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  • 2012 Mini Cooper Roadster


in 2012 Affordable Sports Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,245 - $28,186
Original MSRP: $24,350 - $34,500
MPG: 27 City / 35 Hwy

2012 Mini Cooper Roadster Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers give the 2012 Mini Cooper Roadster points for its comfortable seats, upscale cabin and a cargo hold that’s impressively large for such a small car. However, most agree that the soft top is unrefined and lets in too much wind noise.

  • "Surprisingly, the fabric roof is unlined, and its metal bows are visible inside. Perhaps as a result, the raised roof seems to do little to block wind noise, which at highway speeds is pronounced." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "The Roadster is, to put it bluntly, crude. Wind noise at highway speeds feels like a '90s throwback, and the exposed roof elements hardly smack of premium appeal." -- Edmunds 
  • "Interior materials are better than average, despite a lot of plastic, and the instrument panel maintains a uniquely Mini look with a bevy of retro toggle switches, the tachometer perched on the steering column and the center of the dash dominated by a pizza-size speedometer." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "The semi-automatic soft-top on the Mini Roadster is an option, in theory, but for many customers it might be a necessity-the standard manual top can be a bit cumbersome." -- Popular Mechanics 

MINI Cooper Roadster Pictures

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Only a few reviewers have mentioned the Roadster’s seats, but those who do say they’re comfortable and supportive. Despite its diminutive size, one reviewer comments that there’s plenty of head- and legroom, although elbow room is a little tight.

  • "Elbow room is a bit limited, but legroom and headroom are abundant, and the bucket seats are comfortably supportive, particularly in the higher performance models." -- Kelley Blue Book 

Interior Features

So far, the automotive press has been pleased with the Roadster’s high-quality interior materials and cabin electronics. However, not all reviewers love the Roadster’s convertible top. While a power-retractable top is optional, the standard top raises and lowers manually. Most reviewers agree that while putting the top down is a snap, putting it up from the driver’s seat requires a long, awkward reach.

Awkward mechanics aside, the fabric roof also lacks an interior lining, which means that the Roadster lets in a lot of wind noise at highway speeds. Most agree that the Mini Convertible’s dual-layer top is much quieter on the highway.

  • "The manual roof can be tossed back pretty easily from the driver's seat. Raising it up again takes a bit more effort and it's a long reach." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "It is possible to raise the hood from the driver seat, but only if you have arms that combine the length of Mr. Tickle with the forearms of Popeye. At $750, the semiautomatic soft top is a must-have option. You still have to twist a handle to lock it into place, but at least it rises and falls without human help." -- Edmunds 
  • "A single swivel latch in the middle of the roof (rotated 130 degrees) releases the top, which simply and neatly folds like an accordion and locks behind the seats, much like in a traditional Mazda Miata." -- Road and Track 
  • "Similar to BMW's iDrive, Mini Connected uses a knob near the gear shifter to navigate the screen, relieving the driver from potential touchscreen troubles." -- Popular Mechanics 


While the Roadster doesn’t have rear seats like its stablemate, the Mini Convertible, it makes up for that deficit with cargo space that reviewers say is larger and more useful. With 8.5 cubic feet for cargo, the Roadster’s trunk is bigger than both the Mini Convertible and a direct rival, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. And like the Mini Coupe, the Roadster has a pass-through directly behind the seats, which is handy for in-cabin access or longer items.

  • "The Roadster is essentially a softtop version of the two-seat hardtop Coupe, which went on sale last fall. In both cars, the back seat area is given over to a bulkhead that has a lockable, 14-by-8-inch pass-through to an 8.5-cubic-foot trunk -- which betters the 6.0 cubic feet you get in the Convertible." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "If the roadster has room for only two versus the two-plus-two convertible, your lone passenger will feel flattered, and you'll have a little more room for weekend cargo-2.5 more cubic feet than in the two-plus-two-as well as a pass-through that allows stowage on the fly." -- Car and Driver 
  • "In common with the Coupe, the Roadster has a broad hatch that links the cockpit with the trunk. The latter has a capacity of 8.5 cubic feet, which compares more than favorably with the Miata's 5.3 cubic feet." -- Edmunds 
  • "The volume required for the retracted top of the Roadster is fixed, allowing for a ski pass-through that helps this new Mini carry longer items." -- Road and Track 
  • "The Mini Roadster has an 8.5-cubic-foot trunk, 2.0 cubic feet more than the Mini Convertible. It also has a unique feature - a small square trapdoor behind the seats that allows occupants to pop odds and ends into the trunk without stopping." -- Kelley Blue Book