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2016 MINI Hardtop

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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2016 Cooper 2dr
most popular
Price:   -  From $20,700
2016 Cooper 4dr Price:   -  From $21,700
2016 Cooper S 2dr Price:   -  From $24,100
2016 Cooper S 4dr Price:   -  From $25,100
2016 John Cooper Works 2dr Price:   -  From $30,600


Not many cars with moderate sticker prices possess as much character, and heritage, as the MINI. That’s especially true of the two-door Hardtop, which revived, in modern guise, the Minis that were produced in Britain in the 1960s. Cooper Hardtops come in two- and four-door hatchback form, but it’s the two-door that best identifies the MINI brand. Despite small size, MINIs offer 38 cubic feet of storage volume with the back seat folded down (but less than 9 with that seat up).

What's New for 2016

Not much has changed. MINI can now be considered a SULEV (super ultra-low emitting vehicle), due to upgrading of the three-cylinder base engine. That modification does not impact performance. In several areas, trim that was previously silver-painted is now high-gloss Piano Black, including the standard Cooper grille. Loaded and Visual Boost packages are no longer available, but base and S buyers can pick a Sport package, and the option list contains many more possibilities.

MINI Hardtop

Choosing Your MINI Hardtop

MINI Hardtop models are defined by their engines: base Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works. Named for the man who sent the original MINI into motorsports, the John Cooper Works edition is the hottest performer – not only more powerful, but tuned to derive maximum response and pleasure.

All Cooper Hardtops use TwinPower turbocharged engines: three-cylinder 1.5-liter in the base Cooper, and 2-liter four-cylinders in the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models. The three-cylinder makes 134 horsepower, while the Cooper S ups that figure to 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Beneath the bonnet of the John Cooper Works edition sits the most powerful engine ever in a MINI production model, developing 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet. Cooper Hardtops are available with a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission. All MINIs are front-wheel drive.

Expect about 29 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway with the base engine and manual shift. The estimate drops to 24/34 mpg with a Cooper S, and 23/31 mpg with the John Cooper Works.

MINI Hardtop

Base Cooper

Basic two-door model comes with the three-cylinder engine, manual gearbox, sport leather-wrapped steering wheel, 15-inch silver-colored wheels, and heated mirrors and washer jets. Leatherette seat upholstery is standard, along with automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, and harman kardon six-speaker audio with HD radio. A four-door Hardtop adds $1,000 to the price of a basic two-door.

MINI Hardtop

Cooper S

Adds $3,400 to the basic Cooper’s MSRP and comes standard with a 189-horsepower, 2-liter four-cylinder engine; manual shift; mesh grille; cloth sport seats; hood scoop; and 16-inch wheels. Cooper S is the choice for performance, but not necessarily worth the extra cost to other buyers. Two- and four-door models are available.

A Sport package includes 17-inch wheels, as well as dynamic damper control that lets the owner adjust suspension from comfortable in the city to track-ready.

MINI Hardtop

John Cooper Works two-door

Adds $6,500 to the price of the Cooper S. In addition to the hottest engine of the lot, John Cooper Works models have a sport exhaust, refined suspension technology, and model-specific design features, as well as optimized aerodynamics qualities. Standard equipment also includes stainless steel pedals, LED headlights, a rear spoiler, side sills, Brembo brake calipers, and 17-inch wheels. The John Cooper Works Hardtop comes only in two-door form.

CarsDirect Tip

Except for the Fiat 500, Mini Coopers have no direct competition. They've been so popular at times that used models have sometimes sold for more than new ones. Whether to buy a base Cooper or Cooper S depends on the level of your yearning for experience, though even the three-cylinder model releases abundant energy. If a Cooper S won't quite suffice, the John Cooper Works Hardtop may be irresistible. Why not go all the way, if your pocketbook permits?

Get your price on a MINI Hardtop »

Read our review on the MINI Hardtop »

MINI Hardtop
author image
Contributing Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Editor

Looking for cheerful—indeed cheeky—character in a car? Look no further than the MINI Cooper, revived for 2002 under BMW management. Redesigned for 2014, the retro four-seater comes in three levels, based on engine: Cooper (base model), higher-performance Cooper S, and John Cooper Works edition. Base and Cooper S models got new turbocharged engines for 2015. Two- and four-door hardtop hatchbacks are offered, with front-wheel drive; but the two-door best retains the character of the Sixties original.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $20,700 (plus $850 destination charge), the base Cooper holds a TwinTurbo1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that makes 134 horsepower. Either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission may be installed. Most recently, we’ve driven a Cooper S, which holds a TwinTurbo 2-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 189 horsepower. Top performer is the John Cooper Works, with a 228-horsepower turbo four.

Standard equipment for the Cooper S two-door hardtop model (starting at $24,100) includes:

  • Getrag performance-tuned six-speed manual transmission
  • Performance suspension
  • Mesh grille
  • Hood scoop
  • Foglamps
  • Dual exhaust outlets
  • Sixteen-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires
  • All base-model equipment, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated power mirrors and washer jets, leatherette seat upholstery, automatic climate control, Bluetooth hands-free phone, and Harman/Kardon six-speaker audio with HD radio.

Options include a six-speed automatic transmission ($1,250), rearview camera, head-up display, Sport package, John Cooper Works interior and exterior packages, forward collision warning with pedestrian warning, parking assistant, and speed-limit information system.

Performance Pros

MINI Hardtop
  • Steering/handling is the main attraction. Defiantly tight handling and quick, sharp steering place the Cooper high on the agility scale for any vehicle, not just cars in its price class. Though not difficult to drive, a Cooper demands a bit of effort. Maneuverability and tenacious roadholding are hard to beat, whether in base or Cooper S form.
  • Acceleration is bountiful with the Cooper S, but the current base model isn’t far behind. The three-cylinder base engine is peppier than the previous four-cylinder. Thriftier, too.
  • Transmission operation. Although the manual gearbox is a tad clanky, with longish throws, it’s a pleasure to manipulate, providing a close match to the classy clutch. Automatic-transmission responses are excellent as well, though the manual is in greater accord with the Cooper’s nature.

Performance Cons

  • Ride comfort isn't the reason to purchase a MINI Cooper of any level. Expect some rough going over imperfect pavement with the base Cooper; more so with the Cooper S. Weighed against the masterful handling, however, few owners complain about the ride.
  • Fuel economy with the base Cooper is estimated at 27 mpg city/37 mpg highway with automatic, and 28/39 mpg with manual shift. Cooper S gas mileage drops as far as 23/33 mpg.

Interior Pros

MINI Hardtop
  • Not only is the driver’s seat ready to provide near-ideal position, both front seats are snugly serious: comfortable and skillfully supportive.
  • Coopers are quieter than they used to be, and more attractive inside.
  • Cargo space with back seats up is only 9 cubic feet, but it grows to 38 cubic feet with those seats folded.

Interior Cons

  • Rear-seat space. Even though the back seat improved with the latest redesign, including 3 more inches of shoulder room, it's still not a welcoming place for average-size adults.
  • Controls and instruments have improved in usability and clarity, if at the expense of losing a bit of the car's iconic character.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Designers and engineers have managed to give the Cooper constant improvement and added refinement, while retaining most (not quite all) of the car’s distinctive character. Moving to BMW-derived turbocharged engines boosted performance potential, making the base model a better value than the Cooper S, which costs $3,400 more.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Coopers may have changed a little too much at the dashboard. The traditional big center dial is still there, but it now holds a display screen. The formerly-central, huge speedometer has faded away, moved ahead of the driver. Many MINI owners cheer these changes, but others lament the move to modernity. At least, they’ve kept the toggle switches. Though NHTSA gave the Cooper a four-star overall crash-test rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety declared it Good in each category. We also applaud the eight standard airbags, but a standard rearview camera would be better yet.

The Bottom Line

MINI Hardtop

Classic design hasn’t faded away at all. Neither have the Cooper’s inherent joyful nature and supreme handling talents. Except for the Fiat 500 two-door, few vehicles approach the Cooper’s distinctiveness. Owners can still customize their cars with everything from exuberant bonnet (hood) stripes to upgraded mechanical and electronic components.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.5L I-3 / 134 HP / 162 ft.lbs.
Standard: 6-spd man w/OD
Available: 6-spd Steptronic w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
28 / 39 / 33 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.5L I-3 / 134 HP / 162 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
28 / 39 / 33 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
10.6 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
38.0 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
Exterior Length
151.1 "
Exterior Width
68.0 "
Exterior Height
55.7 "
Front Headroom
40.3 "
Rear Headroom
36.9 "
Front Legroom
41.4 "
Rear Legroom
30.8 "
Front Shoulder Room
50.6 "
Rear Shoulder Room
47.8 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,605 Lbs. / 2,675 Lbs.
Wheel Base
98 "
Turning Radius
17.7 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
2 Doors
15.0 " Silver Aluminum / 18.0 " Silver Aluminum / 17.0 " Black Aluminum / 18.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum / 16.0 " Silver Aluminum / 17.0 " Silver Aluminum / 16.0 " Black Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Clearcoat Monotone With Stripe / Clearcoat Two-tone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Body-colored / Body-colored With Chrome Insert
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Surround / Chrome
Rear Spoiler
Lip / Wing
Stainless Steel With Polished Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Sensatec Leatherette / Leatherette / Cloth/leatherette / Cloth/leather / Leather / Cloth
Front Seat Type
Bucket / Sport Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way / 8-way
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
6-way / 8-way
Front Armrests
6-way / 8-way
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm/hd, Seek-scan / 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
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
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
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Directionally Adaptive
Parking Sensors
Rear / Automated
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

Used 2016 MINI Hardtop for Sale

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