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2012 MINI Cooper Coupe Review

Test drivers said that sprightly handling is the 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe’s strongest suit, though some thought its interior features could be more user-friendly.

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble handling
  • Useful trunk space
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Poor rearward visibility
  • Oddly-placed interior controls




Critics' Rating: 7.4
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 MINI Cooper Coupe Overview

The base Mini Cooper Coupe comes with a four-cylinder engine, while higher S and John Cooper works models feature more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engines that reviewers said offer quick acceleration. The Mini Coupe’s standard six-speed manual transmission earned praise for its precise shifter and smooth clutch action. A six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is available, and critics said that it responds quickly in manual mode. The base Mini Cooper Coupe gets 29/37 mpg city/highway, which is outstanding fuel economy for a 2012 sports car. Test drivers agreed that the 2012 Mini Coupe offers particularly fun driving dynamics, with quick steering, strong brakes and athletic handling that keeps the Coupe firmly planted on spirited drives down twisty roads.

Inside, reviewers noted that the 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe shares many of the styling cues that are seen elsewhere in the Mini line, such as dash-mounted toggle switches and a large speedometer that’s located above the center stack. Some test drivers wrote that the Coupe’s interior has some flaws, such as power window switches that aren’t logically placed and an available infotainment system that can be difficult to use. The two-seat Mini Coupe earned praise for its comfortable and supportive seats, and auto writers agreed that there’s enough headroom for taller drivers. Still, some said that rearward visibility could be better from the driver’s seat. The 2012 Mini Coupe offers 7 cubic feet of trunk space and a pass-through to accommodate longer items, and most reviewers thought that the Coupe’s trunk has a useful amount of space. All 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe models come with a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio, HD Radio, a CD player and an auxiliary input jack. Available features include automatic climate control, keyless ignition, proximity key, a Harman Kardon stereo system, Bluetooth, the Mini Connected infotainment system, navigation, rear parking sensors, heated seats and leather upholstery.

Other Cars to Consider

The Nissan 370Z is significantly more powerful than the Mini Coupe, and critics loved its athletic handling and swift acceleration. An eye-catching cabin that’s built with premium materials also impressed reviewers when the 370Z was new.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is more powerful than the base Mini Coupe. Test drivers loved the Miata’s agile handling, and they noted that it offers strong breaks and precise steering with great road feel.

Compare the Coupe, 370Z and Miata »


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