through 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Mini Cooper Cost?

With a base MSRP of $21,900, the 2019 Mini Hardtop two-door is one of the priciest new subcompact cars you can buy. It's more expensive than both the Toyota Prius c and Volkswagen Beetle. Four-door models add $1,000 to the window sticker price, and convertibles cost $5,000 more than their hardtop two-door counterparts. The top-of-the-line John Cooper Works Mini Convertible in the Iconic trim has a starting price of nearly $45,000. That’s more than the base price of some luxury competitors.

Mini offers two other primary models in its lineup. The Mini Clubman starts at $24,900, and the Mini Countryman starts at $26,900 ($36,900 for the plug in-hybrid). We review both separately.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mini dealer.

Mini Cooper Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mini Cooper or Mini Clubman?

The Mini Clubman is a decent car. It has the same engine options as its hardtop and convertible siblings, along with sporty handling. Both vehicles have similar features lists as well. The Clubman’s two main advantages are its larger trunk and its available all-wheel drive. However, the base Mini Hardtop retails for $3,000 less than the base Clubman. The Hardtop also earns superior fuel economy estimates. Unless you want all-wheel drive or the extra space, choose the Mini Hardtop over the Clubman to save money and get basically the same car.

Which Is Better: Mini Cooper or Mini Countryman?

The Mini Countryman is a subcompact SUV. As such, it has more passenger and cargo space than the Mini Hardtop. Both vehicles share similar engine options and features lists. However, the Countryman adds a plug-in hybrid model. On top of that, the Countryman has a sleek interior and an all-wheel-drive option. It also combines the sporty handling of Mini’s small cars with the comfort of some SUVs, offering a plush ride over rough roads yet retaining agile steering for twists and turns. The Countryman is pricey though, with a starting MSRP of $26,900, which is $5,000 more than the base Mini Hardtop. If your budget stretches that far, go for the Countryman. Otherwise the regular Mini Cooper is a fine choice.

Compare the Mini Hardtop, Clubman, and Countryman »

Mini Cooper Interior

How Many People Does the Mini Cooper Seat?

Convertible and two-door hardtop models can seat up to four people. Four-door models seat five. Synthetic leather seats are standard, while leather upholstery and heated front seats are available.

The front seats are supportive and comfortable, offering ample head- and legroom for adults. The rear seats are generally cramped and best left to children, though most adults can ride comfortably in the back of four-seat models for short trips.

Mini Cooper and Car Seats

The Mini Hardtop has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats. The lower anchors are set deep in the seats and can be tricky to maneuver around. For these reasons, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Cooper's LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use.

Mini Interior Quality

The Mini Cooper has a ritzy cabin with high-end materials. Stylish and unique, with a distinct circular center stack and retro dashboard switches, the interior of this car is recognizably Mini.

Mini Cooper Cargo Space

Cargo space varies depending on body type. The convertible has the least amount, offering a 5.7-cubic-foot trunk. The two-door Hardtop has 8.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 34 cubic feet with the rear seats down. The four-door Hardtop has 13.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a maximum 40.7 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s less space than most subcompact cars and hatchbacks. You’ll have more space with the Honda Fit.

Mini Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The base Mini Hardtop features Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker stereo, and a 6.5-inch display. Satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, an 8.8-inch touch screen, a navigation system, wireless device charging, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system are available.

Modeled after BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, the Mini's system is easy to use once you get used to it. It’s stylish and can be outfitted with color-changing LED lights as an accessory. While Apple CarPlay is available as an all-new feature for 2019, Android Auto is not.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Mini Cooper Performance

Mini Cooper Engine: 3 Peppy Choices

Mini offers three engine choices, each marked by a different model name. The base Mini Cooper uses a turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Both the Mini Cooper S and John Cooper Works models have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It makes 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque in the Cooper S and 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque in the John Cooper Works. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with all three, and a six-speed automatic is available.

The base engine is lively enough for motoring around town, but the other engines deliver more passing power on the highway and swifter acceleration. For example, the John Cooper Works model with the automatic transmission can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

Mini Cooper Gas Mileage: Average

With the manual transmission, the Mini Cooper gets fuel economy estimates of 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. That’s about average for a subcompact car. Mini Cooper S and John Cooper Works models typically get an EPA-estimated 23-25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Mini Cooper Ride and Handling: Go-Kart Fun

The Mini Hardtop and convertible models are engaging to drive. They have responsive steering and strong brakes, and the firm suspension checks body roll. A low center of gravity helps them feel composed on the road. They're agile and sporty around winding roads, but the firmness reduces ride comfort. Front-wheel drive is standard. Like many subcompact cars, all-wheel drive is not available.

Read more about performance »

Mini Cooper Reliability

Is the Mini Cooper Reliable?

The 2019 Mini Hardtop has a top-notch predicted reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Mini Cooper Warranty

This Mini comes with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty, which differs a bit from the warranties of other subcompact cars. The Honda Fit comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, while the Volkswagen GTI comes with a six-year/72,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Mini Safety

Mini Cooper Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2019 Mini Hardtop a Top Safety Pick, the agency's second-best award. It earned the highest rating of Good in all five crash test categories. Neither the four-door model nor the convertible has undergone full crash testing as of this writing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Mini Hardtop an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. 

Cooper Safety Features

A rearview camera, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing wipers are this vehicle’s only standard advanced safety features. Front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, parallel park assist, and a head-up display are available.

Read more about safety »

Which Mini Hardtop/Convertible Model Is Right for Me?

Mini made its most iconic model one of the most customizable cars on the market. There are three body types: a two-door convertible, a two-door hardtop, and a four-door hardtop. All but the four-door are offered in three models: Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works, and each of those is offered in three trim levels: Classic, Signature, and Iconic. The four-door lacks a John Cooper Works model. The Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works each signify the powertrain the car has, and the Classic, Signature, and Iconic trims indicate different features. Standard and optional features vary between the three body types and the trims.

Thus, it’s possible to mix and match, getting a high-output two-door John Cooper Works model as a Classic trim with few interior features or a four-door Mini Cooper S Signature with the latest tech enhancements. The Signature trim – in any body style and configuration – is a solid bet. It’s available with nearly all the equipment in higher models, and it has comfort features not found in the base Classic. With so many possibilities, however, finding the right Mini for you boils down to your personal tastes.

The Mini Cooper has a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that makes 134 horsepower. The Mini Cooper S has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 189 horsepower, and the John Cooper Works model uses the same engine but squeezes out 228 horsepower.

The four-door Cooper and Cooper S models are $1,000 more than their two-door counterparts. Convertible models are $5,000 more than the two-door Mini Coopers.

Mini Classic

The two-door Mini Hardtop Classic starts at $21,900. Standard equipment includes sport leatherette seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, alloy wheels, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and a 6.5-inch display screen with Bluetooth, a USB port, and a six-speaker stereo. An automatic transmission is available for $1,250.

The two-door Mini Cooper S Hardtop Classic starts at $25,900, and the John Cooper Works Classic starts at $31,900. Other than the powertrain changes, they have the same features listed above.

Heated front seats are available for $500, and satellite radio will cost you $300.

Mini Signature

The two-door Mini Hardtop Signature (MSRP: $24,900) adds heated front seats, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a panoramic glass roof. The Cooper S Signature has a base price of $29,900, and the John Cooper Works Signature starts at $34,900. Convertible models have the same features but swap out the panoramic roof for a folding soft top.

A few accessory options are available for all three. The Signature Upholstery package ($2,000) adds leather seats, and the Premium package ($2,000) comes with satellite radio, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, LED lights, and a unique exterior trim. A Touchscreen Navigation package ($1,700), featuring wireless device charging, Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, and an 8.8-inch touch screen, is also available.

The Cooper S Signature and John Cooper Works models add an optional Driver Assistance package ($1,000) that has front parking sensors, parallel park assist, and adaptive cruise control. A head-up display is available for $500.

Mini Iconic

The two-door Mini Hardtop Iconic (MSRP: $29,900) gains larger alloy wheels and the features in the Signature Upholstery, Premium, and Touchscreen Navigation packages. The four-door Hardtop Iconic trim starts at $30,900, and the Convertible Iconic has a window sticker price of $34,900.

The Driver Assistance package is available across the Iconic lineup, all the way to the top-of-the-line John Cooper Works Iconic Convertible (MSRP: $44,900).

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mini dealer.

See 2019 Mini Cooper specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Mini Cooper is one of the pricier subcompact cars you can buy. It doesn’t cost as much as its siblings, the Clubman and Countryman, but you’ll still pay a pretty penny for it compared to other subcompact cars. It has less cargo room than many rivals, and other classmates are more comfortable to drive and ride in. On the other hand, it's one of the most engaging and fun-to-drive cars in the segment, offering three punchy turbo engines and razor-sharp steering. This Mini is also one of the most customizable cars around, and it has a terrific predicted reliability rating.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The base Cooper is a terrific choice if you are looking for a fun, playful subcompact with more personality than other cars in its class." -- Edmunds
  • "Now, 16 years on, it’s clear Mini is not a passing fad. … From base car to feisty John Cooper Works editions, all 2019 Minis are a delight to drive, and they compete with cars such as the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic. Although these competitors cost thousands less, they don’t come close to matching the charm or premium retro appeal of the 2019 Mini Cooper." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • [We like the:] Unique style and driving character; sporty driving dynamics; energetic and efficient engines; surprisingly roomy front seats; quality cabin. [We don’t like:] Gets pricey with options; stiff ride, especially with the sport suspension and bigger wheels; clutch can be difficult to modulate; no collision-avoidance tech." -- Autotrader (2017)


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