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2012 MINI Roadster

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2012 Cooper 2dr
most popular
Price:   -  From $24,350
2012 Cooper S 2dr Price:   -  From $27,350
2012 John Cooper Works 2dr Price:   -  From $34,500


Resuscitated and reinvented by BMW in 2001, the Mini Cooper line has grown and proliferated beyond the expectations of its parent company, and far beyond the vision of Sir Alec Issigonis, who designed the 1959 original. The 2012 Mini Roadster is the sixth and most recent addition to the modern Mini lineup, a soft-top front-wheel-drive two-seater that's a first-ever model for the brand, BMW revival or original. It brings affordable sports car fun to a segment that previously consisted of one car, Mazda's MX-5 Miata. Although the Mini Roadster's price range soars higher than the Miata's, pricing for the next group of roadsters, all German brands, begins well over $40,000. All the revivalist Mini variants were developed from the 2001 three-door Hardtop. However, the Roadster, as well as the recently introduced Mini Cooper Coupe, is more directly descended from the 2+2 Convertible. Coupe and Roadster were designed simultaneously, but the Coupe preceded the Roadster in the U.S. market by about four months, and immediately drew mixed reviews for its awkward looking roofline. The Mini Roadster substitutes a conventional folding soft top for the Coupe's hard roof, yielding a look that's a little more conventional and distinctly more appealing. With the soft top stowed in the well behind the seats and the rear decklid spoiler deployed (automatic at 50 mph or more, but manually operable as well), the Roadster becomes a brawny little sports car with the active persona of a Jack Russell terrier. Like other entries in the Mini Cooper collection, the Roadster offers three levels of engine power, all delivered by the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. With direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, it's on the cutting edge of current internal combustion technology. The basic version is naturally aspirated, whereas turbocharging adds thrust to the variations offered in the higher-performing S and John Cooper Works (JCW) models. Two transmissions are available for the basic and S versions, a 6-speed manual and an optional 6-speed automatic. The latter offers a manual operating mode, but is a conventional automatic. The more powerful JCW model is limited to a manual transmission. Respectable fuel economy is a strong suit for all Minis, and the Roadster is no exception. Standard and S models both carry EPA ratings of 27 mpg City, 35 mpg Highway or 26/34 mpg City/Highway for the Mini Roadster S automatic. The numbers fall only slightly with the JCW version, to 25/33 mpg. The Mini Roadster's soft top is stretched over a span of sheetmetal at its leading edge, which serves as a tonneau cover when the top is snugged down behind the seats. Top stowage doesn't subtract from trunk capacity, which is respectable by small roadster standards. The top secures to the windshield header with a single latch, and is easily raised and lowered by hand, though a power option is available. Even in larger scale versions such as the Clubman wagon and Countryman crossover, Minis place a high priority on fun-to-drive, and the Roadster arguably delivers more of it than anything else in the growing lineup. It's quick on its feet, responsive, and eager, and the snug two-seat cockpit provides the sense of intimacy, driver engagement, and open air motoring that make roadsters so entertaining. There are caveats, practicality foremost among them. Like any small two-seat convertible, the Mini Roadster's strong suit is driving entertainment. Considered as an all-around automotive implement, though, the elements that make it appealing as a driver's toy limit its usefulness for more mundane motoring chores such as hauling multiple passengers, bulky cargo, or both. The suspension tuning that makes the car a blast to drive on a smooth stretch of twisty country road renders its ride quality distinctly unpleasant when the pavement is punctuated by warts, potholes, and sharp bumps. Also, wind noise stifles conversation above about 60 mph with the top up. Nevertheless, the Mini Roadster rolls onto the sports car stage as an appealing new entry at the affordable end of the two-seat spectrum, with the same blend of sassy styling and snappy handling that separates all Minis from the herd.

Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.6L I-4 / 121 HP / 118 ft.lbs.
Standard: 6-spd man w/OD
Available: 6-spd Steptronic w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
27 / 35 / 31 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.6L I-4 / 121 HP / 118 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
27 / 35 / 31 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
13.2 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
8.5 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
Exterior Length
146.8 "
Exterior Width
66.3 "
Exterior Height
54.5 "
Front Headroom
39.6 "
Rear Headroom
Front Legroom
41.7 "
Rear Legroom
Front Shoulder Room
50.3 "
Rear Shoulder Room
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,635 Lbs. / 2,712 Lbs.
Wheel Base
97 "
Turning Radius
17.5 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
2 Doors
16.0 " Silver Aluminum / 17.0 " Silver Aluminum / 17.0 " Black Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Clearcoat Monotone With Stripe / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote / Dual Power Remote Heated
Body-colored / Body-colored With Chrome Insert
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Leatherette / Cloth / Cloth/leather / Simulated Suede/leather / Leather
Front Seat Type
Bucket / Sport Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
6 / 10 Harman/kardon
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt Style
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver And Passenger
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Directionally Adaptive
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
48 Months / Unlimited Miles
Corrosion Perforation
144 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months

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