2011 MINI Cooper Reviews
The 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. Although there's no car quite like a Mini, the Cooper competes with the Volkswagen Eos, VW New Beetle, Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder and BMW 1 Series.
New for 2011
All models have a little more power, fresh styling touches and new wheels. Standard HD radio and Sirius Satellite Radio come with one year of free service. The base Cooper gains 3 horsepower to 121, and the turbocharged Cooper S adds 9 hp, to 181.
(Skip to details on the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works)
All models have new bumper styling, larger fog lamps and new taillight assemblies. Mini offers five wheel designs on the Cooper and S, ranging from 15- to 17-inch diameter, and all are new for 2011. Adaptive xenon headlights are a new option.
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. The roll bar is now active; it's visible but rests low unless a rollover occurs, in which case it pops up to provide protection. Exterior features include:
- Available 15-, 16- or 17-inch wheels
- Optional adaptive xenon headlights
- 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 nav system now can update maps through a USB port in the glove box.
The convertible's soft-top opens partially like a sunroof, or it 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.
Interior features include:
- 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 Mini Connected system that has Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition and joystick control
- Optional Bluetooth and USB/iPod adapter
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
A 121-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder powers the base model, and a turbocharged version with 181 hp powers the S. Both engines require premium gas.
Compared with the Cooper, the Cooper S has a sportier suspension. The Cooper S has a zero-to-60 time of 6.6 seconds and achieves an estimated 29 mpg average fuel economy with the manual transmission.
Mechanical features include:
- 121-hp, 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with 114 pounds-feet of torque
- 181-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 Cooper 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. As yet, there is not a JCW version of the new-for-2011 Mini Countryman crossover.
Changes for 2011 include new bumper covers, taillights, larger fog lights and the sunroof has darker tinted glass. HD Radio and a one-year subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio are standard, and the Mini Connected multimedia and navigation system is optional. It includes a 6.5-inch screen, Bluetooth connectivity and a joystick controller.
John Cooper Works 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, including Chili Red interior trim, black leather upholstery with red piping and checkered black cloth seats with red stitching.
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