Nothing says British style quite like the Mini Cooper. Even with the redesign of the hatchback in 2007, the Mini Cooper still retains that wonderful look and feel. The Mini Cooper is very customizable; Mini encourages consumers to build their own car. The new hatchback engine has a lot more power than the old convertible and is a lot of fun to drive. There are a few drawbacks: the drive is noisy, the new controls are a bit awkward, and the old mechanics in the convertible feel a bit dated. Nonetheless, the Mini Cooper is still worth a look.
Body Styles: two-door hatchback, convertible
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
Transmissions: five-speed continuously variable automatic transmission, five-speed manual, six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Models: Mini Cooper Base hatchback, Mini Cooper S hatchback, Mini Cooper Base convertible, Mini Cooper S convertible
The 2008 Mini Cooper added power windows.
The Mini Cooper has the distinctive Mini style: compact, sporty, and fun with a British flare. The Mini Cooper comes in a hatchback or convertible version. The hatchback was completely redesigned in 2007, so the 2008 is still a fresh and modern looking vehicle. The Base model Mini Cooper comes with 15-inch alloy wheels rear defogger, rear windshield wiper, and cargo tie downs. The S model adds 16-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires, and a stiffer suspension. The convertible version of the Mini Cooper has a cloth power-retractable soft-top with a sunroof function as well.
The interior of the Mini Cooper differs depending on the hatchback and convertible versions of the vehicle. The hatchback, redesigned in 2008, has a modern interior. The hatchback has a modern control console that does not work as well as it looks. Controls are bunched too close together and are hard to use on the fly. The audio controls are almost impossible, and the automatic climate controls are difficult to figure out. Oddly enough, the convertible’s older controls are easier to use and actually look better than the redesigned hatchback controls. The hatchback’s seats and comfort, however, are far superior to that of the convertible.
Standard features on the base vehicle include full power accessories, selectable sport settings for increased power performance, air-conditioning, vinyl upholstery, mood lighting, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, trip computer, and a six-speaker audio system with a CD-player. The S model convertible adds rear-parking sensors. The Mini Cooper is a highly customizable vehicle, practically encouraged by Mini. Optional equipment includes a dual-pane sunroof, automatic climate controls, leather or cloth upholstery, interior color scheme options, Bluetooth, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, integrated navigation system, HD radio, eight-speaker Harmon/Kardon audio system, and a plethora of other choices.
Performance & Handling
The Mini Cooper has different drivetrains depending on whether consumers select a hatchback or convertible model. The Hatchback comes with the brand new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 118 horsepower with 114 lb-ft of torque. The Mini Cooper S has a supercharged version of that engine that produces 172 horsepower with 177 lb-ft of torque. Both models come with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with manual shifting paddles. The convertible version of the Mini Cooper comes equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 115 horsepower with 111 lb-ft of torque. The base Mini Cooper convertible comes with a five-speed manual with an optional continuously variable transmission. The Mini Cooper S convertible comes with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The new hatchback engine is much more refined than the Mini Cooper convertible. The engine, although not boasting a lot of horsepower, has a lot of getup and go. The base engine is a bit underwhelming though, but the Mini Cooper is a fun drive all around. There is a lot of fun behind the steering wheel. It almost feels like driving a go-kart but with a lot more power.
The 2008 Mini Cooper comes equipped with anti-lock disc brakes and side airbags. The S model has standard traction and stability control. The hatchback version has standard side-curtain airbags. The IIHS gave the Mini Cooper hatchback a rating of ""good"" for front impacts.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mini Cooper Base hatchback: 28/37 mpg city/highway
Mini Cooper S hatchback: 26/34 mpg city/highway
Mini Cooper Base convertible: 23/32 mpg city/highway
Mini Cooper S convertible: 21/29 mpg city/highway
- Fun style
- Brand new hatchback
- Power windows
- Great customization
You Won't Like
- Bad interior controls on the hatchback
- Lots of noise
- Stiff suspension
A fun and stylish car.
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