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2020 MINI Cooper Performance


MSRP
$23,400
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 MINI Cooper Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.3

The 2020 Mini Hardtop and Convertible have a lineup of capable engines and playful handling. They're fun to drive, although the ride may feel too firm for some people. 

  • "But, with the Mini Cooper, size isn't everything. Even with the small, entry-level turbocharged 3-cylinder engine, it's a blast to drive. It's like piloting a go-cart. As you move up the engine choices, it gets even better." -- Autotrader
  • "The Hardtop's reputation for playful driving dynamics is confirmed, even on this base model. The high level of confidence encourages spirited driving, but the car stumbles during traffic-filled commuting, with unsavory lurches at low speeds from the optional six-speed automatic transmission." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Whichever Mini you choose, 2-door, 4-door or Convertible, the car feels almost as wide as it is long, with suspension tuned for sporty driving. While the 2019 Mini is fun on sinewy back roads, long stints on the highway are not the car’s forte, due in part to a fair amount of road noise." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Mini Hardtop and Convertible are available with a range of engines. The base Cooper features a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine with 134 horsepower. The Cooper S has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 189 horsepower, and the John Cooper Works boosts output to 228 horses. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard in all but the JCW, which has an eight-speed automatic.

All three engines are capable for most daily driving scenarios, but if you’re after a little more pep, look to one of the four-cylinder engines. Acceleration generally gets brisker in the Cooper S and John Cooper Works, with the two-door JCW sprinting from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

Fuel economy estimates are slightly subpar for a small car. The Mini Hardtop’s best figures come with the base engine and two-door model, which gets estimates of 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The JCW convertible gets the worst figures of the bunch: 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

  • "Don't be too quick to select one of the more powerful engines. Even though the base-level Cooper has only three cylinders, the little turbocharged engine is surprisingly eager to accelerate. If you'll be sticking to errands around suburbia, the base engine should offer more than enough power and fun. Of course, the 4-cylinder Cooper S and John Cooper Works models are zippier and eager to go fast. They're the models to turn to if you're looking for your Mini to be more of a performance machine." -- Autotrader
  • "Even the Hardtop's standard turbocharged three-cylinder engine makes it quicker than almost any other car in its class. Step up to the turbo four-cylinders in the Cooper S and the John Cooper Works trims, and you've got enough pace to pull off a good, old-fashioned heist." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Even the base 2-door Hardtop … feels decently quick. It hits 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, but the turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the Cooper S is much quicker, thanks to its 189 horsepower. The 2-door John Cooper Works edition … is quickest by far." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Handling and Braking

Driving the Mini Hardtop and Convertible is an enjoyable experience. Lithe handling and nimble steering help them carve corners with ease, and its firm suspension delivers a sporty feel. The ride is generally comfortable too, although it can feel a bit stiff over rough patches of pavement. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is not available.

  • "All 2019 Mini Coopers … negotiate corners with confidence and change direction with a quick flick of the steering wheel." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The steering feel is sharp and direct, great for drivers with a penchant for curvy roads. For the typical commuter, it could feel a bit too busy or quick, particularly on the highway, as it reacts to small or unintentional inputs." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Just like the 2 Door Hardtop, the 4 Door exhibits impressive body control, with little lean in corners. Despite the fact that this is still a relatively short car with wheels positioned at the four corners of its body, the suspension absorbs road imperfections well, especially given the larger wheels of the S model. For a front-wheel drive car, the overall chassis feel is neutral -- there's not much in the way of unwanted side effects to irk fans of the original Mini." -- Autoweek (2015)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 MINI Cooper

MSRP: $23,400 - $38,400

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