The iconic Cooper lineup includes both a hardtop and a convertible model. The two body styles come in base and S trim levels, with S models turbocharged for more power. While the Cooper hardtop was redesigned in 2007, the convertible was redone last year. Although there's no car quite like a Mini, the Cooper competes with the VW Eos, VW Beetle, Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder and BMW 1 Series.
There's also a John Cooper Works edition that has 208 horsepower and more performance enhancements. The John Cooper Works edition competes with high-end sport compacts like the Honda Civic Si, Mazdaspeed3 and Volkswagen GTI.
The Mini Cooper Clubman, a stretched hardtop with a rear-hinged passenger access door and split-opening rear doors, is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
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New for 2010
Cruise control is now standard on all models, which also have a new steering wheel with multifunction controls. A Harman Kardon sound system is a new option for all models. Mini celebrates its 50th anniversary with two packages for the hardtop, the Camden and the Mayfair (named after two locations in London). Both have unique paint, wheels, and exterior and interior trim; they come with the 172-horsepower turbocharged engine.
The design of the second-generation convertible looks enough like the first that there is little difference to casual observers. The most noticeable difference is the roll bar, which used to stick up behind the backseat head restraints, is now active; it's visible but rests low unless a rollover occurs, in which case it pops up to provide protection.
- Available 15-, 16- or 17-inch wheels
- Available auto-leveling front/rear fog lights
- Folding power mirrors
- Hood-scoop intake (S models)
- Optional heated mirrors, washer jets and automatic windshield wipers
- Optional automatic bi-xenon headlamps with integrated washers
- Optional dual-panel panoramic power sunroof (hardtop)
The Cooper's interior features a center-mounted speedometer in a console that also incorporates the audio system and optional navigation system.
The convertible's soft-top opens partially, like a sunroof, or can open fully as a conventional convertible top would. There's also a standard Openometer that tracks how much time you've driven with the top down. The convertible's cargo volume is more than respectable at 6 cubic feet.
Overall, the Cooper is roomier inside than the modest exterior dimensions imply.
- Cloth, leatherette or leather upholstery in multiple colors
- Standard power windows and locks, plus keyless entry
- Standard air conditioning with a climate-controlled glove box
- Standard multifunction steering wheel
- Optional automatic air conditioning
- Optional heated seats
- Optional Harman Kardon sound system
- Optional Bluetooth and USB/iPod adapter
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
The Cooper convertible now offers the same engines as the Cooper hardtop: a 1.6-liter four-cylinder in the base model and a turbocharged version in the S, replacing the first-generation supercharged four-cylinder.
Compared with the Cooper, the Cooper S has a sportier suspension. The Cooper S has a zero to 60 mph time of 6.7 seconds and achieves an estimated 29 mpg average fuel economy with the manual transmission.
Mechanical features include:
- 118-hp, 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with 114 pounds-feet of torque
- 172-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with 177 pounds-feet of torque from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm, and brief bursts of 192 hp from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm (S)
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Optional six-speed automatic
- Standard performance tires or optional all-season run-flat tires
- Optional sport suspension with stiffer front and rear stabilizer bars
Safety features include:
- Standard side-impact torso airbags (hardtop)
- Standard side-impact head/torso airbags (convertible)
- Standard side curtain airbags (not available on convertible)
- Standard antilock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution
- Standard electronic stability control
- Optional parking sonar and alarm system
Mini John Cooper Works
A John Cooper Works version of the Mini debuted for 2009 in all three body styles — the regular two-door hatchback, extended-length Clubman and convertible. Whereas previous JCW Minis featured a supercharged four-cylinder, current models are powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 208 hp at 6,000 rpm and 192 pounds-feet of torque from 1,850 to 6,600 rpm. (The engine, according to Mini, can briefly raise boost-pressure when accelerating to achieve 207 pounds-feet of torque from 2,000 to 5,100 rpm.)
With the standard six-speed manual transmission, Mini says the John Cooper Works can hit 62 mph in 6.5 seconds (6.8 seconds for the Clubman).
Besides the extensive changes under the hood, these hot-rod Minis also feature unique 17-inch alloy wheels, high-performance brakes and a different exhaust system. As with other Minis, the automaker offers a number of ways to personalize John Cooper Works cars.
If those enhancements aren't enough, you might want to take a look at the available John Cooper Works accessories. They include a sport suspension with red springs, drilled brake discs, a rear spoiler, a suspension brace and carbon-colored trim pieces. Back to top
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