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2016 MINI Cooper Review

The 2016 Mini Cooper has a nice selection of engines and body styles, but its relative high cost of ownership keeps it from ranking higher in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Lively engines in higher trims
  • High-quality cabin materials
  • Stiff ride
  • Small rear seats and cargo area in two-door models

New for 2016

  • Redesigned convertible body style
  • Available automatic pre-collision braking

Rankings & Research

The 2016 MINI Cooper's #5 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Subcompact Cars category. Currently the MINI Cooper has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 27 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 MINI Cooper Overview

Is the 2016 Mini Cooper a Good Used Car?

If you have extra cash and want a small, sporty, stylish hatchback, the Mini Cooper is a fine subcompact car choice. If you prioritize cargo space or value, look elsewhere.

Why You Can Trust Us

To help you decide if the Mini Cooper is the right car for you, we've gathered and analyzed 27 professional reviews. We've also included information about the Mini Cooper's fuel economy, safety, and much more to give you an idea of the Mini Cooper's strengths and weaknesses.

The U.S. News Best Cars staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry, and we've been ranking the best vehicles since 2007. To keep our reviews free from outside influence, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and the ads on our site are placed and sold by a third party.

How Much Is the 2016 Mini Cooper?

The average price of a 2016 Mini Cooper – based on the more than 200 listings for this vehicle on our site – is $20,400. Prices range from $15,700 to $26,900. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, features, mileage, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Mini Cooper Cost to Own?

Fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs will cost you around $24,700 over five years of owning a 2016 Cooper Hardtop. That's significantly more than you'd pay for rivals like the 2016 Mazda3 or 2016 Ford Fiesta. Even the performance-oriented 2016 Volkswagen GTI has lower expenses.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Cooper?

At first glance, the new 2018 Mini Cooper's $21,600 base price might sound appealing. It's only a bit higher than the average list price of a used 2016 model, so you may as well get the most up-to-date Hardtop, right? Not so fast. Most buyers are better off sticking with a used 2016 model because that low price is for the base Cooper, which comes with an underwhelming three-cylinder engine. To get the peppier turbo-four in a new Cooper, you'll have to spend nearly $4,000 more. If you don't care about engine power and love the Mini more for its looks, then a 2018 model might be right for you. The new model has a few more standard features (including an infotainment system, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors), as well as a new-car warranty. With available manufacturer incentives, you may even find a new model for less than the average price of a used 2016 Mini Cooper.

Read about the new Mini Cooper »

If you're interested in a new 2018 car that's in the same price range as the average used 2016 Mini Cooper, your first stop should be the local Ford dealership to test-drive the Fiesta ST. This hatchback is a pleasure to drive, with snappy cornering capabilities and a peppy turbocharged engine. The Fiesta ST has a premium interior with a high-tech, easy-to-use infotainment system featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration (you can't get these systems in a used Mini). The Mazda3 doesn't have the same engine power as the Fiesta ST, but it is still a pleasure to drive and has an upscale cabin. If you like the Cooper's retro looks, consider the new Fiat 500 or Fiat 500X. These rivals aren't exactly a thrill to drive and don't tend to perform well in our rankings, but they have standout styling.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Mini Cooper?

The 2016 Mini Cooper has a slightly above-average reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Cooper reliability »

2016 Mini Cooper Recalls

There are three recalls on the 2016 Mini Cooper at the time of this writing. One covers an issue with a brake lamp not turning on when using the turn signal. Another involves a transmission problem that could lead to losing control of the car. The final recall covers the potential of the front passenger air bag not deploying.

See more information on Mini Cooper safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Mini Cooper Is Best?

The 2016 Mini Cooper is part of a generation that launched with the 2014 model. You can save money upfront by choosing an older model year, but know that older models have lower reliability ratings, so you may end up spending more on maintenance.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Cooper »

Which Used Mini Cooper Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Mini Cooper is available in Hardtop 2 Door, Hardtop 4 Door, and convertible body styles. It comes in Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works trims. Note that the John Cooper Works trim is not available in the 4 Door model.

The Mini Cooper S in the 4 Door body style is a good choice. The base Mini Cooper feels underpowered, while the John Cooper Works model has more power and a tighter suspension than needed for daily driving. The Cooper S’ 4 Door body style has space for adult passengers in the back seats for short rides.

See 2016 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 two-door 2016 Mini Cooper hatchback a Top Safety Pick+ designation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the same Mini Cooper model an overall safety rating of four out of five stars.

Available safety features in the 2016 Mini Cooper include a rearview camera, parking sensors, and automatic high beams. Mini also offers pre-collision braking, which automatically applies the brakes to prevent an accident or limit its severity. Many rivals do not offer this feature.

See Cooper safety scores »

2016 Mini Cooper Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mini Cooper or 2016 Mazda3?

The 2016 Mazda3 hatchback has sporty handling and a premium interior, just like the Mini Cooper. However, it's larger than the Mini Cooper and has a smoother ride, a more powerful base engine, and better fuel economy. The Mazda3's infotainment system looks slick and is a breeze to use. Overall, the Mazda3 is the better choice.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mini Cooper or 2016 Volkswagen GTI

The 2016 Volkswagen GTI has more power than the Mini Cooper S, significantly more cargo space, and a roomier back seat. The GTI’s smooth ride makes it great for road trips, and its interior has excellent build quality and premium materials. This combination of practicality and sportiness makes the GTI the better option.

Compare the Cooper, Mazda3, and GTI »

2016 Cooper Performance

How Does the 2016 Mini Cooper Drive?

Whether the two- or four-door model, the 2016 Mini Cooper is among the sharpest-handling subcompact cars. Its responsive steering and strong brakes enhance its appeal. However, the Mini Cooper's stiff, uncomfortable ride is the trade-off for its stellar handling. Base Cooper models have a 134-horsepower, turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and front-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission is available. This small power plant doesn't have enough pep to move even this very small car with any authority. Cooper S models have a 189-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. John Cooper Works models have a 228-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and additional performance upgrades like available all-wheel drive.

Does the 2016 Mini Cooper Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base Mini Cooper Hardtop 2 Door gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, which is good for the class.

Read more about Cooper performance »

2016 Cooper Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Cooper Seat?

The 2016 Mini Hardtop 2 Door seats four, and the Mini Hardtop 4 Door seats five. Leatherette upholstery is standard, and leather upholstery, heated front seats, and sports seats with more side support are available. The 2 Door’s back seat is best for small children only. The 4 Door's back seat isn't particularly roomy, but it is larger than the 2 Door's and can accommodate an average-sized adult.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mini Cooper?

The Mini Cooper has two complete LATCH child-seat systems in its outboard rear seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the system Marginal – the second-lowest rating – for its ease of use.

2016 Mini Cooper Features

Standard features in the 2016 Mini Hardtop include Bluetooth, automatic climate control, a four-speaker audio system, and a climate-controlled glove box. Available features include satellite radio, a Harman Kardon audio system, a six-disc DVD player, automated parallel parking assist, a head-up display, navigation, and the Mini Connected infotainment system with smartphone integration. The Mini Connected system is easy to use, and the center stack's physical buttons and knobs are all straightforward.

See 2016 Mini Cooper specs »

Read more about Cooper interior »

2016 Mini Cooper Dimensions

Mini Cooper Cargo Space

The 2016 Mini Hardtop 2 Door has 8.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is less than what most competitors provide. The cargo area expands to 34 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is below average for a subcompact hatchback. The Hardtop 4 Door has 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is also below average for the class. The 4 Door has 40.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. The standard 60/40 split-folding rear seat, large hatchback opening, and rectangular shape help make its limited cargo space more useful.

2016 Cooper Length and Weight

Two-door models are about 12.5 feet long, while four-door trims are a bit over 13 feet long. Curb weights range from 2,605 pounds in the base two-door hatchback to 2,985 pounds in the Convertible S trim.

Where Was the 2016 Mini Cooper Built?

The 2016 Mini Cooper was built in the United Kingdom.


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