Pros: Tremendously agile handling; one-of-a-kind looks; quick acceleration in S and John Cooper Works models; excellent clutch and shifter action; numerous personalization options
Cons: Stiff ride, especially with S and John Cooper Works models; steep prices, especially on John Cooper Works edition; poor rear visibility; unorthodox styling limits practicality and may be too radical for some; wonky control layout
CG Says: Cooper Coupes and Roadsters share virtues and vices with equivalent Mini Hardtops and Convertibles, but sacrifice back-seat utility for sportier styling and handling. That strikes us as a questionable tradeoff given the higher prices–and that’s before options that can quickly run up delivered tabs to premium-class levels. Our test 2013 John Cooper Works Coupe, for example, stickered at a not-so-Mini $38,350 (including $700 destination). So unless you’re simply mad about the Coupe’s or Roadster’s looks and 2-seat format, a 4-passenger base or S Hardtop (or equivalent Convertible model) offers better value–and arguably more of an “authentic Mini” experience.