2012 Mini Cooper Coupe
2012 Mini Cooper Coupe Review
The 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe is a solid performer, but critics say the standard Mini Cooper’s performance is almost as good.
Reviewers have long appreciated the standard Mini Cooper for its nimble handling, excellent fuel economy and attractive, retro-styled exterior design. So when Mini spiced things up with the introduction of the 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe, most critics were excited to drive it.
What they found were all the familiar traits that make Minis so fun to drive, and for some test drivers that’s exactly the problem: The Mini Cooper Coupe benefits from the automaker’s engaging driving dynamics, but it just doesn’t offer that much more than the regular Cooper Hardtop. Automobile Magazine puts it best, “Though the Coupe offers the same agility, power, and sophistication we've come to expect from other Minis, it may puzzle bargain hunters. After all, Coupes - regardless of trim level -- command nearly $2000 more than a comparable hardtop, yet offer half the seating and cargo space.”
It’s not that the Coupe performs poorly, it just doesn’t offer the additional punch that test drivers expect when comparing a sports car with an affordable small car. Still, the Cooper Coupe is well-matched to nimble sports cars like the Mazda Miata. If you’re drawn to the Coupe’s funky exterior styling and are okay with only having two seats, you’ll be pleased to find that the interior features ample cargo space and room for drivers over six feet tall. The stylish dash layout is also straight from the Mini playbook, complete with an oversized, centrally-located speedometer and distinctive toggle switches.
Ultimately though, the 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe fails to make an argument for form over function. If you want a car that seats two and offers fun driving dynamics in a uniquely-styled wrapper, the Cooper Coupe might be for you. Just know that the Mini Cooper hatchback offers similar performance and more space for less money.
Other Cars to Consider
If you like the 2012 Mini Coupe’s small size and nimble handling but would prefer a rear-wheel drive convertible, the Mazda Miata might be worth checking out. The Miata is slightly more expensive, but it’s also a better performer than the base Mini Coupe. Additionally, reviewers love the Miata’s excellent reliability and quality interior.
If you need an affordable sports car that can seat four in a pinch, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe might be a better choice. Reviewers praise the Genesis Coupe for its attractive exterior design, comfortable seats and standard tech features.
The Hyundai is also more powerful, but shoppers should note that both the Genesis Coupe and the Miata are rear-wheel drive. If you like the Mini Coupe for its front-wheel drive, the Mazda and Hyundai might not be right for you.
Mini Coupe: The Details
The 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe is a new model that’s available in three trims that are based primarily around the drivetrain. The base Coupe comes with a naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder engine, while S Coupe and John Cooper Works models offer more-powerful, turbocharged powerplants. See the full 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe specifications.
- "Don't escape with the idea that Mini has produced a bad car, as it's still fast, fun and well finished. But Mini has missed a trick with it. If it had paid even half as much attention to the way the Coupe drives as it has to the way it looks, its claim to have built the brand's first proper sports car could have been credible." -- Edmunds
- "It's the type of car that's sure to get most any driver's blood flowing, and one Mini you'll never want unbuckle from." -- Motor Trend
- "After a day of flogging these two turbocharged versions of the 2012 Cooper Coupe we came away deeply impressed and fully convinced this cheeky newcomer truly is a Mini with a mission." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "If you compare the Coupe to its more natural foes such as the Mazda Miata or the Nissan 370Z there's plenty to like here, including a far slicker interior that's more useful, roomier and more accommodating of larger folks." -- Popular Mechanics
- "In the end, you'd really have to love the shape of the Mini Coupe to choose it over its more practical brethren, and be willing to put up with the loss of the admittedly vestigial back seat and the extra storage it affords." -- Autoblog