2012 Mini Cooper Owner Satisfaction - Consumer Reports
Despite being the least-expensive Mini, the base Mini Cooper with a manual transmission is our top-scoring variant. It outscores the faster turbocharged Cooper S and larger Clubman due to its better ride and fuel economy. Even with its base engine, the Mini is a joy to drive with excellent handling and braking. Fuel economy is impressive at 33 mpg overall, but it requires premium fuel.
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Fun to drive. Corners great. Real good gas 42 w/o air. Fits big people. Back seat for kids & dogs."

JEAN W., GA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"I'm a little old lady but i wish the acceleration was quicker. I didnt even test drive a turbo. I wish i had. I might look into drading mine in for a turbo"

Anonymous, DE (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Like a Go-Kart, summer and winter. If you like to drive, this is a driver's car."

Anonymous, ME (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Quick, peppy and easily manuvers around corners. A great sports car."

CLAUDIA D., CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"This car holds the road as if it were a magnet. It is the best handling car I have ever had and I have owned several Saabs. You really feel like it is on rails."

HENRY M., NH (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Awesome power for the highway, great handling on twisty roads and superb MPG."

JEFF C., CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Aggressive handling, solid manual transmission. Much more fun than any (faster) dedicated sportier car I've driven."

BRYAN D., MI (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Really handles like a Go Cart. Does not need the turbo at all with manual transmission. Fun Car."

IRA V., NC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Need to remember it's a sports car and has sports card ride and rigidity."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"This is a very fun car to drive. It handles well, feels solid."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"This is a fun car to drive."

DAVID R., CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Very good acceleration and fun to drive"

TERRY J., WV (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Excellent handling. Acceleration acceptable and ride is well controlled overall."

DON B., NY (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Go cart like handling that makes it very fun to drive."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"It's a MINI! It handles like a go-kart. I enjoy driving it every day, as I can push myself back in to the seat and take a corner at irresponsible speeds."

ALLEN L., WI (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The handling is outstanding. It is very predictable and maneuverable and the cornering is exceptional."

THOMAS K., NC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"You know those dangerous lunatics who go really slow but then floor it when you pull into the oncoming lane to pass them? I can handle encountering those people now because my Mini has a ROCKET ENGINE in it. It matters because I live in a place of many narrow, windy, 2-lane highways with infrequent passing zones that are often short, and I am not interested in playing chicken with log trucks. Also the Mini handles like a dream on those winding roads."

Anonymous, ID (2012 Mini Cooper)

"This car is so fun to drive. The handling and responsiveness has made me trust the car to be able to stir or maneuver around hazards. Love driving it and love how it looks. Vrooooom...."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"A Mini is known for its handling and performance and this does what we expected."

KATHLEEN L., OR (2012 Mini Cooper)

"power is responsive, handling is crisp"

L K., TX (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The Mini is really fun to drive. Even enjoyable for long trips. 1000+ miles"

LAUREN S., VA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"I also owed a Corvette and as for handling the Cooper is just as much fun if not more to drive than the Vette was. it is a thrill to drive on a curvy road or just taking a corner sharp. the stock four cylinder has plenty of pep for us and we love to put down the convertible top and drive anywhere."

WILLIAM D., NC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"With a manual transmission the standard 4 cylinder engine is great."

Ira V., NC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Great handling, repairs are out rage, Convertible seals, over $600.00. Bolts coming loose and falling out in convertible roof. Traded car."

Jean W., GA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Gets in and out of city traffic, flawlessly. Easy to park anywhere in the city."

Anonymous, NV (2012 Mini Cooper)

"it is sharp and accurate"

Anonymous, DC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Very nimble handling"

Brenda R., NJ (2012 Mini Cooper)

"turns well, very peppy, love the stick shift"

Patrick B., NJ (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The handling is exceptional and very engaging in everyday driving. I frequently overtake and pull away from $100k cars in sweeping on-ramps. It also inspires a lot of confidence. The car lets you know when you are approaching its limits. Acceleration is solid."

Noah V., OH (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Quick and agile."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The Mini is a driver's dream. It has precise handling and acceleration. It corners great. This vehicle can handle anything you ask it to do."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Very good acceleration and handling. Drives like a sports car."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Quick passing acceleration"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Its handling, predictability and stability in high speed maneuvers is outstanding. Even without a turbo when I need to accelerate it does it in a spirited fashion."

Thomas K., NC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Great fun driving this thing. Bought it for the drive."

Gerald L., TN (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Classic style; much better than 2013-onward models."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Handles like a high end sports car. Fast and nimble. Drives like a go cart."

Anonymous, AL (2012 Mini Cooper)

"My Mini has excellent acceleration, handling, cornering, and is fun to drive."

Michael M., OR (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Just a blast to drive and gets lots of attention with his quirky good looks."

Michael M., ON (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Very effective handeling and beautiful looking when the top is down."

Andrew W., FL (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Good acceleration, decent handling, some front wheel drive influence on handling."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Mini Cooper)

"It is absolutely thrilling to drive. Extremely responsive, fantastic acceleration and cornering. FUN!"

Lori M., AR (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Not a fast car, but good throttle response, and little body roll makes it a lot of fun, even for a slowish car. Would take my MINI anyday over most sports cars I've had the chance to try out."

Anonymous, MI (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The car drives like a go cart, flat turns, great acceleration and braking, and responsive to driving inputs."

Robert B., NE (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Peppy for a four cylinder. Handling is fantastic - like a little race-car. :)"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"A great car to drive for the driving experience - low to the ground and good acceleration."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mini Cooper)

"I like its cornering and acceleration and it handle really well."

Leroy S., PA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The MINI is simply fun to drive, it is like a slot-car on rails. For over 20 years I drove Porsches, which were wonderful, but in the USA the MINI is the most fun per dollar than anything on the road. Driving a slow car fast is much more fun than driving a fast car slow."

James C., PA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Thrilling. Very responsive and excellent cornering make it a joy to drive. You won't be a passive driver behind the wheel."

Gary B., PA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"A bit sluggish unless in Sport mode, but not bad."

John S., FL (2012 Mini Cooper)


Anonymous, TX (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Handling and acceleration are outstanding. Very easy to maneuver and park."

Thomas K., NC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The car is small, quick, and agile. It is great fun to drive. However, the standard (non-turbo) engine does not provide good torque or acceleration."

Lewis P., GA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Non turbo automatic is good on acceleration. Handling is siiperb."

Don B., NY (2012 Mini Cooper)

"A fun car! Acceleration seems to raise the font wheels off the ground, so a little harrowing sometimes. Although we have an automatic, the car feels like a manual, with very noticeable downshifting, which is great when going downhill because the car slows down rather than coast. I see that as a postive."

Anne C., VA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"I was ready to drive the car into a ditch and report it stolen until i figured out that it required high test gas. I was afraid to take it on the highway. It does say to use more than regular but this is not a suggestion, it is required."

Dave N., FL (2012 Mini Cooper)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"I marked it down a notch because some people remark on the bumpy ride from the sporty suspension. Whatever, they are just jealous because they drive boring minivans."

Anonymous, ID (2012 Mini Cooper)

"the ride is not as comfortable as larger cars compared to the Camry we use to have, but the comfort level is still acceptable for the short drives we mostly do."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The seats are very comfortable and adjustable. The ride is little bucky, as is true of short wheel-based cars."

JAMES D., TX (2012 Mini Cooper)

"My only complaint about the Mini is the location of the cup holders. They are to close to the dash so when using a large cup the distance between the cup and the dash is very tight and makes it difficult to grasp the cup or use the dash controls. The rear cup holder is of little use if you have the factory armrest installed as we do."

WILLIAM D., NC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Well it is a little small for me, but the wife really loves it. It's a sports car, so does not have a plush ride. Fun to drive."

JIM D., NM (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Noisy inside when highway driving. Would prefer a "quieter" ride"

ASSINCK W., ON (2012 Mini Cooper)

"unless the climate control is turned on (or the convertible top is down) the car feels claustrophobic"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"These older model seats are not comfortable on trips over an hour for me."

Gerald L., TN (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Far too stiff of a ride. Should be more comfortable. Some fault due to the run-flat tires. The stiffness induces a lot of rattles."

John S., FL (2012 Mini Cooper)

"It’s like a go-kart inside; all hard plastic and road noise."

Paul M., CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Comfortable leather sears. Sits low and my legs streach all the way out (I am 6’2‿)"

Anonymous, AL (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The car is comfortable, but I would like it more if it were quieter."

Keith L., MO (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The noise level inside the car is quite loud. I have run flat tires and I know this contributes to the road noise. I could change tires and decrease the road noise but with no spare I have decided to keep the run flats. I just wish there was another way to decrease the noise level."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The car is good, comfortable seats, but a fairly harsh ride. Part of it is probably run-flat tires, but it is very stiff - more than it needs to be."

John S., FL (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Hard plastic. Not terribly comfortable."

Paul M., CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Sports car ride"

Frederick C., DC (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Somewhat noisy cabin, harsh ride but what I expected from a performance car. A thrill to drive."

Gary B., PA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"It's surprisingly comfortable. The seats are supportive. The optional roof rack makes the ride very noisy though."

Anonymous, MI (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Great lumbar support."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mini Cooper)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Mechanical failures that are very expensive to repair. Routine maintenance is very expensive."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Bought cooper used at a significant discount. John cooper works edition which is very sporty and fast for the price."

JAMES C., ON (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The car is well made and I feel quite a good value. Lots of features in a small, but unique vehicle."

JOHN S., FL (2012 Mini Cooper)

"We bought this used with 1,200 miles and got a great deal on it."

JAMES D., TX (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Cost of service is too high - oil change $180.00+. Parts are similarly high."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Somewhat overpriced for what you get. Maintenance costs are high."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Base model is low cost with high reliability."

Anonymous, NV (2012 Mini Cooper)

"The customization options and overall quality were exceptional at this price point."

Noah V., OH (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Excellent fun car for the money"

Frederick C., DC (2012 Mini Cooper)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"I own a Mini JCW. It is a real head turner and I frequently receive comments!"

HENRY M., NH (2012 Mini Cooper)

"It is cute!"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Unique, even at meetups I've never seen another MINI with the exact same stylizing. Has personality, compared to most cars, which are cookie cutter even across OEMs."

BRYAN D., MI (2012 Mini Cooper)

"Was able to custom build the car with what I wanted. Special paint etc."

CLAUDIA D., CA (2012 Mini Cooper)

Would you buy this car again?

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Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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