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Minis are quirky and fun to drive, whether you have the classic two-door or the more practical four-door version. Base Coopers use a turbocharged three-cylinder that sounds a bit gravelly and returned 31 mpg overall with the six-speed automatic. The more powerful and nicer-sounding Cooper S uses a four-cylinder turbo and got 30 mpg with the six-speed manual. Handling is nimble and sporty, making all versions fun to drive. The ride is rather firm, however, and road noise is noticeable. Controls take some getting used to, and the backseat is still tiny. Options easily push the price past $30,000. A high-performance John Cooper Works bumps the power to 228 hp and gets firmer suspension. Reliability has dropped to below average.

Road Test

The current Mini, now in its third generation, has become more mature and has more conventional controls and high-tech features. Still, the youthful exuberance and fun-to-drive character are ever present. Improved ride and better noise isolation make...

Highs

  • Fun to drive
  • Sips fuel

Lows

  • Gets expensive for such a small car
  • Really small cargo area

Best Version to Get

If you want a fun little car, go for the base Mini. But if you want something really sporty, check out the Cooper S. Beyond that, keep things simple. The automatic works well but a manual transmission better fits the Mini's nature. You'll probably want a metallic paint color for an...

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
  • Basic: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Rust through: 12 year/unlimited
  • Roadside aid: 4 year/unlimited
Body Styles
2-door hatchback
wagon
4-door hatchback
convertible
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.5-liter 3 turbo (134 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (228 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (189 hp)

Ratings

Safety
Performance
Comfort / Convenience
View Full Test Results