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2017 MINI Cooper Review

When it comes to spirited performance, the 2017 Mini Cooper is the front-runner among its subcompact car competitors, placing near the top of this class. Its overall score is bolstered by a strong predicted reliability rating and good safety scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty handling
  • Peppy turbocharged engines
  • Upscale interior design and materials
  • Small rear-seat and cargo space
  • Stiff suspension
  • More expensive than most subcompact cars

Rankings & Research

The 2017 MINI Cooper's #4 ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Subcompact Cars category. Currently the MINI Cooper has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 32 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.2
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 MINI Cooper Overview

Is the 2017 Mini Cooper a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Mini Cooper is one of the best small cars for driving enthusiasts, offering playful go-kart-like handling and an invigorating trio of turbocharged engines. Its above-average predicted reliability rating, good crash test scores, and upscale cabin add to its appeal. That said, other subcompact cars will suit you better if you want something with an adult-friendly back seat, a soft ride, or a generous cargo area. Additionally, shoppers will need to brace themselves for the Cooper’s above-average costs.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Mini Cooper in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 32 professional Mini Cooper reviews.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Mini Cooper?

Prices for a 2017 Mini Cooper Hardtop (either the two-door or the four-door version) range from about $18,000 to $32,000, with $23,600 being the average price tag. Stepping up to the convertible adds around $5,500 to the price. These estimates are based on more than 300 listings for the 2017 Cooper on our used car site. Keep in mind that factors such as mileage, vehicle condition, and regional demand all sway used car prices.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Mini Cooper Cost to Own?

Over the course of five years, you’ll pay around $25,400 to insure, fuel, maintain, and repair a 2017 Cooper. In comparison to other sporty small cars, these expenses are higher than our estimate for a 2017 Mazda3 (at $22,500), but lower than our projection for the 2017 Subaru WRX (at $28,200).

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Cooper?

For most shoppers, it’s better to buy a used Cooper instead of a new 2018 Cooper. However, there a few perks to buying new. To start, the base MSRP of a 2018 Cooper (at $21,900) is lower than the average price of a used 2017 Cooper (at around $23,600). Every new Cooper also comes standard with a rearview camera and parking sensors, both of which were add-on options for the 2017 model year. Finally, buying new grants you the opportunity to customize your new Cooper to your heart’s content.

On the other hand, stick with a used model to save money. While you can’t cherry-pick the packages you want, it’s common to find midlevel used 2017 Coopers that are outfitted with a variety of upgrades. These are typically less expensive than a similarly equipped 2018 model.

Read about the new Mini Cooper »

Among new small cars, there are a number of alternatives that are fun to drive and have an MSRP similar to the average 2017 Cooper listing price. For example, the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport trim delivers a satisfying amount of pep from its 180-horsepower turbocharged engine. This $21,750 hot hatch is also more suitable for a family. For athletic performance, we also recommend the 2018 Mazda3 Touring. This midlevel trim comes with a 184-horsepower engine and is available as either a sedan ($21,140) or a hatchback ($21,890).

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Which Model Year of the Mini Cooper Is Best? 

The 2017 Mini Cooper is part of generation that was launched for the 2014 model year. For 2015, the four-door Mini Cooper joined the lineup, followed by a redesigned convertible body style for 2016. Among the notable features changes is the addition of a standard infotainment system for 2017, and a standard rearview camera and parking sensors added for the 2018 model year. Within this generation, we recommend narrowing your selection to 2016 and 2017 models. These Coopers post the highest positions in our ranking, with higher predicted reliability and safety ratings than the earlier model years. Keep in mind that you can save quite a bit of money for a nearly identical car by opting for a 2016 Cooper instead of a 2017.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Cooper »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Mini Cooper?

The 2017 Cooper has an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Cooper reliability »

2017 Mini Cooper Recalls

At the time of this review, there are two recalls for the 2017 Cooper. The larger of the two corrects a problem with the brake lights, while the smaller recall replaces a potentially faulty air bag. Before buying a used car, always make sure that any applicable recalls have been properly addressed.  

See more information on Mini Cooper safety recalls »

Which Used Mini Cooper Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Mini Cooper comes in three different body styles (Hardtop 2 Door, Hardtop 4 Door, and convertible) and three trim levels (base, S, and John Cooper Works). On top of these configurations, Mini offered far more options and packages than most in this class, which presented new car buyers with countless ways to customize their new car. For used car shoppers, this means used Coopers tend to each have more of a distinct personality than you find with other subcompact cars. Standout options include an upgraded infotainment system with an 8.8-inch display, a Harman Kardon sound system, a proximity key, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, and adaptive cruise control.

To find the right Mini Cooper for you, start with choosing the body style. Thanks to its shorter wheelbase, the two-door feels more agile and portrays more of the iconic Cooper styling. The two-door configuration comes as either a hardtop or a convertible. On the other hand, the Hardtop 4 Door is more livable due to its added rear-seat legroom and cargo space. However, the four-door body style is not available in the performance-oriented John Cooper Works trim.

The key difference between the trim levels is the powertrain, with horsepower ratings from each turbocharged engine ranging from 134 to 228. While these are all respectable outputs, we recommend the midlevel 189-horsepower Cooper S for spirited drivers on a budget. As a bonus, this edition also includes a drive mode selector and a performance-tuned adjustable suspension system.

See 2017 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 two-door hardtop Cooper performs exceptionally well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. It received a Good rating for every test simulation conducted, and received the organization’s Top Safety Pick designation. Additionally, IIHS noted that Cooper models equipped with the optional Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation offer an Advanced level of front crash prevention.

No high-tech safety features are standard on the 2017 Cooper, though some models may come with options such as a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, parallel parking assist, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display.

See Cooper safety scores »

2017 Mini Cooper Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Mini Cooper or 2017 Volkswagen GTI?

Driving enthusiasts will have a lively time piloting either a Volkswagen GTI (the performance edition of the Volkswagen Golf) or a Mini Cooper. That said, the GTI edges out the Cooper in a handful of ways. First, while used car prices for both models are nearly identical, the GTI will save you around $460 a year on select expenses (fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repair bills). The GTI also comes with a more powerful engine, cranking out 210 horsepower to the Cooper’s 134-horsepower base engine. The interior of the GTI is also far more spacious. Rear-seat passengers will appreciates the added legroom, and you can carry around about 10 extra grocery bags in the GTI than in the Cooper.  

Which Is Better: 2017 Mini Cooper or 2017 Honda Fit?

The Honda Fit isn’t very athletic, but there’s a lot to love about this subcompact car, especially on the inside. The cabin brandishes premium materials for an entry-level car, and both rows of seats are comfy and accommodating. The Fit’s unique Magic Seat system is also a boon for anyone that wants to carry a bicycle, move some oversized boxes, or borrow a small ladder. Finally, the Fit is significantly less expensive to buy and own than a Cooper. If you can accept the Fit’s less sporty nature, it deserves serious consideration.

Compare the Cooper, GTI, and Fit »

2017 Cooper Performance

How Does the 2017 Mini Cooper Drive?

Each trim level for the Cooper dictates which engine you get, and each engine is turbocharged. The base Cooper comes with a 134-horsepower three-cylinder engine. Though it sometimes needs a little encouragement on the highway, this powertrain is respectably energetic. For more oomph, pick the 189-horsepower Cooper S or the 220-horsepower John Cooper Works edition.

Handling is agile and responsive in this front-wheel-drive car. Spirited drivers will get a thrill from its well-controlled suspension and quick steering, but comfort-seeking drivers may find the experience to be too stiff.

Does the 2017 Mini Cooper Get Good Gas Mileage?

Within the subcompact car class, the fuel economy ratings for the Cooper are a little below average. Its base engine paired with the automatic transmission gets 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. This rating slips to 25/32 mpg city/highway for Cooper S models.

Read more about Cooper performance »

2017 Cooper Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Cooper Seat?

You can fit four people inside a two-door Cooper, and five people with the four-door models. The best places to sit are undoubtedly up front, where the seats are comfortable and supportive. There isn’t much space in the back seat – especially in two-door versions – but there is enough room for a couple of adults to squeeze in for short trips.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Mini Cooper?

You can secure a car seat into the back of a Mini Cooper using one of its two sets of LATCH anchors. Hardtop 4 Door Coopers come with an additional tether anchor for the middle seat. You won’t have much difficulty finding any of the tether anchors, but the lower anchors can be a bit troublesome. These are mounted deep in the seat cushion and are hard to work with. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives two-door Cooper models a Marginal score (the second from the bottom) for its LATCH system ease of use.

2017 Mini Cooper Features

The standard sound system in a 2017 Cooper consists of six speakers, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone app integration, and a 6.5-inch screen. Appealing upgrades worth looking for include an 8.8-inch display, navigation with real-time traffic, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. The Mini’s interface is very straightforward, and some models feature whimsical LED lights that change color with the drive mode.

See 2017 Mini Cooper specs »

Read more about Cooper interior »

2017 Mini Cooper Dimensions

Mini Cooper Cargo Space

There isn’t much room to haul stuff in the back of a 2017 Cooper. Behind the rear seats, two-door versions have 8.7 cubic feet of cargo space, while the longer four-door Coopers offer 13.1 cubic feet. These dimensions are lower than most other subcompact cars. In both models, you can fold down the rear seats to increase luggage capacity.

Mini Cooper Length and Weight

The two-door body styles of the Cooper are 12.5 feet long and have a curb weight of 2,612 pounds. With four doors, the Cooper is 13.1 feet long and weighs 2,734 pounds. The gross vehicle weights are 3,450 and 3,704 pounds, respectively.

Where Was the 2017 Mini Cooper Built?

The Mini Cooper is built in Oxford, England, and Born, Netherlands.

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