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2015 MINI Cooper Roadster Review

Despite the 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster's fun driving dynamics and powerful engines, its complicated dashboard controls, subpar cabin materials, and rigid ride land it near the bottom of the affordable sports car class. 

Pros & Cons


  • Agile handling
  • Potent engines
  • Great fuel economy



  • Firm suspension
  • Awkward dashboard layout





Critics' Rating: 7.2
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 6.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 MINI Cooper Roadster Overview

Is the 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster a Good Used Car?

The 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster is no slouch behind the wheel, delivering lively handling and satisfying power from all three available engines. The base model is also one of the most fuel-efficient sports cars available. Still, the Cooper Roadster's cabin disappoints with its cheap materials, noisiness, and confusing dashboard controls. Its rough ride also makes it a poor choice for day-to-day driving. It’s not a bad car – there are simply better options available.

Used 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster Performance and Interior

Powering the front-wheel-drive 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster is a 121-horsepower four-cylinder engine. While that may sound like a low horsepower rating for a sports car, the Roadster's engine puts down snappy highway acceleration. The Cooper S is even quicker, with its turbocharged 181-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The performance-tuned John Cooper Works Roadster comes with a turbocharged 208-horsepower four-cylinder engine that can move the car from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. Across models, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is available. The base model's fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway – excellent for the class. 

Around corners, the Mini Cooper Roadster has sharp reflexes and quick steering. Its brakes also have plenty of stopping power. However, along with the Cooper Roadster's athleticism comes ride harshness. 

Read more about Cooper Roadster performance »

The Mini Cooper Roadster is a two-seat convertible. Its cabin has a striking design, though there are still lots of cheap plastics throughout. The leatherette-lined seats are plenty supportive for corner carving, but they could use a bit more head- and legroom. The drop-top's unlined fabric roof lets in a good amount of wind and road noise, and it limits rearward visibility.

Standard features include automatic climate control, automatic windshield wipers, a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary audio input, a USB input, HD Radio, and Bluetooth. Available features include a Harman Kardon sound system, satellite radio, and the Mini Connected infotainment system with navigation and a 6.5-inch display. While its dashboard controls and switches for audio and climate settings are attractive, they can be difficult to use. The available Mini Connected system offers convenient features like voice recognition and smartphone integration, but its central control knob is difficult to use, especially while driving. 

Read more about Cooper Roadster interior »

Used 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster Prices

The price of a used 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster ranges from about $20,200 for the base model up to around $28,500 for the performance-oriented John Cooper Works Roadster. However, several factors can affect the car's price, including its location, equipment, mileage, and condition.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 17 Reviews Analyzed

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on the findings of the automotive press alongside data like crash test ratings, reliability scores, and ownership costs. We analyzed 17 professional Mini Cooper Roadster reviews to help you make a buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

The U.S. News Best Cars staff has been ranking cars for a decade, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To ensure our reviews are unbiased, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from automakers, and a separate team handles the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster?

The 2015 Cooper Roadster has a projected reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, which is average for all cars on the road.

Read more about Cooper Roadster reliability »

How Safe Is the Cooper Roadster?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have not evaluated the 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster in crash tests. The 2015 Cooper Roadster's only available driver assistance feature are rear parking sensors. 

See Cooper Roadster safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Cooper Roadster?

The Mini Cooper Roadster's first generation began in 2012 and ended with the 2015 model year. Consider purchasing an earlier model year; they’re all nearly identical to the 2015 model, and they should cost less. 

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Cooper Roadster » 

Which Used Mini Cooper Roadster Is Right for Me?

The Cooper Roadster is available in three trims: Cooper Roadster (base), Cooper S Roadster, and John Cooper Works Roadster. 

The Cooper Roadster comes standard with automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, a deployable rear spoiler, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker stereo. The Cooper S Roadster adds sport seats and LED fog lights. The John Cooper Works Roadster is designed for performance enthusiasts, adding high-performance Brembo brakes, an aerodynamic body kit, an electronic-locking front differential, and a sport exhaust. 

You should also consider a certified pre-owned Mini. Mini’s certified pre-owned program offers two levels of warranty coverage based on the vehicle’s age and mileage. The original new-car warranty is extended to five years or 75,000 miles for CPO vehicles with more than 300 miles but less than 36,001 miles. The original new-car warranty is extended to six years or 100,000 miles for CPO vehicles with more than 36,001 miles. Each Mini must pass an inspection to become certified pre-owned. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mini warranty page carefully. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Mini certified pre-owned program » 

2015 Mini Cooper Roadster and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster or 2015 Mini Cooper?

Like the Mini Cooper Roadster, the 2015 Mini Cooper offers three powerful engines, agile handling, and an unfortunately harsh ride. However, its cabin bests the Cooper Roadsters', offering high-quality materials and a user-friendly dashboard. Additionally, the Mini Cooper gives you more body style options: a two-door hardtop, a two-door convertible, and a four-door hardtop. 

Which Is Better: 2015 Mini Cooper Roadster or 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

The rear-wheel-drive 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the better performance car, offering both thrilling handling and excellent road grip. Its base four-cylinder engine is stronger than the Cooper Roadster's, and the car's light weight makes it feel even faster. The Mazda Miata also has a slick five-speed manual transmission, and its cabin technology is more user-friendly than the Cooper Roadster's.  

Compare the Cooper Roadster, Cooper S, and MX-5 Miata »

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