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2015 MINI Cooper Review

The 2015 Mini Cooper has engaging performance and a handsome interior, but its unimpressive safety scores and high ownership costs prevent it from ranking any higher than the middle of the subcompact car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Dynamic handling
  • Potent available engines
  • User-friendly features
  • Upscale interior quality
  • Low safety score for the class
  • High ownership costs
  • Cramped rear seat in two-door model

New for 2015

  • Four-door Mini Cooper introduced
  • Automatic climate control and rain-sensing windshield wipers became standard

Rankings & Research

The 2015 MINI Cooper's #5 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Subcompact Cars category. Currently the MINI Cooper has a score of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 24 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 8.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 MINI Cooper Overview

Is the 2015 Mini Cooper a Good Used Car?

If you want a small and agile corner-carver, the Mini Cooper should be on your list. Performance highlights include go-kart-like handling, punchy turbocharged engine options, and an available manual transmission throughout the lineup. The Cooper fares worse from a practical standpoint, however, since it will likely cost you more than most other subcompact cars. You'll pay more up front and in the long run, with its high cost of ownership and depreciation.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 24 Mini Cooper reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Mini Cooper?

Our site has more than 1,300 listings for the 2015 Mini Cooper, with an average price of about $17,000. Prices for the 2015 Cooper range from about $12,000 to about $24,500, and they fluctuate depending on the vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Mini Cooper Cost to Own?

The 2015 Cooper is more expensive than most of its competitors when it comes to gas, insurance, repair, and maintenance costs. You can expect to pay around $28,200 over five years for these expenses. By comparison, five-year costs for the 2015 Fiat 500 are typically about $5,700 lower than the Cooper’s, while the 2015 Volkswagen GTI's costs are about $3,300 lower.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Cooper?

The 2015 and 2019 Mini Cooper models belong to the same generation. For those willing to spend between about $22,000 to $45,000 for a new Cooper, there are some notable differences that could make buying a new version worth it. The 2019 Cooper has a standard infotainment system, rearview camera, and rear parking sensors, all of which were only available as options in the 2015 Cooper. Apple CarPlay and wireless device charging are newly available for 2019.

Read about the new Mini Cooper »

For what you might pay for a used 2015 Cooper, consider a highly rated new subcompact car like the 2019 Honda Fit. The Fit starts at just over $16,000, and though it doesn't have a ton of standard features, there are two trims within another $2,000 or so that add amenities like a touch-screen system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, a moonroof, and a ton of advanced safety technologies. The Fit has surprisingly agile handling, and it's a good companion for everyday city driving. This small car also boasts a versatile cabin, a healthy amount of cargo space, and a spacious second row.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

Which Model Year of the Mini Cooper Is Best?

The Mini Cooper was fully redesigned for the 2014 model year, and changes for 2015 include standard automatic climate control and rain-sensing windshield wipers, as well as the introduction of the four-door Cooper hardtop model. If you want the sedan model, you'll have to go with a 2015 Cooper. If not, consider the mostly similar 2014 Mini Cooper, which likely costs less than the 2015 model.

The 2015 Mini Cooper convertible carries over from the previous generation, and it gets a full redesign for the 2016 model year.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Cooper »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mini Cooper?

J.D. Power gives the 2015 Mini Cooper a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about Cooper reliability »

2015 Mini Cooper Recalls

At the time of this writing, six open recalls apply to the 2015 Mini Cooper. Two recalls cover improper airbag activation, which can cause injury to occupants in the event of a crash. Another recall addresses a problem with some Cooper models not meeting crashworthiness standards for protection of rear-seat passengers. Additional recalls involve issues with the transmission software that can allow passengers to exit the car without it being in park, as well as front seatbacks that may not fully engage. Lastly, certain labels might list incorrect capacities for the car. Be sure that a Mini or BMW dealer has addressed these issues before buying a used 2015 Cooper.

See more information on Mini Cooper safety recalls »

Which Used Mini Cooper Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Mini Cooper comes in three trim levels: base, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works. Each have their own distinct engine, but the base model's shortage of engine power makes it one worth skipping. Your personal preferences will also dictate whether you want a two-door, four-door, or convertible model. Four-door Coopers have the roomiest back seat. You can find any model with either a manual or an automatic transmission. You'll also want to look for a Cooper with the available user-friendly infotainment system, which gives a decidedly modern vibe to this retro-styled small car.

See 2015 Mini Cooper trims and specs »

What Does Mini's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mini offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mini’s certified pre-owned program provides one year of coverage with unlimited miles following the conclusion of the four-year/50,000-mile Mini New Passenger Car Limited Warranty. Each CPO Mini must pass a 197-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mini warranty page carefully.

Mini has one of the best CPO programs compared with affordable automakers, besting those from Kia, Mazda, and Volkswagen. Compared with luxury brands, however, Mini’s program isn’t nearly as robust.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Cooper?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Cooper the highest score of Good in four individual crash tests. The 2015 Mini Cooper has a below-average safety score for its class. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Mini Cooper an overall rating of four out of five stars, with four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests. Early release models received three stars in the side crash test, and the NHTSA issued an additional safety concern for the intrusion of the left rear door into a rear passenger. Later models earned four stars in the side crash, after that specific safety concern was remedied.

The 2015 Mini Cooper is available with driver assistance features such as a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, automatic parking assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, traffic sign recognition, a head-up display, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.

See Cooper safety scores »

2015 Mini Cooper Versus the Competition

The "Cooper" moniker is used throughout the Mini lineup, but don't confuse the subcompact car in this review with other Minis like the Cooper Paceman and Cooper Coupe. They're reviewed separately on our site, in addition to the Cooper Countryman, a subcompact SUV, and the sporty Cooper Roadster.

Which Is Better: 2015 Mini Cooper or 2015 Fiat 500?

The Mini Cooper and the 2015 Fiat 500 both have vintage, Euro styling, but the Cooper is the better car in these modern times. The 500’s four-cylinder engine puts out a measly 101 horsepower, and it struggles on the highway. The Mini has sportier handling and a nicer interior. You might consider the souped-up Fiat 500 Abarth to compete with the Cooper, but the Mini Cooper S and John Cooper Works trims are still better cars overall. The Fiat has a much lower cost of ownership, and it boasts some of the lowest average list prices on the market, but it also received the worst reliability rating a car can get. Choose the Mini Cooper, even though you’ll likely pay more.

Which Is Better: 2015 Mini Cooper or 2015 Volkswagen GTI?

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI sits in the larger class of compact cars, where it still fares very well despite stiff competition. The GTI has a spacious rear seat and more cargo space than the Cooper, along with standard features like a 5.8-inch touch screen and satellite radio. Both of these sporty hatchbacks are available in two- or four-door versions, and they offer comparably sharp handling and dynamic performance. While the Cooper has three wildly different engines, the GTI is limited to a turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out either 210 or 220 horsepower. The Volkswagen has better safety scores, along with lower operating and ownership costs than the Cooper. Average list prices for these two cars are similar, so your money is probably better spent on the more well-rounded GTI.

Compare the Cooper, 500, and GTI »

2015 Cooper Performance

How Does the 2015 Mini Cooper Drive?

The 2015 Mini Cooper comes standard with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain feels underwhelming in most driving situations, but there are better options. Mini Cooper S models have a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder good for 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The Mini John Cooper Works model features a turbo-four engine that puts out 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Both of these four-cylinder models deliver spry acceleration from a stop, and they have plenty of power for an engaging drive.

Convertible models carry over from the last generation with a less-powerful lineup of engines, with horsepower ratings ranging from 121 to 208. Transmission choices throughout the lineup include a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic or sport automatic. The Cooper handles with precise and responsive steering, thanks to its compact size, light weight, and minimal body roll. Overall, it's one of the most fun-to-drive subcompact cars out there.

Does the 2015 Mini Cooper Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2015 Mini Cooper gets up to 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, which is about average for a subcompact car. It earns those numbers in two-door form, with the base engine and a manual transmission. Gas mileage drops marginally with other body styles, engines, or transmission combinations. The lowest fuel economy estimates for the 2015 Cooper are for the John Cooper Works version with a manual transmission: 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Cooper performance »

2015 Cooper Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Cooper Seat?

The two-door Mini Cooper seats four, while the four-door version has seating for five. Leg space is tight in the two-door’s rear seats, but adults can sit comfortably in the four-door Mini Cooper Hardtop’s second row. A tall roof means headroom is not an issue. Synthetic leather upholstery is standard, and you may find some models with a combination of cloth and genuine leather, full leather upholstery, heated front seats, or front sport seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Mini Cooper?

The Mini Cooper has two complete sets of rear-seat LATCH connections. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use. The lower anchors are set deep in cutouts in the seat, and there's not a lot of room to move your hands around to attach the straps. 

2015 Mini Cooper Features

Standard features include automatic climate control, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, and HD Radio. Available features include a Harman Kardon premium sound system, satellite radio, navigation, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch or 8-inch display screen, and Mini Connected services.

The Mini Cooper’s audio and climate controls have a logical layout, with a healthy dose of retro styling for the dashboard and many switches. The available infotainment systems use a rotary controller on the center console, which functions similarly to parent company BMW's iDrive system. This interface is fairly straightforward and easy to use.

See 2015 Mini Cooper specs »

Read more about Cooper interior »

2015 Mini Cooper Dimensions

Mini Cooper Cargo Space

The four-door 2015 Mini Cooper has 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space behind its back seat, and offers up to 40.7 cubic feet with the second row folded down. The two-door Cooper has a maximum of 34 cubic feet, and the Cooper convertible can hold up to 23.3 cubic feet of stuff.

2015 Cooper Length and Weight

The 2015 Mini Cooper four-door model is 13.1 feet long, and the two-door version is 12.6 feet long. Cooper convertible models are 12.2 feet long. Curb weight values range from 2,605 pounds to 2,895 pounds, depending on body type and trim level.

Where Was the 2015 Mini Cooper Built?

The 2015 Mini Cooper was built in England and the Netherlands.


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