Mini Cooper Hardtop
Mini Cooper Hardtop
Mini Cooper Hardtop

2021 Mini Cooper Hardtop

Pros: Agile handling; impressive fuel economy; peppy acceleration in S model; long list of options and personalization features; good all-around visibility

Cons: Control layout favors whimsical design over ergonomics; taut ride, especially on S model; cramped rear seat space and cargo room; difficult entry and exit on 4-door model; pricey options add up quickly; premium fuel required

CG Says: The 2021 Mini Cooper Hardtop marks the return of a manual transmission and adds a high-performance model. The 6-speed manual transmission was dropped last year, but returns this year. The John Cooper Works trim gains a limited-edition GP version with an engine tuned to produce 301 hp and also unique trim—however the GP does not offer the manual transmission. An electric SE is expected for the 2022 model year. Mini Cooper Hardtops are front-wheel drive, subcompact hatchbacks available in 2- and 4-door versions. Because of the Mini’s handling and performance we include it our Sporty/Performance Car group. Base Coopers have a 134-horsepower turbocharged 3-cylinder engine; the sporty S model gets a 189-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Both engines offer a choice of a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automated-manual transmission. The turbo four is hopped up to 228 hp in the John Cooper Works model or 301 hp in John Cooper Works GP. A 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic are available for  John Cooper Works. A broad range of optional technology features is available, including some rare-for-the-class features such as a self-parking system, heads-up display, and adaptive cruise control. The 2014 revamp brought slightly bigger dimensions that give this third-generation Mini Cooper a bit more space inside than its predecessor, but the car’s quirky personality and nimble, caffeinated driving character carry over intact. The 4-Door offers the passenger- and cargo versatility of two extra doors, but its stingy door openings make for tricky entry and exit. Mini Coopers are a bit pricey compared to some of the subcompact hatchbacks they’re often shopped against, especially when the optional equipment is added. However, if you want a little enthusiast attitude in your commuter hatchback–along with the ability to personalize it to your tastes–a Mini Cooper is worth checking out.

The Facts
Class Sporty/Performance Car
Body Style(s) 2-door or 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 4 or 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Mini
Nation of Manufacture England
Base Prices Base Cooper 2-door: $20,600
Base Cooper 4-door: $21,600
Cooper S 2-door: $27,250
Cooper S 4-door: $29,250
John Cooper Works 2-door: $33,250
John Cooper Works GP 2-door: $45,750

Base Engine
turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder (Base)
Horsepower
134
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
7-speed automated-manual
EPA City Range (mpg)
26-28
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
37

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (S)
Horsepower
189
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
7-speed automated-manual
EPA City Range (mpg)
23-26
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
33-35

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (John Cooper Works, John Cooper Works GP)
Horsepower
228 (301 in John Cooper Works GP)
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
8-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
23-26
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
30-34

Mini Cooper Hardtop
2021 Mini Cooper S Hardtop
Mini Cooper Hardtop
2021 Mini Cooper 4-Door Hardtop
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - 4
80%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 4
80%
Side Crash - 4
80%
Rollover - 4
80%

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