2012 MINI Cooper Reviews
The Cooper lineup includes a hardtop, coupe and convertible model. The 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, which seats up to four people, competes with the Volkswagen Eos, VW Beetle, Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder and BMW 1 Series.
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New for 2012
A new coupe body style joins the hardtop and convertible for 2012. There are also new ways to personalize your Mini with the debut of Mini Yours. The list of premium options includes a two-tone leather-covered instrument panel and steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels and special seat upholstery finishes.
Additionally, the Cooper hardtop gets new standard 15-inch wheels, and the hardtop and convertible can have an optional rearview mirror with a digital compass. The John Cooper Works hardtop and convertible now come standard with the JCW aero kit.
Last year's updates gave the Cooper new bumper styling, bigger fog lamps and new taillight assemblies.
The convertible looks enough like the prior-generation car 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 xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights
- Folding power side mirrors
- Hood scoop intake (S models)
- Optional heated mirrors, washer jets and automatic windshield wipers
- Optional dual-panel panoramic power sunroof (hardtop)
The Cooper's interior features a center-mounted speedometer in a console that also incorporates the stereo and optional navigation system. The navigation system 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 unique 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
- Standard floormats
- Optional automatic air conditioning
- Optional heated seats
- Optional Mini Connected system that has Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition and joystick control
- Optional USB/iPod adapter
Under the Hood
A 121-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine 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 mph acceleration time of 6.6 seconds and achieves an estimated 30 mpg combined fuel economy with the manual transmission. Mechanical features include:
- 121-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 114 pounds-feet of torque
- 181-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 177 pounds-feet of torque (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 system
- Optional parking sonar and alarm system
John Cooper Works
A John Cooper Works version of the Mini is available in hatchback, coupe and convertible body styles.
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.
Besides the performance upgrades 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. There are also John Cooper Works accessories that include a sport suspension with red springs, drilled brake discs, a rear spoiler and a suspension brace. Back to top