$15,570 - $23,581

2016 MINI Cooper Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 MINI Cooper was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.6

The 2016 Mini Cooper has nicer interior materials than many rivals, according to critics, who also like its appealing design details like customizable trim pieces and ambient lighting that changes colors based on your driving style. Auto writers note that the buttons and knobs in the Mini Cooper's cabin are easier to use than they were in previous-generation models. The rear seat in the 2 Door model can only accommodate children, reviewers say, and the 4 Door model offers sufficient space for an average-sized adult. Cargo space is below average in both models with the rear seats in use, but improves when you fold them.

  • "Step into the 2016 Mini Cooper and you'll find a cabin with materials of a higher quality than those in other subcompact cars. Soft-touch plastics coat the doors and dashboard, which can be customized with several different trim coverings." -- Edmunds
  • "The interior of our Cooper S was well-executed and finished with highly sculpted, three-dimensional dash panels, elegant matte-finish wood trim, and lots of attractive brightwork." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "Inside the cabin, both Cooper models offer improved ergonomics, better materials, and our personal favorite feature, a novel ring of LED lights around the center display screen." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Taking our turn in the leather-and-cloth sport seat behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel, we find the 2015 Mini Cooper Hardtop 4 Door a most pleasant place to do business, the environs tastefully trimmed with dark cottonwood and not a trace of carbon fiber." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)

Seating

The 2016 Mini Hardtop 2 Door seats four, and the Mini Hardtop 4 Door seats five. Both models come standard with leatherette upholstery and are available with leather upholstery, heated front seats and sports seats that have more side support.

The 2016 Mini Cooper provides a great seating position for the driver with a clear view of the road, according to automotive journalists. They report that the back seat in the 2 Door is best left to small children. The 4 Door's back seat isn't particularly roomy for the class either, critics say, but it is larger than the 2 Door's and can accommodate an average-sized adult.

  • "The driving position is upright and commanding (considering that the car's overall width is, within a fraction, the same as the track of a GMC Yukon). All-around view is excellent." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "Steerage class still isn't spacious, but thanks to deeply hollowed out front seatbacks, a near-six-footer can sit behind a similarly sized driver without embedding his knees permanently in the seat structure. A slightly taller roof that's more horizontal than the three-door's provides adequate headroom." -- Car and Driver (2014 Hardtop 4 Door)
  • It's still not as spacious as, say, the Volkswagen Golf, but the Mini four-door is a useful family tool." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Space is ample up front, while the rear seats are sufficient for small adults and children." -- Left Lane News (2015 Hardtop 2 Door)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2016 Mini Hardtop include Bluetooth, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a six-speaker audio system, a USB/iPod adapter, an auxiliary audio input, HD Radio, a climate-controlled glove box, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and color-customizable ambient lighting. Available features include satellite radio, a Harman Kardon audio system, a six-disc DVD player, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, automated parallel parking assist, a head-up display, a panoramic sunroof, navigation and the Mini Connected infotainment system with smartphone integration.

The 2016 Mini Cooper has an impressive number of available features, according to critics. Test drivers appreciate that Mini moved towards more conventional and easier-to-use buttons and knobs in its last redesign of the Mini Cooper. They also praise the user-friendly Mini Connected infotainment system, which operates similarly to BMW’s iDrive.

See 2016 Mini Cooper specs »

  • "… its list of available features and personalization options is unrivaled." -- Edmunds
  • "The infotainment system is a version of iDrive, which has matured into an intuitive and easy-to-use system." -- AutoWeek (2015)
  • "Other ergonomic enhancements include a reworked center stack with knobs that replace many of last year's fiddly climate control buttons, as well as window switches that have finally been moved from the lower stack to the door panels, just as the car gods intended." -- Left Lane News (2014)
  • "At the same time, Mini has made several welcome moves toward normalcy in the interior layout. The window, door lock, and power mirror switches can now all be found on the door panel; you select the temperature and fan speed with three round knobs; and the speedometer joins the tach in front of the driver." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

Cargo

The 2016 Mini Hardtop 2 Door has 8.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, which is less than what most hatchback competitors provide. The cargo area expands to 38 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is typical for a subcompact hatchback. The Hardtop 4 Door has 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, which is better than the 2 Door but still a bit below average. The 4 Door has 40.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded. Auto writers note that the Mini Hardtop 2 Door’s standard 60/40 split-folding rear seat, large hatchback opening and rectangular shape help make its limited cargo space more useful.

  • "Even the two-door's numbers actually aren't terrible for the subcompact class, and as we learned from a year-long test of a 2014 Mini Cooper, the car's boxy shape makes it more versatile than you might think." -- Edmunds
  • The Hardtop 4-Door still can't match the packaging magic of the Honda Fit, and is more like the Ford Fiesta in both exterior size and interior space." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "The versatility of the Mini's cabin is one of the things that make it such a special vehicle. The big hatch opens up to provide easy loading and unloading. The folding 60/40 second row gives the driver much more storage space." -- Motor Trend (2014)

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