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Rankings & Research

The 2012 Mini Cooper ranking is based on its score within the 2012 Subcompact Cars category. Currently the Mini Cooper has a score of 8.0 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 71 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 6.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Mini Cooper Review

The 2012 Mini Cooper is incredibly agile and fun to drive, reviewers said, though it has a cramped back seat and a smaller cargo hold than many 2012 small cars.

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Good gas mileage
  • Firm ride
  • Cramped back seat
  • Small cargo hold

2012 Mini Cooper Overview

The 2012 Mini Cooper comes with a four-cylinder engine, and test drivers said the base Mini Cooper offers adequate power on city streets, but takes time to get up to passing speeds on the highway. Critics were especially fond of the more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engines available in the Cooper S and John Cooper Works trims, which they praised for their brisk acceleration. Reviewers preferred the standard six-speed manual transmission for its sharp shift action and natural clutch feel, and added that the available six-speed automatic shifts harshly at times. The base 2012 Cooper gets an EPA-estimated 28/36 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, which is good for the class. Reviewers said the Mini Cooper dazzles with sharp steering and strong brakes. It rounds corners athletically and is easy to maneuver in tight spaces, they added. However, critics pointed out that the ride can feel harsh.

Test drivers said the 2012 Mini Cooper has a well-made cabin that features stylish materials and retro flair. Reviewers found that the two-door Mini Cooper has plenty of head- and legroom in the front seats. The rear seats are predictably cramped, they noted, with limited legroom. The Mini Cooper also has less cargo space than many rival hatchbacks, especially with the rear seats in use. The 2012 Mini Cooper comes standard with a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, push-button start, a six-speaker CD audio system with HD radio, satellite radio and an auxiliary input. Available features include Bluetooth, an iPod interface, navigation, a sunroof, heated front seats and a Harman Kardon audio system. Some auto writers said the Mini Cooper’s audio and climate controls are not well-marked and can be difficult to use.

Other Cars to Consider

Like the Mini Cooper, the 2012 Volkswagen Golf has sharp handling, test drivers said. Additionally, reviewers agreed that there’s plenty of room in the back seat and that upscale materials make the Golf’s cabin one of the nicest in the class.

If you’re looking for eye-catching design, test drivers loved the 2012 Fiat 500’s stylish, retro cabin. The 500 also gets great fuel economy for the class, and reviewers said the 500 is fun to drive and easy to maneuver in tight spaces.

Compare the Cooper, Golf and 500 »

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