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8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 6.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 Mini Cooper Review

The 2010 Mini Cooper has retro styling and some of the best performance in the class, but a small interior makes other cars in the class more practical choices.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy for a sporty car
  • Good safety scores
  • Many standard safety and interior features
  • Very little rear-seat room
  • Small cargo space

New for 2010

  • Multi-function steering wheel and cruise control became standard on all models
  • Harman Kardon sound system became optional

2010 Mini Cooper Overview

Regardless of whether you choose the hardtop or convertible version of the 2010 Mini Cooper, you’ll get a car that offers nimble handling and good fuel economy. Three trims are available, and power increases as you move through the model line. Of the three, test drivers preferred the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models for their performance-tuned suspensions and more-powerful engines. Reviewers said the base Cooper is no slouch, however, and it gets the best fuel economy. Its 118-horsepower four-cylinder engine can get up to 28/37 mpg city/highway.

The Mini Cooper comes with air conditioning, a six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack and power door locks. A navigation system, USB port and Bluetooth were optional when it was new. Along with high safety scores, the Cooper has standard electronic stability control, which was optional or unavailable on many competing 2010 small cars.

The Mini Cooper is certainly one of the most agile and well-equipped cars in the class, but it can only seat four. The front seats are comfortable, but the two rear seats don’t have much space at all and cargo space is much smaller than other hatchbacks in the class.

See the full 2010 Mini Cooper specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2010 Volkswagen New Beetle is available as a coupe or convertible and has similar retro styling to the Mini Cooper. Like the Mini Cooper, the New Beetle doesn’t have much cargo room or space for rear passengers, but it does have a good list of standard and available features. If you want a faster or most fuel-efficient retro-styled car, you may want to stick with the Mini Cooper because its performance and fuel economy ratings are much better than the New Beetle’s.

For a better combination of speed, agility and interior space, choose the 2010 Mazda3. It’s available with several engines, and like the Mini Cooper, performance improves as you go up the model line. The Mazda3 isn’t as fuel-efficient as the Cooper, but it is significantly larger. Plus, the Mini requires premium gasoline and the Mazda3 doesn’t. The Mazda3 has three rear seats, and both the sedan and hatchback versions have more cargo space than the Mini.

Compare the Cooper to the New Beetle and Mazda3 »

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