2013 MINI Cooper Coupe Performance

#10 in 2013 Affordable Sports Cars Performance Score: 8.2 / 10
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2013 MINI Cooper Coupe Performance Overview

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 MINI Cooper Coupe was new.

Reviewers say the 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe offers thrilling performance in a small package, just like its siblings. Its optional turbocharged engines make the Coupe a thrill to drive, and the motor is well-matched to either the slick-shifting manual or available automatic transmission. The 2013 Coupe also pleases test drivers with its sprightly handling and quick steering, which make it exceptionally fun to drive.

  • "Introduced last year, the Coupe is a tiny 2-seater that puts an emphasis on agility and speed. Call it a go-kart for adults." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Throttle response quickens when sport mode is activated. The six-speed manual offers short, smooth throws and a well-weighted clutch, but even the automatic is enjoyable." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
  • "It may have an English bulldog stance, but the handling eagerness is all Jack Russell terrier." -- Motor Trend (2012)
  • "The Coupe is comfortable enough for long hours of driving, and it's the most viscerally engaging Mini-which is a high bar. It's not only quick, but the flexible, forgiving engine and transmission mean you're not rowing all day." -- Popular Mechanics (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 121 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 114 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. The S Coupe adds a turbocharger, upping the engine’s output to 181 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 177 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm. Both base and S models come with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. The EPA reports that the 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe gets up to 29/37 mpg city/highway, which is significantly better than the fuel economy of sports cars like the Mazda Miata and Subaru BRZ.

The top-of-the-line John Cooper Works Coupe gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 208 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 192 pound-feet of torque from 1,750 to 5,500 rpm. Mini says that the JCW Coupe is the fastest model the automaker has ever produced. The JCW Coupe will go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and has a top speed of 149 mph. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered with the JCW Coupe.

While test drivers say that the base Coupe accelerates adequately, most prefer the more powerful S Coupe and John Cooper Works models. One reviewer noticed some torque steer under hard acceleration, but the majority of critics are pleased with the S and JCW Coupes’ responsive engines and well-matched transmissions.

  • "The base engine provides adequate acceleration, but the real fun is had with the turbo versions, which feature broad, flat torque ‘plateaus’ and a great midrange response." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Torque steer occasionally rears its head during hard acceleration runs, especially when attempting to launch the car on slick or broken surfaces." -- Automobile Magazine (2012 S Coupe) 
  • "For such a small motor, 208 horsepower is a huge output even with a turbo attached. But what really impresses is that this power is delivered so evenly and smoothly across the wide power band, with no lag or slack throttle response." -- Edmunds (2012 John Cooper Works) 
  • "Both Coupe models have flexible torque curves, so acceleration is quick." -- Popular Mechanics (2012 S Coupe and John Cooper Works) 

Handling and Braking

Reviewers love the 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe’s fun driving dynamics. While some critics point out that the standard Mini Cooper is just as agile, most appreciate the Coupe’s athletic handling and quick, accurate steering.

  • "Where all Minis excel, and this one especially, is on twisty roads." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "What's it like? Very much like almost any other Cooper S. Despite its front-wheel-drive platform, the Mini is remarkably fun to toss around on tight roads thanks to quick, well-weighted steering, coupled with impressive grip and little body roll." -- Automobile Magazine (2012 S Coupe)
  • "The steering is quick, the tires grippy, and when you really start to fling it, the balance impressively neutral for a front-drive car." -- Edmunds (2012 John Cooper Works)
  • "As is de rigueur for anything wearing the Mini badge, the Cooper Coupe is always in a frisky mood when the road shows off its feminine curves." -- Autoblog (2012)
Review Last Updated: 1/4/16

2013 MINI Cooper Coupe Pictures